Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Mining for Logical Operators"

This allay is definitely an “allay,” – that genre by which the transfusion of divergent ideas hit like a particle collider – the infusion of foreign elements under the eyes of a theme are meant to expose the roots of the roots of ideas. Here I am after our ability to grasp the logical operators that exist in every object of discourse. Words, arguments, ideas, all contain an ambiguous sense of meaning and potentiality, but coming at them with the lens of a purpose, we see what these ideas are capable of, how we can use them and assimilate them to our Purpose.


Amidst the interstices of habitual ideas are a few glints of possibilities. This allay aims to instruct how to get at the possibilities. Needless, to say, it is one of my more difficult attempts.



Mining for Logical Operators


                We are submerged in the logosphere, an air so thick with language and meaning that only our utter immersion renders it invisible. But as it is darkness that makes the shadow clear, so does a man appreciate meaning best when he has once gone insane. Having exceeded the limit, we respect the limit. When we find ourselves within a world of language and sense it as an alien game, we will gain the power to use or upset its logic. Within all ideas are logical operators by which they negotiate with the world of ideas.

                Across the cultural logosphere, often embedded in artifacts, lie different resonators which put each other in place, and through their vibrations we find nodes, and each according to the shape of his antennae. We are all butterflies finding our flower, and amidst the values of the good, the true, and the beautiful we take our spin, our difference, our personal preference, and gladly do an injustice to what views contradict it. The atmosphere of the logosphere draws us through a field of meaning.

                Amidst the field of meaning we seek terms which reveal ambiguities, not which avoid ambiguity or explain it away. Ambiguity is the room of transformation. The resonators make the scene, which contains and allows our actions, our language and thought, our inner feelings, the habits that make up life. Scene gives quality to action, already has all actions potentially hidden in its bosom. Those symbolic acts alter our being; when we take a subjective experience and glorify it as our objective essence, we alter our experiencer. Our essence is our perceiver, and is also the necessity which perceives—needs and minds, necessity and freedom.

                These words, these sayings, this logosphere of talk, the flesh of Sophia Lux, who is the Light of Wisdom, set our limits and possibilities: this is the playing board on which we move. Proverbs for instance are fragments of a vast and complex dialectical structure. The words in the air rake the airways. All persons, all egos, those nexuses of powers, take as an essence some subjective experience, some object of contemplation, and set that as a personal resonator. That resonator tunes is into a world of pleasant and unpleasant positions. We need to choose a need, we need to set our purpose and having that we alter our vision. Watching the world through all our moods, we discover the limits of the mind.

                Psychosis can be surprisingly conventional; stereotyped delusions allow us to mock those experiences. Yet in expressing through symbolic language something especially deep, psychosis is the deepest of creativities; it opens heaven to the world. The deepest myths and religions owe their best to this.

                Whatever is opened for us, whatever excites a people--new power, new technology-- becomes the trope fountain. Computers have made us into computers; we see everything as computers nowadays. What we focus on changes the shape of our lens. A few buckers of convention play past the bonds. The exceptional people help through their obsessions, the regular people help through their compliance. Our temperament finds its place among the people.

                We position ourselves in terms of the world; we are forced to have an opinion on the issues of the day; to not care is also an anticipated position, one often held in contempt. The staunch materialist is perhaps fighting down his own superstition to need to insist. Our lay of instincts and the educative images that structure them make the array of our motives. This system of identities, which is also a system of differences, configures these resonators either in hierarchies or as oppositions. Placing our ideas in this gridwork programs ideas to interface across our consciousness.

                Our self develops as we foresee and internalize the networks of opposition to our goals, as we see ourselves through others' eyes. We deliberate our challenges, deliberate with an internal action acted out as a posture and presentation. Attitude emanates from deep images; little fragments of images mean so much to us; the memories of the first five years are converted into a mental technology beyond recall. The experiences of the first five years, which we subjectively experienced, are made into invisible objects, our essence, which is also our subjectivity. A man's subjectivity is his essence. As an unthinkable object it is pure subject. Our personality feels it as tone of life, attitude, common sense, truth.


                We seek a set of other people to develop our personality; we will even choose villains for friends, to our later seeming surprise, to bring this hidden essence back out in a final realization. For a lover, we seek not clones, but complements. And just as the forgetful person sets reminders on his path, so we choose friends able to hold us to our task. They stand at the limits of our course and push us in. Sometimes the pride of being a better parent than the one he had leads a man to treat his family in a way that even seems a bit unnatural to him. We latch on to moral oversimplifications and become fools of goodness rather than masters of virtue. And yet that pride, which is merely the pleasure in our own power, in the joy of being ourselves, seeks goals worthy of our potential; we wish to be all that we can be, for this is the sweetness of life. The logical operator in virtue is in the empowerment of self, just as the logical operator in morality is in limiting the power of others.

                The religions often identify the natural instincts in man, and to be sexy, contradict them. A religion wouldn't be a religion if it didn't claim nonsense with a straight face. They do it on purpose to differentiate the loyal from the outsiders. Loyalty is how much you are willing to lie for love. What is true requires no loyalty, its power is self-evident. True loyalty trusts despite appearances. Love is the opposite of power in that it takes the freedom of power away, and sets it into the form of duty.

                The charge -- really the only fundamental charge -- Christianity throws against all other religions is that they seek salvation through the efforts of man, instead of letting God do it for them. Even if this were true, it does not fit a father / son model. The proud father wants his son to succeed on his own efforts; it goes without saying that to lay out eternal punishment is unfatherly, inhuman, disgusting. To let that man slowly lift himself up by his own efforts is the station of a loving father. We have no respect for the mother who, to increase her importance, does everything for her children, rendering them helpless and dependent. You can also readily compare the spiritual progress the Christians make compared to Hindus. Paul attempted to give self-improvement a bad name, by saying that a self-perfecting man was an abomination to God, a sneer at God, who is afraid that a man may boast of getting into heaven; this paints an frightened God intimidated by the honest efforts of his children. Boasting characterizes Paul's mien, but most wise and advanced philosophers boast little, less than the religious -- lacking such a need. Pride never boasts. It is satisfied in its own reality. The logical operators implied in “faith not works” is a cynic dismissal of mankind.

                To make a difference between your sect and the other sects of the world religion, between Islam and Buddhism and Mormonism, is to lay all the emphasis on a distinction. But that distinction is not intrinsic to your essence: it is a reaction to how the competitors have defined themselves. What makes you different from others depends on the others.

