Thursday, September 21, 2017

Update, and Allays 799 - 804

Daniel Christopher June to the Students of Life:



So fall is here and now all three of my children are in school during the weekdays. Nevertheless, I struggle, on account of the depression of the bipolar cycle, and am hoping, least of all, to secure my job. I've had less energy for writing, so I've taken to revising my first novel, written in 2006, Madeye. After that is rewritten, using 11 years of editing skills I've since developed, I plan on publishing my books (rather than just self-publishing them).

As for long term goals, in 5 years, around 2022 or so, all our debts will be paid off, the children will of course have grown, and I may return to the University to seek a vocation in professing.

Not much more to report than that. Hope you are all doing well. Please write.


Take Care, Caretakers!




* 799 *

Deep Reading. Like Odin, we would learn from every direction, leaving no stone unturned. Where there is light there is vision. Yet, much can be said for intrinsic reading, or the New Criticism, Close Readings, that line of thought. In college, I lead a series of friends in an online reading of Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, rereading the passage so many times I accidentally committed it to memory. Never did I resort to a commentary or second-hand text. I read it intrinsically, broad-outlining the text and then micro-outlining, before going to the theological experts for their correctives. Attempt your own before learning from others.

I committed myself to a Deep Reading of Emerson's "Self Reliance" as well, and have, a few times over the years, committed myself to Deep Reading a worthy book, or a significant portion. We can deep watch a film, deep analyze a person, all that is required is repeated exposures to the material, outlining, and writing a long commentary on the topic. Intense repetition and extensive annotation and outlining are the methods. By Deep Reading significant passages from a work gives us the tent pegs to fasten a canopy of understanding.


* 800 *

Ama, Goddess, Lord of morning, wake me, take me, dawn and sate me, raise me up and bright my eyes. Ama, Mother, brow of daystar, open up my eyes to dawn.


* 801 *

"Never confess," my friend recommends, and yet I've had such a confessional nature this whole while, would hate for anybody to feel ashamed merely because their friends lacked the courage to say "Me too." Even as a kid I would tell on myself, and as an adult I sharpen my writing skills to best express what I know of my soul. Expressivity, and its reciprocation, is the opposite of depressiveness and its isolation. To finally be heard by the right person, to be echoed and returned – what bliss!


* 802 *

In my ruin is my triumph. I read and reread the same difficult chapter repeatedly, making geological strata of notes upon notes, and finally quit, having numbed my instruments too far to read a word more. I've failed. And yet something latent has seeded, I have not at all failed, but have allowed an epiphany which will at last finally come. The same with the friendship I strived to save but lost, or the job I dogged at but lost. Ours is a game of patience. Patience is power. The struggle to the bitter end means never losing, or only seeming so, and only for a time.

When we sink to the inner layer of touch, the penetrative membrane, we transfer deep meanings. Only in rare instances does a friendship open up this intimate touch.


* 803 *

The two missionary religions, Buddhism and Christianity, simplified their parent faiths, so that Christianity could encapsulate Jewish Law into two spiritualized commands – Love your "neighbor" as yourself, and Love God with all your being; and Buddhism could boil away Vedic myths and rituals into Four Noble Truths. Between them they claimed most the earth, Christianity the West, and Buddhism the East, so much so, that one does not have to have read the Bible to derive his original ideas from it, so harshly and fanatically have they been ploughed into history, such that the atheist Dawkins provides zero original moral ideas, but secularizes Christianity much as Deist Thomas Jefferson produced his demythologized version of the Gospels. Hegel, Marx, the Declaration of Independence, Kenneth Burke, gain important points by secularizing this religious creed so that no matter who we are, when we first pick up the New Testament, we anticipate what we are to discover.

There is nothing worth disputing but matters of taste, and people crash jets into buildings in order to insist on their manner of worshipping the God. What every religion amounts to – the New Testament with its redundant gospels followed by even more redundant epistles to ancient churches; Buddhism with its easy to understand meditation practices; are making a tone-poems, a cluster of images, so that these things go with those things, and this with that.

In American, currently, we have two viable political parties to chose from: Democrat and Republican. Each offers a cluster of stances on the issues, and amazingly, amidst all the various issues possible, you can vote A or B. Who said an economically liberal stance goes with pro-life, but egalitarian stances go with pro-choice? What if there are more than two combinations amidst the hundreds and thousands of ideas – suggesting endless combinations – we can choose from politically. But this is a democracy, and the demos needs simplicity: A or B.

