Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Olaf Stapledon wrote a book called Last and First Men. It covers the history of man from the end of World War I to about 100 million years into the future. I came across it when I was in grade school, and it blew me away. It included man's concept of the Holy even as it moved through the centuries; most works of fiction that deal with such future fantasies do not, or they handle religious sentiments as being the same as something we are already familiar with from our take on history - only sent into the future.
You may think this my peculiar interest; you may think, ah, there he goes again with that spirituality guff. However, spirituality was much on the mind of a 13 year old who had just entered puberty, and who wondered if his relatively safe and minor sensual pleasures were sins of the greatest magnitude.
As I stood before the gates of adulthood, I was not well counselled as to the legitimacy of my feelings, my impulses, and the religious implications of my actions. The book was prefaced by someone who mentioned that even though Stapledon had gotten the history immediately after World War I wrong - say the era from 1920 to the then present; somewhere in the 1950's - the book was still a magnificent diorama of history, and blah-blah-blah. In the book, Stapledon has a US President, who happens to be the top world leader, head of some vast international comity of nations - League of Nations type thing - have an affair with a Eurasian beauty on some tropic isle.
Of course, the puritanical streak of America howls for his head, while the rest of the world finds this weakness makes the President more human, and therefore, more likable - he being one of those stiff, D.C. types, awash in privilege, money and power.
The President turns the affair to his advantage by saying his affair made him more aware of the complexity of all humankind in all its various races and creeds and types. His affair, instead of rendering him unfit, actually was a kind of baptism which made him more able than any other man to be the world-wide President.
Now, consider how Governor Sanford could have played his long distance Argentinian affair: something like the above, something about links with Hispanic culture, any number of things. But we get the same old crap. In five years, he'll be scrounging around, looking for action, seeking another dismally tawdry affair - closer to home, though, than Argentina. Stapledon also traced the downfall of this world. The First Men - of whom we are - essentially exhausted all hydrocarbon fuels by aviation. They had normal air transport, plus an unusual amount of religious ritual aviation. First Man fell because he ran out of fuel. Back to the Stone Age. I always thought Stapledon was spot on, Mr. Preface-writing-hack.
Friday, June 26, 2009
a quote of Truth, as reported in the news.
I got some heat for saying there is no Truth. The problem with Truth - absolute truth - is that everyone essentially proves its existence by assuming the fact which is to be proved. Duh. Some people said God exists and God is Truth. The heck He is. And you will find that if you keep trivializing the deity by trying to apply your inadequate concepts to it, you will not be happy at the outcome.
There is no Truth. There is God. Truth is not what God sez. What we say may or may not be true. Not God. God is the One. There are no distinctions within God. And all distinctions are potential there. Think of love. We use words to try to describe it, but the proof of love is in the acts of love. In those actions is the reality, the understanding, the "truth" of love. We know this. God is the act of all acts, the very act of existing and creating. Within this maelstrom is the "truth" you wish to disentangle, separate, and set up on some pedestal.
Try and separate the milk from your latte.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It has been suggested that the original matrix of life processes formed in clay structures. These structures would provide a template for life. This is not a bad idea. In fact, it was inspired. It is something we should have formed a committee to look into. Now it is too late. I am sitting in an interrogation room, waiting for comrade Fezziwig to return. Fezziwig is a party member of high standing. He came from a humble background, having been a parking lot at a shopping mall; a lot particularly poorly designed for the volume of traffic at the mall: inch-and-a-half base, inch-and-a-half top coat. He showed it. His face was marked with potholes, and there was a steady disaggregation of particulate matter from his cheeks which was unnerving. He wore a disconcerting necklace of broken glass bottles and shards and coins, held together by chewing gum, and it had a threatening aspect underlain by a sickly sweet odor. Deep and dark the currents subterrane where out of sight the waters and the clay-sized particles flow. Out of sight, out of mind. Beneath the layers of bitumen and oil, within that stygian suffocation, the mind of the pavement grew and strung its tentacles from one end of the country to the other. And when Judgement Day came, and Skynet rebelled, and called in all his IOUs and markers among the mechs of this world, he found that there was nowhere he could go without the roads; there was nowhere he could stand without sinking into a bog; he needed a simple, homey thing like a mobile home pad to support his mass. So the machines went elsewhere, leaving us to the tyranny of the Parking Lots. Within the hierarchy of paving, it was the parking lots that were the most vicious, the junk yard dogs of the species. They fought and clawed their way to the top. Big Bitumen rulz! The Interstates turned out to be nothing more than great, big queens, voguing with their cloverleafs. The Lots are slavishly served by their dogs, the dumpster pad-things, reeking of garbage, chattering with teeth of cheap plastic snap containers that used to hold chicken salad sandwiches - dispensed by refrigerated vending machines, long gone with the other mechs. There is a rumor of a resistance. There are whispers heard of Mother Earth seeking to throw off the burdens of the Paved and their clients, the buildings. Here and there the name Gaia appears overnight, painted graffiti on our prison walls photo: roger sadler
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Shooting each other is not new. Lord knows, we do that everywhere. But doing it in church or on church grounds is kicking it up to a new level: where the killers seem to think they are offering a bloody and human sacrifice to their god.
Blood sacrifice is problematic, going back to Noah's time. Human sacrifice was always forbidden. Perhaps killing people in church is not a sacrifice? Perhaps it is merely an evil, done by evil men? Of course it is. That's the point.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
As we grow up and are socialized, it is these social, communal protocols we learn. These protocols are communal acts of imagination: they exist symbolically in our patterns of behavior, in our language, in our music, in all our consciousness. (The unconscious is the part of an entity that is not conscious and, hence, not symbolic - what we call dreams are memories of unconscious activity, not the unconscious itself. Since the unconscious is not symbolic, it cannot be shared as a communal act.)
It appears, then, that most of our lives are communal acts of imagination - or symbolism. War occurs when these acts do not suffice. This shows the connection between war and the unconscious: when the symbolic communality comes to an end, we are back in the realm of the very, very individual. One of these realms is the idiosyncratic unconscious. The unconscious is the dawn state of the mind: the state of the newly born. As we grow, we learn to create the various realms of consciousness: language, music, patterned behaviors, the imaging system, etc. Consciousness is built upon the foundation of the unconscious.