                The terms would allow it, of course; the logical operators buried in every term are ambiguous, but ambiguous in a limited and suggestive way. God, like Democracy and Love, is such a hollowed out term that has held anything and everything, that could mean anything and indeed which means different things to different people such that the only seeming agreement is that it is an important being. It is a rhetoricism. “Belief” in God is an easy thing and implies no moral obligation. History's greatest villains believed in God. It makes no difference if a man believes in God; what matters is if God believes in him. All the Gods, though they contradict and nullify each other, are aspects of the all, are mere puppets for Pan, for the All Divine, Ama. To approach her, we may be conventional and choose a sect of the World Religion. Customs, forms, and first lessons hollow out a space for meaning, which is fluid. Yet a genuine talk with God, with the All-mother, will be in terms completely unheard of, in a private and peculiar way, in an instance utterly like anyone else in history. She will talk to you in the accent of your own mind's speech. Those who seek praise seek external assurance, as does God, but behind that is the One who praises us, who believes in us and adores us and lends us her power. That is Ama All. Use her inexhaustibility.


                Appropriating tradition is the basic gesture of all sects of religion and all parties of politics. We can, after all, see tradition and history as extending the details of our own private life, which is infinitely rich. Mundane life is the anchor of the rest, the justification and center of our flights. In this, conventions are useful.

                Backed by the past, we are yet at the dawn of history, the beginning of history proper. Iris blue has blinked away, summer time skies have saddened grey. Our winter of gestation is poised and ready for the butterfly's flight. I hum silly songs of isolation to myself. My numinous reclusiveness elects friends with exclusiveness, Want a slice of my time, tickly my elusiveness. I am happy to move worlds while ever at home in my own. I use my distinctions and lose my normalcy.

                We are all weird, and we all play normal. To emphasize our difference is useful, and to emphasize our similarity is useful; our universal and private experience charge our ideas. Ideas and traumas store energy that can be called upon in a time of need. All those shames and exclusions the world has dealt us, the fear of exclusion if our secrets were known, these well with energy, they give us use. We set our commitments by placing our lies.

                Life is a ritual of commitment. We build our life with the resonators that keep us in place. We need buffers and layers of fat; to build stores of energy; to add some fluff to our bank account, to have the wisdom that enables us to be happy in all circumstances.

                The gospel of prosperity -- which is the pragmatic if not the official religion of America, holding that wealth is a blessing, that we share in God's grace when we work with him towards our own success -- attenuates the English roots of our values. Amidst all this "materialism," how do we get at the higher materialism of our inner soul? How do we affirm our private beliefs?

                A man's Belief contains the things he will tend to believe, insofar as he is able, holds the tone of what beliefs can become important to him. That catalog, that empty shape, works as a filter; our ego filters for tools. We have a sense of life which builds our attitudes. We mold our tools by our tending to use. Money is power as words are tools. Empty forms, upon repeating, fill with meaning; the words we say, though initially meaningless, thicken over time with meaning. It is only the frustrated meaning, the clogged desire, which requires art to ease its tensions and set it back to the flow of work. Use is meaning. The meaning of language is the activities it inspires. The meaning of a dollar is the effort to achieve it and the extent of what it can buy. Dollars convey effort; words desire. There are truths that only love can see, and there are truths that love cannot see. There is a weakness in power, a nerve of pain, which infinitely empowers it. Power is fear is distance, power is space of control. Words are close, encircle our heart – they gave it the safety of distance.


                Our values are a circle of words we speak to our intimates. Unless we wish to identify with the thinnest and shallowest values -- the surest to deliver us through life unchallenged -- we must guard our hearts from the words of the world. We must objectify our experience into language to give us the power of distance over it -- power is distance -- for being too continuous in the stream of direct experience blinds us to its nature. Both the forgetting of experience and the reflecting on experience must be internalized to digest it and use its essence. Don’t just live life. Sometimes escape it.

                This book makes the distance of my ideas from my heart. It is the oracle of the all. Use its inexhaustibility.

                Avoid polite forms when facing the all. Polite forms are dead forms; they are intended rather than raw. Conformity dies in time. Genuine originality, not avent gard escapades of shock, comes from the eternal, and so goes to the eternal. Traditions give a stage, but that is all.

                Religions are all by nature arrogant, only they mask that in the cloak of seemingly humble obedience so to command in us the most intimate and persistent focus and insist the most extensive authority over all details of our lives. Pass such impositions into the realm of uncriticizable – calling it God or the Divine. This fiction is an illusion to coax acquiescence to their demands.

                The religions through their divine ventriloquism pretend they have the right to tell you what to love, how to love, whom to forgive, how to rear your children. How intolerable would all those manipulations be if expressed for what they are! But give them the fiction -- a fiction the people are begging for -- and they obey. They hold to slave mentality, but they require a legitimatization of their life of servitude, a way to make it respectable. Tradition deserves reverence, they feel.

                What depression people get when they lose this justification. There are certain truths, evoked by a frowning mood, that in their undeniable simplicity exasperate hope. "There will be a last kiss between you and your wife." "You are young. Your greatest suffering is yet to come." Or as my self-doubting mirror sometimes says, "Your allistic project may be buried with you when you die." Should we put trust in scriptures? The ancient scriptures claimed to know more about the future than they ostensibly knew of history. Those evangelists insist because their fiction is weak. How to respond? The confidence to ignore a loudmouthed fool is a graduation of dignity. Every fool will find his level. Resolve instead to hold to your own and seldom bother to explain yourself, least of all when others want to misunderstand. Remember in your anger that when anger admits its emerging truth it is relieved. Anger completes its purpose not when it is suppressed but when it reveals the truth of its vulnerability. Meanwhile, do some petty thing to occupy yourself. The housewife's wisdom -- when frustrated, clean something -- is certainly useful in handling great frustration, which becomes manageable once the electric edge is taken off. Organize something. Practice simple order. Make art of your life. Art when comprehended implies action. Music inspires dance, architecture husbandry. Art is hortatory, life is for living, thought is for acting, and beauty is for inspiration. The study of life is for the creation of life, and creative power uses the engines of logical operation. Mine the meaning in the ideas that interest you, liberate the operator and apply it elsewhere.



\~ @M@ ~/


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Musings upon the Moment after death


            They say upon your death Memory presents herself in flowing robes covered over with events, places, and times, reminds you of a million things you forgot, and forgot you forgot; freed from her framework in your neurons, she attends you like a host to your own inner world, she shows you the roles of souls from your friends, the bits of their being they gave you in love, a living presence of each, to draw you towards their heaven, and they to yours, when the time is ripe. She shows you ethical secrets, that what was given was never lost, and what was tried had never failed; she holds everything misplaced, and shows many secrets of her own; she dazzles you with her ingenuity, with her secret dance with your mind, and the playful ruses and tender abuses she permitted herself to give to temper your ego and empower your will. Not even in that moment is she willing to tell you quite all, she bows back into your mind, after introducing Imagination, her mate.

            Imagination has grown strong in all you dared create, in all the vistas you dared to look upon; none was lost on him, and now in your apotheosis, he sets forth new worlds, and dances before your eyes all those forms that formerly amused you. What you created on earth was realized in heaven, and all your attempts are mentioned and shown. A garden of art and creative relations, your children of mind and tokens of the children of your body. The power of creativity thus smiles your power back on you.