Poets make the world. The poets preceded the politicians, and even the philosophers, when their fiat declares, A, B, and C go together, and D, E, and F go together as a separate cluster. Beauty made the world and beauty rules it. We fight over matters of taste, necessarily, and why not, since we have a sense of taste to avoid poison?

The audacious daystars, be they ever so modest and shy, declare "this, this and this." Later, heroes, who lack such original vision, find inspiration from the poets, and what was first whispered they will now shout, "This, this and this!" The creative child tosses the circle: what we choose in childhood we live as adults.

Alexander the Great carried Homer's scriptures in a golden receptacle wherever his campaign led him. The Poet comes first.


* 804 *

What does truth have to do with success? If you have the ambition, facts matter little. If you have a minority of the people, but a majority of the willpower, you will win. Christopher Columbus had no ambition to discover America, but he opened the West to Europe; the Spanish with their dreams of gold cities and fountains of youth took on armies a hundred times larger than their own. I am little impressed with facts and the nihilism that attends them. Give me a dream worth fighting for: we will take the world.



-- R 88s Я --

Perfection Is Easy



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Allays 780 - 791

Daniel Christopher June to the Students of Life:



I can only follow where the Muse deigns lead, and so for two years (come this October), I've worked almost exclusively on the Allays of Master Play, a sort of personal scripture – autorevelation – that has become the most involved and exhaustive attempt to express my philosophy / aesthetic / theology / everything else. I've long wrestled with the form, wonder what it is and what I could make of it. I have no premonitions as to when it will be done, but the production has tapered off considerably latetely.

So the kids are back in school. I've been working as a peer support specialist for Pine Rest, a Grand Rapids based mental facility. I learn a lot on the job and consider it a form of extended education. As I recommend we remain "students of life," I have kept my own private education by peering clients struggling with mental health problems.

I've also been discipling long and hard under Kenneth Burke, who, once I have pierced his language, seems to have anticipated many of my original ideas. Aside from that, I hope to join my friend in making an intense study of who I think is the greatest female writer, Emily Dickinson.


Take care, Caretakers!




* 780 *

Life is an orgy, life is a bloodbath: in some sense we each love all in all, in another sense, each man is at war with every other. These two extremes demarcate the lived experiences which, in any given day, lie somewhere in-between. The Pagan "One with the All," is lacking in Abrahamic religions, where the universe is not One, but Two (good and evil or creator and creation), after the influence of Zoroastrianism – with mankind as an awkward Third. Whatever we take as our atom of identity – the individual, the couple, the family, the city– certainly that unity requires maintenance and upkeep to hold integrity.

When feelings correspond with thinking, saying, and acting, we call the man integrated, we say he has integrity. To integrate a unity requires an investment of stabilizing energy. Couples subtly or overtly test each other, need to see love in action, to feel the heft of the sacrifice made for them. Most couples must celebrate their love, give it a good reputation among friends, and feed a continual, daily intercourse of "I-love-you's," as mementos and tokens. Such a continual investment would be exhausting, and hence depressing, were we not also invigorated to be reciprocated; wherever there is an imbalance in giving, the giver necessarily feels resentment. This absolves when we give on behalf of the transcendent reciprocator – Ama.

When discouraged, overwhelmed, frustrated, and defeated, we feel demoralized. At such a point, all those rallying cries, slogans of purpose, and grandiose symbols of sublime necessity, bolster our aim. We parade, we hymn, we sing, we dance, we celebrate to build a group Spirit, a morale, to bolster the Love Feast of us against the shared foe, them.

When a great country starts to doubt itself, as America as of late, when the intellectuals turn against their parents and side with foes, when we are betrayed by our cultural elites, the ravens and buzzards gather. The simple folk, the working class, the blood-and-guts muscle of a country, give the gut-sense of what a people needs to triumph. The critical, self-critical, crypto-suicidal, masochistic intellectuals pose ever a threat to what is best in a nation. The exceptional has duty to protect the average, and not with condescending contempt, but patient pride, as a father for his son. Perhaps Whitman and Ives could not speak to the masses they so loved, but they could speak for the masses.


* 781 *

Though the religiosity of America has been so often hard-working, beginning with the Puritans, and continuing with that last cry of Puritanism, Mormonism, my personal genius and attendant friend is Laziness, and I owe everything I've achieved and take pride in not to my hard work, which accomplishes so little, but my laziness, which is another name for my readerliness, writerliness, and meditativeness. Give yourself space to create. And also time. Pay yourself first, and give your first fruits to Ama. This time alone from friends, this time alone with Her, this is the eighth day in the eight-day week, the sacred day, which counts towards our eternity, and not at all against our time on earth.