\ ~@M@~ /


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Perfidius" an essay

I've been exploring my defensiveness, especially as I've felt it lately regarding my study of the world religions. Pondering it over and mirror meditating, I felt relieved to express the following words.





            Just as I am the perfect Idius, I am perfidious -- utterly faithless: I hate the world's religions. They torture me with their impositions; each claims the right, not to inspire me, but to command me, not to affirm me, but to conform me, not to impress me, but to demand praise, not to better me, but to belittle me, not to fill my heart and lungs with joy, but to insinuate that I don't have a right to my joy in life, that it is really a form of suffering, or if not, suffering will answer it. I toss all that off as so much baggage. What inspires me is true, what depresses me is false. The Wisdom on this matter Ama says: "You are right, but though you insist you are right, you don't yet fully believe it; you have what you need, but since you criticize everything else, you don't use what you have; you are perfect, but though you make defenses and justifications for your behavior and your bold differences in life, you don't truly know you are perfect."

            What to do? I have found a greater joy in the Greek Eureka than in the Jewish Hallelujah. I can arrogantly deny each religion, shoving down every attempt they have at hoisting bridges to my island, or can affirm my own divine, before which the gods melt away. What are God and the gods, after all, but puppets for Ama? The full divine is not obsessed with names and books; your innermost already knows what it needs to know.

            I can learn a trick from the Christians, a trick from the Buddhists, and be grateful that I was able to create their methods into my methods of my own: what is true gratitude but the joy of joint creativity? So the Buddhists teach me a lesson: detach. I learn to drop a thing, to fast from a given activity, a pleasure or duty, to try out a little abstinence on this or that, for the sure joy of exercising my will over the pricks of lesser pleasures and pains. I detach, I give up, I let go; I detach from Buddhism too, and Christianity, I let them all follow their own way. What have you to do with me? Less than you think.

            This nation takes her legal system from the Romans, her sciences and arts from the Greeks, but not enough spirituality from India. The allistic attitude takes a good from whatever tree it blooms; I can appreciate the efficacy and artistry of the martial arts without believing in the spiritual system that inspires them, just as I can revel in the verses of the Tao Te Jing while absolving myself from practicing Taoism; I can appreciate Islamic calligraphy or Gothic cathedrals, because whatever the absolute demands each of those ethical systems made upon their peoples, demands which inspired also their greatest artists, those metaphysical demands are nothing to me, weak as water, for I have discovered my own divine, my own absolute, and to give ear to what is not mine does an injustice to me, and it does an injustice to them.

            The world is full of types; each people has its types. The Zoroastrian magi's, the Hebrew prophets, the Hindu Brahmans give an example of many examples of the types that people was capable of creating. The Greeks created not prophets, but sages, sages and philosophers. The petulant philosopher intrigues, but the sage inspires. Emerson as sage is nobler than Emerson as pastor.

            Cannot I not cull the best types across the board to inspire the making of my own type, which as an individual expression will be unique and unprecedented? Is that not the variable type of the American self-made man? The individualism of my country is my type, an all-type, one that can find inspiration from any corner of the globe.

            Once I can overcome the deadly hatred I have for the world's religions, the resentment against their impositions, their moral condemnations of everything I see as beautiful, perfect, and divine, I can approach them with the eager eyes of a thinker open to possibilities. I am the student of life, and will study any thing, without being dominated by it. A student is grateful when a teacher inspires him, but he does not flatter his benefactors and he does not exaggerate the worth of things he did not himself create. "Do not exaggerate in your religion," is the wisest verse in Islam, but what are all the worlds but exaggerations, infinite exaggerations, taking some part and praising it to heaven, to infinity? I too will do the same, but not according to what another tells me, as if God would talk to priests, prophets, demigods, gods, angels, divines, and not me. I too am a man, and am equal to any and all of them.

            Frustration is a great appetizer. These timeless traditions frustrate me, they try to anticipate me, they wish to guard their pearls. But I come as a thief, am Hermes the trespasser of boundaries, and am welcome wherever I will. My paraphernalia will forever by the student's backpack and never the professional's brief case. One looks up in order to explore limits; eyes by seeking, express. What you admire is your limit.

            God, the gods, Karma, and Samsara can plot against me till their pale. It comes to nothing. What I am I eternally am. I am I. If there is a chink of doubt in my breast, let me best it, let me overcome it. What thunder tunnels through my brain as I reel from this trauma, that intense trauma I feel when I grapple you Gods and systems. I will not fall into the teeth of the world. I find my inner gravity and all my universe orbits that. The mirror always smiles, and a man is at home in his own body, for the body is the limit of the mind. Finity hopes for the infinite, morality for the immortal, but we in our empathy already resonate at our innermost with the innermost of the All. Our independence sings to hers. A man has the most time who is always busy, and the woman has the most who is always using it. We don't get even, we get ahead, and thank our enemies for what they taught us. We are student to learn from every experience, and therefore continually grateful to life. Until I graduate from this life, I will engross myself in pleasure of creating, expressing, I will immerse myself in the minutiae of Earth, and kiss her twice a day, as the sun kisses the earth twice a day, for engrossment is bliss. With a wink, our problems become games, and we the player so life.




\ ~@M@~ /


Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Maximizing the Surface Area of Your Bliss" an allay

Greetings, Students of Life!
This allay seems to me defensive in tone, that one has to structure himself apart from a world eager to impose. I develop some lines of logic regarding how to schedule our daily life drawing from the book I wrote about virtue. We can all live our life in a way to maximize our possible bliss – that is self-evident – but how do we accomplish this?

Take care Caretakers


Maximizing the Surface Area of your Bliss
            Joy is the conscious experience of creating; bliss is the conscious experience of creative union. The druggy’s dream of an eternal hit, of the cocaine rush that never dies, comes from a short-circuiting of the mental tools: happiness and its concrete manifestations in pleasure are meant to accompany the completing of a circuit, the venturing of a task and the raising of interest and excitement through frustrations and defeat; the subsequent enjoinment of the created beauty with our own inner being is bliss. We identify real goods through our values, and gain them through our virtues, but the whole of the union is not simply in the attainment and consumption of goods through good acts, but ultimately in the growth of the organism. Man is such a being that he continually grows even while parts of him die. The feelings of growth -- the expansive moods -- are the rewards for growth, so to gain them without really growing is to subvert their purpose and to stultify the organism. Addiction is an obstacle. Happiness is not the end of the organisms. Healthy growth is. Seeking the good is the goal.
            But we enjoy some good actions more than they naturally could repay us because of the exalted value we put on them. Evaluating in itself adds goodness and value to the target, and even bad things can have value simply by accident of being valued. What this amounts to is the need to freely create values beyond our experience of goodness. We exalt a thing more than it naturally pleases us. It gives us supernatural value, a value greater than is natural. When we use it, it is a miracle; it feels either sacred and wonderful or proud and distinguished, depending on what inflection of bliss we set upon it. Though such awards of value may seem arbitrary, and since arbitrariness is typically devalued, we must establish some other account for why we chose it. Moral language and the language of values allow external critics to touch the ontology of our objects, grasp their metaphysical being, heft the layers of value we put unto it. Once we have valued a thing, we must defend its value or suffer its devaluation. To evaluate is to implicate yourself in a thing. Having bestowed an evaluation on it, you have built a metaphysical relationship to it, and you are by no means disinterested. To judge anything is to expose your values.
            Our values please us. How then do we maximize our daily bliss? How to use our happiness to maximize the system?
            To value any object is to implicitly value your evaluation of it. If a thing is good, then the judgment that it is good we call “true,” and hence find it valuable in itself. This is how any nihilistic attempt to condemn the all is impossible, since it cannot both affirm its condemnation and yet include that affirmation in the condemnation. If I reject everything, do I reject my rejection? What about the system of values and logical operations that presuppose it? To disvalue anything, I must value that judgment, and more important, I must value myself as capable of making such a judgment. Happiness is the bent of every mind, and though a man may seek to intensify his pleasure in power by denying happiness, he nevertheless implicates himself in what he disputes. The joy of creating and the bliss of creative union are part s of the happiness that characterize human life ascending.
            Love, work, and purpose are the tripartite trajectory of life. Love is what we enjoy, work is how we secure it, and purpose is the direction both work and love pour towards. Most people choose a religion as their purpose, and they are not fools for doing so: these systems may be in themselves and in their inception arbitrary and superstitious, but millions of men and women have made one of the religions their purpose on earth, and in this have put generations of meaning into the systems. If we take gaming as a manner of addressing a problem, then love and work are viewed as the energizers of life, giving physical and spiritual values, but purpose, or a purpose fostering religion, determine the nature of the game of life. The Stylizer is in our wholeview.
            The whole gives style to each, for the affects take their shape from the ends in mind. The pleasure of love and the fear of power saturate all things. Love and power characterize relationships; love is enjoyment, power is the ability to make enjoyment or to prevent pain; every pleasure counts as a loss of power, as an expenditure, though there is the pleasure of pride in having accumulated greater power and not spent it in pleasure. Pleasure properly used rewards power and stimulates new ventures, and power properly used maximizes the capacity to create pleasure in ourselves and in ourselves through others. Purpose is the creative product that such power and pleasure take in time and eternity, the being that arises out of the becoming.
            We build the power to love, the ability to enjoy a thing or a person; the loving relationship is created through making pleasurable relationships, habits, and securing them with the duty of commitment and protection.
            But love was never enough. The rose petal path dissipates our power if it doesn't come to something, if it doesn’t feed its pleasure back into the Project.  We need to find our Path, the eternal path that cannot be passed. My life has aimed for an integration of all modes into a circle; I seek to relate all my pleasures and strains of play, my loves and works, into one ever increasing growth, like an opening spiral circling out.
            I bring the flesh of my love into the deep of my care, clothe her in kisses, exalt the divinity of her body and mind; but the law of pleasure is balance and health. Over indulgence brings an immediate pleasure whose full being is a trailing pain. We imagine the pleasure as separate from the pain, but the pain is part of the pleasure, and they are one unity. The limit of pleasure is health.
            In the famous contrast between father and daughter, God and Satan, one commands and the other tempts; the first convinces few, the latter convinces most. And so these impositions are imagined to be opposites, commands and temptations, but they implicate each other; God is tempted to command where he has no right, and Satan commands a boundary over tempting pleasures -- that they not trespass health.
            Do as thou wilt, the whole of the law, requires much self-overcoming A man's own will demands his whole system obey. To do as you will in the face of accusatory opposition is difficult. Accusations and criticisms are temptations. How easy to speak the language of common morals, to gesture at the communal goods, to play at the Law of Niceness. To go along with popular morality is easiest of all. Yet even here, we develop our private language behind the communal terms.
            Whatever myths draw a man in, including the secular or materialistic variants, they also give us a set of symbols and a grammar for their use. The style of the man and the inner logic of meaning which his style embeds in the gaps of all terms render him a new language within the old.
            We each have a system of life circuits. How we plug in our instincts, what ideas we use as conduits, speaks to the health of the system. My sensitivity to depressants, grown from my depressive tendency, gave me a taste for empowering literature, for stimulants of all in philosophical assortments. A different temperament, a contrary system of instincts, would seek to draw the organs of his different moods out with perhaps cynicism, pessimism, or whatever communication styles that articulate his instincts into his purpose. Language, after all, is essentially a program of direct and indirect instructions (at the very least we are instructed to listen and consider).
            When the terms of your philosophy contradict each other, ascend to literature mode and secure them with a trope, or bring them into that peculiar literary form, religious narrative, into the alchemy of myth. Ideas, which are conduits of affect, can take on different modes, not just the philosophically logical, but the literary as well to express your affects into such actions as to give a good return.
            The demonic commands and the divine tempts. The conformers who would see you fall in line are the enemies of your soul, and must be handled with stylized aplomb. We must expose our own set of problems, and not simply pick up the troubles of our neighbors and surrounding society.
            Life without problems would generate its own problems, a sense of boredom or stasis. We grow through opposition. The anxiety of suspense, of suspended conversation, the anxiety of hope, these make life interesting. Interest is what excites, is what gives that form of pain called excitement. An interesting thing holds the focus and pains it to look away. The mind is captured, fascinated, made to submit, is hurt if it doesn't submit, is comforted if it does. That is entertainment -- pleasure is a letting go, is an intense focus relaxing. Pleasure is a release, but before it pleases, the excitement teases, it gives a dose of pleasure, a kiss of flirtation, and mixes frustrating desire with it.
            The sort of frustration that intensifies itself by imaging a heavenly life of bliss adds extra intensity to our sufferings -- which may of may not fit our purpose. Too much interest in an idea, too close a proximity, freezes us with anxiety -- we need distance. We need to commit small injustices to put us out of sympathy with those around us. We need a little ostracism. We need to alienate ourselves at times, with the fictions of heavenly utopias or alternative story boards.
            The production of a private set of terms helps keep us in free use of our actions and words. Insofar as you pledge yourself to a public good, the public God, the public goals, others feel fit to criticize your actions. To seek the art that gives you the fitting context for your project, to color your world distances yourself from the tones of criticism and praise that others would net you with, in deference to their own game. Creating an emotional ambience is the greatest artistic achievement. Be unpredictable. Swap your methods and vary your style.
            Don't let their evil eye poison your pleasure. Our emotions are given a final emotional coat of an evaluation of their worth. We feel anger, mixed with the guilt that we feel anger. Interest is immediate, but being boring, being invisible, frees your playing field and cuts off self-appointed referees on your play. Therefore, cover the outer layer of your emotions with the invisibility of the mundane. Be boring.