Though my eight-fold virtues include pragmatism, and its attendant productivity, they also include study, another name for leisure, scholastic time, meditation, prayer with Her, and time spent in the librarial labyrinth, books and literature, the Mythosphere.


* 782 *

The deepest Truth for each of us is our Solitude. So you tease. I am lonely for you; you are lonely for me: we are twinned apart. Emerson loved his first wife, and after her passing prayed to her all his life: privy to his private side, she attended and advised him. His second marriage was a practical arrangement. Whitman embraced only himself, it seems, and Thoreau adored Mother Nature. So too I adore you, pine for you, pant for you, hope for you and you alone. You call me greedy, for I want more and more of you. Meanwhile, I am chained to a cave in the sand.


* 783 *

All emotions, all the passives and passions that make us pathetic, require a dignification in artistic expression. Any feeling can be dignified and glorified if attributed to a hero, saint, or god; any emotion, even an evil, can be set to tune and become a melody worthy of attention and contemplation.

In the old myths, the gods, immortal or not, express anxiety, the way Odin worried over the end of the world, how to lessen the damage and to resurrect his son, the god of light, Baldr; or the way Yahweh constantly doubted his followers, testing Adam's obedience in the garden, having Satan test Job, brutally testing Abraham, and his forty-years of testing the poor Israelites in the wilderness; Zeus had Prometheus crucified on a rock because he knew a fatal secret unknown to Zeus.

Often anxieties guide us subliminally and subconsciously, and what we do in play and caprice hides the subtle springs of anxiety below. Anxiety over love and power -- the loss of love, the loss of power, the need to test love for truth, or prove power over others -- leads to most of what is called "evil," in this world – fear inspires fearful actions, in man and in God. We arrive at desire, a mixture of pain and pleasure, and its conscious correlate, care, both love and fear, a caring for and a caring about. Thus do the opposites of love and fear unite as one motivation – and most of life offers a muddle of emotions, with nothing so chemically pure as to reach an austere sublimity. Bring a feeling to perfection, as only art can, and you have beautified it, dignified it, and convinced men and women to seek it out, to desire it, be it ever so miserable. We complain to brag. All the emotions fall under the heading of Love. The deepest in the heart cries "Ama."


* 784 *

I do not know how far a conceit can take one, but Ama soothes me as I realize I've tried too hard on this broken path, chasing this grey-toned rainbow. I'm tired now – spent, effete. I wonder why I wander. I wonder why I cared so hard, loved so hard, tried so hard. What was it all for, dear – but what? Seek your audience. It is time. Give no more mind to loves that are none. Seek me here. Turn your gaze towards posterity.

Why do I abide the desert, plant in the drought, wed the void? I'm insulated in plastic, drowned in sand. Ama, I hold your name tightly in my heart. I'm alone here. Who knows such solitude as I?


* 785 *

Beasts eat raw flesh, men cook and prepare their food, angels eat the words of gods, and gods eat from the lips of one another. Like bees which produce honey from their mouths, the gods dine from each other's refined meanings, and starve down to nothing upon the praises or blasphemies of mere mortals alone. Certainly, a bit of junk food now and then, the praise of a lesser, a touch of flattery, the gratitude of a lower person, but only the regard of an equal sustains us. If we lack peers, we must seek them out. Ama worries little whether we believe in Her, for She believes in us. She cheers us on and admonishes us further, severe and supportive, she mothers and fathers our way.



* 786 *

Ah, my Ama! Ever I'm this candle teased by your breeze, ever you challenge me to exasperation. Forever my lips will praise you! Opposition is true Friendship. You make me earn it, every nibble of wisdom, every sip of sapience. My Mother, my All! Your dark ringlets bind my wrists, your laughing glance knows my soul. I am a world fool, a fool for all, yet you see the sincerity of my play. Shame is pride's cloak! Ever I will mock at my own arrogance, while I am in truth your fool – "Trust is for fools," you so teasingly teach. I am your fool, at last, now and forever, to have and to hold, to know and to be, Vivoce!


* 787 *

Religious passion and its adoration of the Divine rhymes with romantic passion and its adoration of the beloved. So interbraided are the two that origins become muddled, though the literal generally proceeds the metaphorical. Yet, perhaps not. Perhaps a mixed, confused, mystic, oxymoronic metaphor may open a new experience which we may later secularize and put into mundane terms. Chivalric romance was a test lab to produce and democratize romance for the rest of us. If a mystic experiences God, that's his business, but if Ama changes him, then we can all learn therefrom.

Ever she bronzes my bones from the sip of her nipple. Her milk is wisdom, her Truth my meal.