            But take interest in the world. Culture transmits itself through art, through the pleasure that opens us up to influence. Art completes nature. Nature cannot fulfill man; we need more. Even Emerson, who wanted so dearly to love Nature, to find a non-European book that could open up a new genius in the young country, nevertheless could not love Nature as Thoreau did; he remained a student of books, he remained a lover of art. Impressing the impressive is the aim of our impressions. We too find metaphors and analogies for own lives and projects in all Nature, in all Science, in all History and Art, but we will never be knocked out of our trajectory by the praises, criticisms, advice, or indifference of others.
            Each day add to the work of your passion, and it will tower beyond time. Nietzsche and Emerson condemned excessive reading while yet still excessively reading themselves -- ashamed of their pleasure as many men are. Yet there is power in the genius of men, and literature eternalizes that genius, both in the passing book in our hands, and also in the deathless and impassible Book of the Book in the mind of the All, whom we have taught with our own contribution.
            Give your all to art. Leisure and materials are the prerequisites of art. To insist on your laziness, to be so bold, opens the power of great creation. To make time for your passion because your life would be worthless without it -- to really feel that way so that nobody can balk your bluff -- that is the gate to greatness.
            I would rather live in a hut I built myself than in a mansion built by another. My happiness is based on my creative output, and the only type I can fully love is the type I am becoming. When Language is upon me, and I'm clothed in my divinity, Odin's piercer, Sophia's truth, Satan's trope and Hermes's system, melt into my pen. Command, persuasion, rhetoric, and interpretation melt into the blood of Ama, the bleed of my pen in the ink of my fingers.
            For in life, we have to create the forms of our power, and reinforce them with habit. Heaven is the image of what we build on earth, and those stillborn children unable to create will begin the next life without such an advantage.
            In daily life, I seek the courage to say no, to exclude myself from the insinuating ties of obligation, which so cleverly embrace and ensnare us as the salesman who plays on your politeness, and asks questions to weasel his way in. All the world imposes. Be passersby. Don't linger too long on the public path. Genius doesn't rush; integrity never explains. Do your work and expect neither gratitude nor recognition. Having no such expectations, your work will be a pure and glorious thing, worthy of both.
            The social eros flows through all of us in the forms of language -- we internalize it, process it, and express its new form. Society instinctively structures its people to maximize its identity and growth; each of us instinctively falls into place, feeling it a matter of chance and freedom how we came to decide. We expect the independence of our subjectivity but would be ashamed to deny objectivity. We perceive objects, but we perceive through subjects. Immersion is subjectivity, transcendence objectivity. To be able to control the subjective and objective nature of your vision is the power that will lead you directly towards your purpose. The compulsion to explain when you don't have to is merely the expression of guilt seeking to convince itself away by assuring others of our worth. Those around you will not be impressed. They will dislike you. Nobody seems cruel in polite society -- it's indirect. But seek for boosts and approval and you've spent your pride out in favor of the niceties of vanity.
            The social flow makes us happy to be in. People speak honestly behind a mask, we wink and suggest otherwise. We catch these demonic touches, feel their worth. We know our place without knowing how. These blooded abstractions, our ideas which we see in people, configure themselves as a playing field to answer the call for the game within us. Most people feel invigorated and empowered when they join a group whose value they share. Religion is the poetry of the people, and poetry is personality. The question is how to use traditions we were born into but not be used by them.
            Money puts a roof over our heads, and love lays the foundation under our feet, but what would sex and money, love and power amount to if they were not for creating a greater being? That third thing, purpose, is what legitimizes pleasures and pains, structures them into progress. We must shirk work and betray love; friend after friend drops off, unable to follow me where I go. The art of marriage can be glorious even if at times humiliating, but not self-sufficient; we aim to create children better than ourselves and through our love, better selves for each other.
            Love of spouse is love of what is greater than spouse, the fullness of our own being; lack one lack the other. Ama is also the doubt of Ama, the full divine excludes no instance; once it is known everything belongs. I need not prove myself to anybody, not even to myself, once I know myself. I am. That is sufficient, and indeed it is all. Yet I am a being that ever becomes. Perfection isn’t in avoiding all errors, but in always growing from them. My deep seeking love which kisses the All, which like the sun kisses the earth twice a day, once in leaving for work, and once in the florid love of labor done, keeps even my strangest adventures always and necessarily within the flesh of the All, so that in any panic or anxiety, I can always fall into Ama, fall into my innocence, -- and relax from the strains of my fight. These panoramic sleights before me can never undo me; they orbit and mirror me, as Nature is the mirror of Man.
            In all of this I see the analogies for my being. I pride in my accomplishments, and overcome the shames and guilts of my failures by building from them proud accomplishments. A man gets his confidence from accomplishments and not from mere desires and assertions. “Believe in yourself” is nothing. “Act in a way that you must respect yourself” is better, and “Do what brings you pride.”
            I’ve trained my bliss to exude through writing; I need to write to breathe. So natural and always is the act and gesture that I even write when I think. The best news I’ve ever heard was when Ama told me “Your best is enough.” To know that sincere effort is sufficient, I am freed from the noose knot of impossible expectations, not to brag I am loved by the All, for who else would I need to impress but her? But in the gratitude that we share creative projects. The gratitude for the gift we deserve is more genuine than the gratitude for the gift we don’t.
            I too am a man, and there is none in history among men or the divine who I count greater than myself. There is none in all existence who can equal me at my best, and the same can be said of every man and woman who likewise has come into their own. I child of the past and seer of the future in myself embody the All. I am the Source. My living’s sufficient, my love pleases the All.
            The happy person recommends his lifestyle, disregarding the need for a predisposition to happiness. I recommend in my pleasure the divine Emerson to my friends, but they cannot extract the joy I can from his essays; nor can they appreciate the music I adore, and find Ives painful. In such a way, anybody can give advice, but even the best advice is unequal to the inspiration the man comes to on his own. It would be better he made a mistake, so long as it were your own mistake, than having the path laid out and cleared for you.
            Expanding my bliss amounts to maximizing the surface area of my creativity. Yet not every moment could be given the intense focus of creativity. Much time must be wasted in replenishment, and some idle hours of recharge must always be mixed in. Best to learn how to punctuate your day, how to use a couple minutes, peppered in the mix, to catch your breath, to divert your focus, to remind you of your charge and purpose, to place you in communication with Ama (by whatever name you call your Importance). Sufferings are shallow; only pleasures can reach what is deepest in man, and at my centermost resides my joystar. I rest in its invincibility. A pillow is the door to dreams, and any comfortable fact that allows us to relax opens the inner values of possibility. When we emanate the poetry from a center deathless and uncreated, mingling our being with the being of the All, then we create the streaming blood of our inner soul. The twining of me and everything is the bliss of existence forever.
            The dreams of childhood are fantastic impossibilities such as saving the planet or fighting supervillians; the dreams of youth, which are visibly and obviously great, such as performing at a rock concert, converting a tribe to your religion, or inventing a cure for cancer, are a tad more plausible; the final form of the same, just as great, but expressed in down-to-earth and mundane forms, such as supporting a friend in need, working a difficult and inglorious job, raising children and managing a house, with all the defeating compromises attendant on this, holds the same magnitude and importance as the other more obvious and silly forms hinted at. This is the real thing, what is really important, and the other things simply easier to imagine, more showy. We do not give up on our dreams nor betray our ambitions, but we put them into real life forms and actual expressions. This allows the full-spread pride of a man, calming and excellent to the soul. This allows the birth of brilliance from the all-baffling brain. We make our bliss from the materials we actually have, not what we wish we had but don’t; we make our purpose and our motive in what we can do, and do now, not what we envy in others, or envy in fiction.  Our triumph is in the real, not the impossible; our bliss is in our bodies, not in heaven, your body is eternally yours, being the circumference of your mind. To maximize the bliss of your day is to align your love and work into terms of your purpose, and in this to leave no part of you out, but affirm the place and goodness of even your deepest shame. To maximize your bliss is to believe you are worthy, and to base your actions accordingly.

\~ @M@ ~/

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Emilie upon Skyswimmer" a poem

I came up with this poem in my head as Emilie road the Merry-Go-Round horse at Rivertown Mall. She kept laughing and saying “I’m flying!” and when I asked her what her horse’s name was, it sounded like she said “Swimmer.”




Emilie Upon Skyswimmer


Emilie holds to the neck of her magical horse

Skyswimmer, high astride marshmallow clouds.

World affirmers, trailing the firmament,

Stark stone starlets strew the Way of the permanent.

Has the world a riddle?

Does eternity keep secrets?

No worries!

The cheerful child chides feet-dragging Time

Echoes exuberance -- laugh-loving climb.




\~ @M@ ~/


Saturday, August 11, 2012

tao te ching (verses 74-81)

These last eight verses finish my first draft of the Tao Te Ching. As I said from the start, it is my favorite scripture, and this from its inherent modesty, subtlety, wit, and grace. This was written by a beautiful and sensitive soul -- unlike most other scriptures I have read. Having finished the 81 verses, using a dictionary, I have created a crude rough draft -- hopelessly flawed and useless for anything serious. My next directive will be to closely compare it to some other extant translations, and check it against guides and notes on the verses; through this I will approach a more scholarly-ish draft 2.


take care, caretakers!







The people don’t worry about death

How then shall we make them afraid?

Suppose you threaten them

If they act dishonestly

We can seize and destroy such presumption!


There has ever been the master executioner

Yet instead of the master executioner who kills

Let's substitute the master artisan who crafts


Truly, such a great artisan

As he cuts out the dead wood

Will he not also cut his own hands?




The people starve

Because the government devours their taxes

It's too much, so they starve


The people revolt

Because the government meddles too much

Therefore, they are difficult to rule


The people have no respect for death

because their lives are anxious enough

They therefore take death lightly


Truly, only the one not striving for life

Is worthy of esteeming life’s worth.




A man's life is tender and pliant

Yet he dies hard and unyielding

All things such as grass and trees are soft and delicate

Yet they die rigid and dry

Therefore, hard and stiff are death's companions

Tender and gentle are life's companions


And so, the forceful army can't win

Just as the unyielding tree will be hacked


The unyielding mighty

Will lower themselves

The tender and weak

Ascend above.




Heaven's way is like flexing a bow

When high you aim low

When low you aim high

If there's not enough slack

You pull less

If there's too much

You pull more:

Heaven's way is to decrease excess.

And supplement inadequacy


Man's way is otherwise:

Those who don't have enough

Pay to those who have too much


Let the man of abundance

Give to all

Only the man of Tao does this

Only a sage

Gives without expecting gratitude

Credits but doesn't expect to be credited

He doesn't want to appear great.




Nothing on earth is softer than water

Yet for assaulting the hard, it is the best.

Nothing could replace it.

The weak defeats the strong

The tender betters the stiff

Everyone knows this –

But who acts accordingly?


Therefore, the sage says

That to protect the nation’s disgrace

One is called Lord of the Earth

And to guard the people accursed

One deserves to rule over Earth’s face.

These words sound paradoxical

But they sound out the truth.



When balancing great hatred

Some will surely remain

How to make that good?

The sage therefore

Accepts his debt

Yet doesn’t demand what he’s owed.

Nobility keeps its word

Lacking such virtue

One holds back his due


Heaven’s Way holds no favors

It follows the goodness of the good.



Let the state be small

And the citizens few

Let them greatly multiply

Their tools beyond use

Let them respect death

And travel but little

Though having boats and ships aplenty.

Though having armor and weapons

Let them leave off.


Let men return to knotting ropes for reminders

Let them enjoy their food

Let their clothes be beautiful

And their homes content.

Let them delight in everyday life

Let they and their neighbors

Mutually overlook the other.

Let dogs and roosters give ear to each other.

The people will gracefully age

And die without all this running around.




Sincerity is artless

The artful insincere.

The righteous don’t dispute

The disputatious aren’t right.

Wisdom isn’t scholarly

The scholars don’t know.


The sage doesn’t hoard.

Since he works for others

He furthers himself

Having given to the people

He has so much more

The Way benefits without injuring

The Sage’s Way Works without Striving.



\ ~@M@~ /


Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Confidence Coughs" a poem


Confidence Coughs


I liquid tongue

Of pented truth

Ride bridled

Upon Passion's Cat.


Shut -- my confidence --

On Haste’s mistakes --

O Rash and Rapid

Dive to doom!


Blocked and balked

By the beast aloof

I tooth and tame

Her Slow assent.


My torch of love

Blinks her motive

She shines gold bright

Kaleidoscope eyes.


I Grieve and Gripe

At her recalcitrant growl

But enlighten loss’s

Hollowing surprise.


Those eyes give seed

Asphalt’s acorn

Bending brick

With its subtle insist.


Aching upwards

To oak the airways

The germ of new

Barks Broad a door.


Inner stairs

Funnel downwards

To the soft of pride

At hidden hurt.


My golden gun

Of Marked bravado

Keys clear the way

To summer's floor


Reminds my smoldering

daylight torch

That the not of violence

Lights the back of love.