Of the two passions, mysticism and romance, both are illusive and transcendental, each an interface for the cluster of details and contradictions that characterize Mundania, the devilish details of daily life. Both offer shorthands in this world of persons and their hidden desires.

As we set a series of cues and symptoms down by way of introduction to any new person, casually mentioning a daughter or husband or favorite author, whatever concentrates and symbolizes our essence most readily, so our first impression creates a spectral persona, an abbreviated and readily consumed referent, a promise of more of the same forthcoming.

Such an abstracted presence allows discreet and deliberate disclosure. A man in a letter is different than on the phone or texting or face-to-face. Each brings out a different perspective from his prism, refracting his world to the curve of the biases of the genre.

Mundane facts are best expressed in manuals, but spiritual truths are parabular, and we can only approximated them by a series of metaphors, definitions, lore, poetry -- every genre of communication. Love, Freedom, God, Truth, all the big words, the eternal ideas can be thought by all of us because philosophers netted them down from the heavens, kited them into the hands of us daily doers, the working class, the poverty class, all of us.


* 788 *

Oh, the pang of conscience, to be condemned by others, to be condemned by yourself: a whole moral language with cogs and belts, the account book of the soul, which seeks punishment as expiation! Pain as payment, what a peculiar pattern, and we evaluate an idea in terms of the sacrifice men and women give for it: if they are willing to die for it, thus it is ennobled and dignified, with no regard for objective value (which may almost be an oxymoron). What you have sacrificed for, what you have risked for, what you have fed yourself into, means what it means on that account solely. That a man of integrity believed this contaminates it with integrity.

Thus, the mysteries and bafflements of finding faults in our heroes, saints, and gods, where we would overlook ugliness, sins, mistakes, coming from the divine – we would exorcise it out of existence by defining it as impossible: "What God does is always right." Yet somehow the moral law feels impersonal and fatal – and we sense misgivings in each the absolute gods, be they ever so monotheistic or pantheistic. Doubt, and self-doubt, the weakening of the heart that is demoralization, tendrils into the soil and soul of our mundane dalliances. Demoralization is a weakening of the core, of courage, as the saying goes, conscience makes cowards of us all. Sometimes our enemies are right about us, but we are still worthy.

Certainly, moral indignation and righteous fury embolden and empower, even if, as an afterthought, we change our minds. Conscience turns upon itself, a higher conscience condemns the lower. We would see things under the auspices of eternity, and so we project our human view upon the All. Such a trope hypnotizes our antagonists and immobilizes them in fear. This lends itself to abuse, the abuse of the moral tone, the moral abuse not of hypocrisy, but of disrespect. The good cause grief, and conscience destroys. Our courage must meld with compassion, for the heart is bold and tender: harden it before the foe, soften it before the friend, but exercise both in self-reflection.

Religion and politics allow the exaggeration and grandiosity that turns conscience inside out: the most exalted and terrifying figures are drawn for "God" or "Humanity," these big ideas, which absolve of proportion and allow grotesque and awful exaggerations. Most of history, when we are cool enough to be historians, is in meditating severely over how to account for the past. We assume our own modesty, unaware of how much energy we might absorb and express, how much self we might realize, if we assumed the ideas to transfigure our world and open our possibility.

Never is conscience singular, but every role imposes its own conscience, its demands, payments, sacrifices, and dues. This ecosystem of moralities makes for systemic abuses as well as metamorphic creativities. Redoubling role upon role magnetizes a field.


* 789 *

What avails it to deny that pain hurts? They insult us for murmuring, and let them, but we must negotiate our convalescence, must protect a wound and soothe its burn. We wound others, we wound ourselves, and the meanings of suffering, the meanings of all experience, educate themselves through further experience, and the experience of self-reflection. The wise man is humble enough to learn from a child, and even the enemy who shames us and slams us we can learn from, grow from, improve by. Humility is pride: we will learn from all our experiences.


* 790 *

O pitch of death, O self-stung scorpion, with blossoming bruise upon my heart! Ama's balm springs the melt, a palm of sun over hollowed cage.

The wound is wise, I have said, and yet some aches require the care of wisdom, and this the wisdom of a friend. Niviana, sate my sulk with words of praise. Scalpel free my parts now broken, make me bleed and heal the wounds.

Pluck the chord, unpent my pain. Solace me in lulls of love. I ever seek your breath afresh, and linger on your warming gaze.


* 791 *

You're my shade by day, and light by night, the arrow in my gaze, the rhyme of my delight. Ama dove you rivet me, you ply my eyes, inebriate me. Knit at pith and twinned as one, you're the mooring of my sun.



-- R 88s Я --

Perfection Is Easy