\ ~@M@~ /


Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Great Books (part one)"

I wrote this essay, or series of essays, back in 2002 or 2003, adding more to it as I went, but never fully redacting it. When I applied to grad school at Grand Valley, I had an exceptionally high GRE score but was nevertheless ultimately rejected after much deliberation. The problem was my writing sample. How hard it was for me to hear this! The sample happens to have been this piece, which I did not edit before sending it (I figured it was fine). Now that I read over the 6th section of the essay (the last one in this email), which is the opposite of anything PC, I understand why the university took a few extra weeks to deliberate before rejecting me.

Great Books


                You are butterflies winged with written pages. Read. Reading is man’s wisest investment. With reading, we unite with the greatest minds of history. Minds centuries past open before us. The wisest men, the greatest hearts, the staunchest heroes, and the saintliest philosophers present themselves to us with such splendor, that mere spoken word flushes in jealousy. These men labored for the perfect words to present their genius. We have in them the wisest ideas of the known universe.

                Each book is the phoenix of its author's genius. The ashes of the phoenix, burned through passion, scatter upon white pages. We devour those ashes before that raptor rises, and as they swim through our veins, the bird emerges, we are new.

                It is clear, though, that most books are dross. Close to a million publications a year, and maybe one worth reading. For while the mindful man can enlighten from any text, words, or lyrics, he will profit much more from a great book. Such great books cannot be read just once, for they are wellsprings of revelation, lifting us higher at every reading. It is good to choose ten to thirty such books to read over and over throughout our lifetime. Choose the time tested greats of the Western Canon, from Plato to Sartre. Sense the greatness of a book by the continual feeling of confusion, curiosity, enlightenment, and intrigue it arouses.

                There have been about two hundred magnificent minds who have written a record, and they have constructed philosophical, scientific, or poetical systems through their writing. These hundreds of systems and religions can be studied profitably and read so many times that they are memorized: they shall never disappoint. They include Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, and Emerson.

                Choose your close books like your close friends, choose ones with which you seek utter intimacy. For to fully read whatever can be read—book, speech, play, poem, treatise, sermon—this requires intimacy. What books are worthy? Great books, those giants of meaning. They speak of great ideas, relevant to us, and are infinitely plethoral.

                The four virtues of a work are importance, simplicity, richness, and musicality.

                All books are crystallized language. Language is the Holy Spirit, the Oversoul, the Collective Unconscious, Lady Lux; each infant babbles until a particular spirit is taught him. The Father Genius is the active consciousness, The Spirit is meaning, and Idol is the structure formed through these: Genius, Language, Book.

                Life is written. Whether in memories, in DNA, in stone, in architecture: man writes. And the idols of men, the great holy scriptures and the written Gods they create, these too are writings, writings and nothing more. Piety is in the written word; so is revolution. The most powerful men wielded pens. The greatest influences are writers: first the poets who guess, then the philosophers who prove (Homer necessarily precedes Plato).

                If the “great book” you are reading does not make your whole world into a great book—chuck it! Look again for a better set of eyes. What use is Argos if his every eye is blind?

* *
* *

                No mint is worth a good library. Gold, in itself nearly useless; diamonds, merely a shiny piece of worry; pearls, boring; books, infinitely precious. Once you find your one book, your one person, your one text, your infinite onion, sell everything for that. That is yours to play with and work on for the rest of your life.

                Personality is infinitely interesting to us. The human mind is made to create nouns out of sense data, persons out of experiences. Thus we can say that insofar as “infinity” is a human experience, it refers to personality.

                What makes a book infinite? It captures an insoluble personality.

                The more pearl-onions a book contains, the more intricate are their layers, the more they fascinate and enthrall. Such complex ideas must be presented in full.

                Darwin had essentially one idea: evolution. It is wide-reaching and important, is still investigated daily, is the fountain of scores of scientific research today and has been for over a century. Therefore, Darwin shows how a narrow focus on one idea opens success. His books Origin of Species, and Descent of Man, are indeed among the greats of our Western canon.

                In distinction to Darwin is Aristotle, whose scientific writings covered everything yet known. Aristotle talked at length of biology, chemistry, physics, had an encyclopedic mind, never lost in details, but essencing everything into smart systems. Both men, indeed, were attentive to detail, with minds that systematized all that intrigued them. They are both scientists. They scrutinize the world.

                Other writers, such as Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Mozart, and Emerson, indeed hold to themes, hold to styles. Yet their range of ideas is worldwide; their range of styles variegated—but indeed, all four of them are monomaniacal stylists, and their influence, more than anything, is due to their own individuality as stylists. For to say it plainly: each man stands for essentially one idea, and applies that to everything. His series of attitudes make a temperament, his types of belieffs make a belief, his range of styles make a personality, his behavoirs make a character.

                Thus, Emerson is focused essentially, as he said, “on the infinitude of the private man,” allowed through self-reliance. Nietzsche stood essentially for the power of the noble soul. His extremely critical eye on everything else makes sense only in relation to this. Shakespeare stands for the rhetorical strength of personality transformed and allowed through speech. Mozart stands for the playful grandeur of melody.

                The strongest personalities are indeed monomaniacs. But for those who are full of ideas, those overrich poets and bipolars—we too are monomaniacal, in our method, single, looking at many different ideas, like a single lens focused over a million ideas.

                Beware then of cult books. The bestsellers of all time, and the most popular books of all time, include The New Testament, The Koran, The book of Mormon, the Dhammapada. Other books such as Atlas Shrugged, and Dianetics, in themselves have sold well these last 50 years. Each and every one of these books, which relies on cults to praise and adore them, is ultimately a second rate book. They are popular by propaganda. They are mediocre books, regurgitations of original ideas. Not a single one is Great Writing. The Bible for instance, contains many poor books and chapters that piggy back on Job and such. Propaganda pieces, however, are unoriginal. But they will be ever popular because of packaging. The best writings in the world are not formed by a church council, nor voted by deacons and priests. The greatest writings in the world, the best of the best, will never be bestsellers. Sniff them out. They belong to you. What is deepest to the soul is not handed out at bus-stops.

* *
* *

                As it is, we have millions of texts produced each year, but no books. There are a million texts, and maybe in a decade a single work. Perhaps in your lifetime you will see one, maybe two true works. These are the books so wise and dense with meaning that they would break time’s tooth.

                “Examples!” you demand. Very well. But first, an intro into what makes a great book great. You might not recognize it at first if you are new to the field. For instance, if you pick up Plato or Aristotle, and then pick up a book written in the last ten years about Plato or Aristotle, you might think the second is better written, or at least much more accessible. In fact, if you assign two students to read Aristotle, one to read the first book of his Nichomachean Ethics, the second to read a guide to the same Ethics, and teach the class on what they learned, (I assume they are undergraduates), you will probably get a better teacher out of the second student, who read the guide. This is because greatness does not equal immediate accessibility. Far from it. Some of the greatest books ever written are in fact inaccessible. Some great books you will spend a decade with, and read every year afresh, till finally, heaven opens up and the shaft of insight graces your forehead like a butterfly's kiss. Yes, you will have to work for it, but no commentary, guide, nor lesser work can do this for you. Read a thousand commentaries about the Bible, and then fall on your knees for forgiveness for wasting Life. Then dust yourself off and read the Bible in the flesh, and there, now you begin to see why it spawns religions.

                What is true for the Bible is even more true for the books greater than the Bible. What is true for scripture is true for poetry, science, and history. For there is this strange fact of genius: it is untranslatable. I do not mean from language to language. I mean you cannot make genius common. You cannot tell the common undisciplined man the highest truths, no matter how thoroughly you know them nor what pain you take in simplifying and perfecting a textbook on the subject. Burn the textbooks, they are cheatbooks and will deceive you. Get at the Books themselves. If your students demand textbooks, you have in fact no students. Feed grass to the sheep and give them diplomas—and then never speak of it again.

                A true student is rare like a great book, but thankfully not quite so rare.

                The great original students really can have no teacher. They make best use of the best minds, and cannot be stopped, no matter how fervently the fodder-profs try. They will have the truth at any price, and like Adam says, “I will give my life for truth.” Well then: you have met the student.

* *

                Great books beckon with occult power. A great book is always weird. It could never be predicted. It could never be written but by that exceptional genius who brought it to life. It is an infant God, and contains eternities. You cannot sum it up. You read it thoroughly and wish to tell your friend of your joy in it. But your tongue betrays you. You speak of it, and your friend looks unimpressed. He is charitable and says, “Yes, like a book I read recently,” and you curse and say, “No, not like your book. This is different. This is brilliant. This is life. It is thus and thus,” but you find yourself unable to tell the secret. The best kept secrets keep themselves. But don’t worry, the book will shine in your hands and grace in your steps as well as echo in your indirect words. It is not, after all, your book, but a book you have learned from.

                A great book is original, infinitely rereadable, weird, deep, indispensible, and ever-relevant. Yes, and to what books will I grant these honors? I will speak first of my own personal experience, and be direct and true. Then I will speak indirectly and of what has been recommended to me by those I trust.

                My favorite writers are Emerson, Whitman, and Nietzsche. Each confounds and complicates me, and invigorates me to read again and again. My style grows in their light. They are kin to me.

                I also have found the Godmind in Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Milton, William James, Henry James, Tao Te Ching, Homer, Machiavelli, Whitman, the Eddas, the American State Papers, and Blake. Of these men and woman, I have no end, but will leisure in their grace till I return to the Body of the Mother.

                The recommended Works I will list in no particular order: Chaucer, Aquinas, Plutarch, Kant, Hegel, Darwin, Marx, Dostoevsky, Spinoza, Virgil, Dante, the Rig Veda, the Dhammapada, the Koran, the Upanishads, The Analects of Confucius, the Bhagavad-Gita, and their peers. Such reading lists and canons are best made by authors who are citing their greatest influences.

                There have been written very few indispensible books. The 20th century may indeed be a dark one for genius. I haven’t heard a rumor of God in a long time.

* *

                Culling some adjectives from traditional literary criticism, a great work contains the sublime, the inexhaustible, the strange, the original, the inevitable.

                Sublime. The sublime is lofty, excellent language that confounds our judgment, eclipses the merely reasonable, is imperious, irresistible in force, swaying the reader despite himself, enthralling him so that he cannot take his attention from it, and, when it is finished, remaining forever in his memory. To do this, it expresses the right emotion in the right context, flowing from the situation, and from a genuine passion in the writer, or from the poetic madness of a deep soul. It says more than it says, it suggests as much as it reveals. It picks out the essential accents of a situation and evokes a whole episode with only the most vivid and explanatory details. It hides itself, as great rhetoric doesn’t seem like rhetoric, concealing its own artifice. To achieve this, you must fully imagine your episode before you write it, living in the world of your idea, and familiarizing yourself with the fauna and geology of it, so that when you write of it you are speaking as a true witness.

                Strange. The strange in a poem or writing is when you experience the consciousness of an alien mind. This writer sees the world in such a way that it takes you outside of your own mind, and gives you an uncanny new perspective. It gives a framework for going beyond your limits.

                Inevitability. The plot must unfold in a way you cannot predict, but once you have read it, you realize it could not have happened any other way. Or in a poem, the words are not predictable, nor cliché, but exactly the way the words had to be made, because the “argument” of the idea could not be worded in any other way.

                Originality. The idea must be first and best conceived by the author himself, and thus have a stark individuality. Insofar as the author is writing his own mind, it will be original, and never preceded in all of history.

* *
* *

“Writing” stands for the highest and most sophisticated forms of communication—and thus us writers are humanity’s darlings, the most human of humankind.

                In my experience, women know more but can say less. “I know all and say nothing” -- one Friday goddess spoke. This might seem just the opposite to our common sense, when it seems that woman know nothing but never tire of saying it. But here we resort to the old myths where a man thinks with his heads, but a woman thinks with her whole body, a man talks with his mouth and hands, a woman talks with everything, a man understands only what he can also articulate, whereas women “intuitively” know the whole story from beginning to end.

                Speak only one language: your own. The Greeks did thus, and invented all genres. They did not bother learning foreign tongues, but differentiated themselves from the world by their own tongue. All other people say “bar bar bar” and are therefore barbarians. To be Greek means, above all, to speak Greek. Greatness is by speaking only your mother language, and learning other languages only insofar as this shines more light on yours.

                Drink from your roots. There is no stronger inspiration than your personal ancestors. The Nazis were powerful because they were Tuetons, and had the history to prove it. The Jews, in turn, remain intellectually formidable because of their racist views. The black authors that matter are very blackish about their black roots, have “black pride.”Remember what I told you about the need for everybody to find their center of arrogance, the one thing (at least) that they permit themselves to pride over. Well then, don’t overlook race, culture, or, say, if you are a Christian, then a strong understanding of the wide and rich Christian tradition, from Augustine and Aquinas, to all the other theologians, poets, sinnersaints, etc.

                All these things that are central to your identity, your heritage, you are made to drink this up. There is no stronger external inspiration than being part of a cultural tradition. This is why, for example, the modern antiAmericans who wish to damn early American history are in fact disintegrators of our culture. They claim pity for those hurt by conquest, or racial inequality, or whatever agenda they wish to justify, when in fact, they enjoy tearing into the intestines of a great nation. “The school of resentment,” they poison all. And the greatest poison is guilt.

                Well then, know how to be intolerant. Now how to be elitist, how to include yourself among the elite. For whatever extra chip you can put on your shoulder empowers you. What matters most is creative power. Insofar as you can honestly interpret the facts to strengthen this, you do good, you enact virtue. Self-love, and the love of a line of culture, a line of race, a line of history—this makes for greatness.



\ ~@M@~ /