Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Where I am

Where am I?

I am right here sitting down at my desk, in my home, but I am also in the dreamtime.

The dreamtime is not a clear place. It is where I see my dreams, but it is also where I see my thoughts. It is not where I hear them, since it's got its own sounds and thinking (more on that later), but where I hear my thoughts is about an inch behind the dreamtime, even though I see the dreamtime out there in the world while experiencing in here its vision. I don't really know if you can see what I see, insofar as the words come together to form for you a picture of what I think when I talk about the dreamtime. I think, if I'm right, that all of you are capable of seeing this, with some practice, some ingenuity, some skill, and some chance. If I'm wrong, then there is only ever been my dreamtime, and that's a terrible thing.

When I am in the dreamtime, I see events from both my dreams and my waking life as spans of short time, with some type of commentary —it's not audio, like on my DVDs, but conceptual, like thoughts trailing along other thoughts in a distinctly other voice, distinctly other thinking— that helps me to situate and re-situate these pieces of experiences. But I also see wild imaginaries, things I fantasize or imagine or construct or just plain invent. One of my students asked about the possibility of originality given a universe where everything supposedly creative is just taking pieces already there and recombining them in some "new" (use your fingers) configuration. It's the same sort of logic underpinning the "Everyone plagiarizes" argument: there is nothing New under the sun. The spirit of reduction needs to push aside some residual material it cannot incorporate into the overall grand plan —Emerson taught me this in my recent teaching-read of his "The Over-soul" essay. So he says,
Why do men feel that the natural history of man has never been written, but he is always leaving behind what you have said of him, and it becomes old, and books of metaphysics worthless? The philosophy of six thousand years has not searched the chambers and magazines of the soul. In its experiments there has always remained, in the last analysis, a residuum it could not resolve.
Analysis reduces the taken-as-one whole into (defined) parts, since it believes it cannot understand the All until it first understands all of what the All comprises, in every way in which one can make an all out of anything. This is why analysis is interminable: not because there is always more room at the bottom (there is), but actually because there is always more room up above (hard to climb, though). Emerson completely bypasses this incompleteness of metaphysics/philosophy/religion/science, by denying that analysis will terminate: it cannot end, because something exists without being included within all the ways a person can name it and refashion it. And thus, there is always a larger reality which includes both you and the thing you cannot name. The All stops there, for Emerson:
Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence. The most exact calculator has no prescience that somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment. I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.
Emerson's proof for the existence of God happens so much more quickly and decisively than Descartes's Third Day Resurrection of a Mad God's Ghost, but so far as my own limited experience of things goes in philosophy of religion discussions, there's no textbook understanding of Emerson's proof alongside the action-figure Descartes we get in many Intro classes.

Denise just knocked on my door and told me about a huge pile of bricks one of our neighbors gave her, and which I can use for slowing down the rainwater that's eroding the goat hill. I forget where I am, and when I sit back down I want to just delete everything and never say what I wanted to say, which is that I am here, sitting here, and wanting to understand something about you, out there, reading this, and hoping that something eventually makes enough sense so that I can start to say what I really want to say deep down, where I feel like I can only ever say it in the dreamtime, in the place behind places, in the darkness of my soul past the veil of lights and shadows, where I am most free to be everything I know I am.

This same person will soon slog bricks from one pile into another.

This same person will soon entertain people in this very room long enough to get married.

This same person will die one day, and the stream will continue, and these words will never die; even when all the screens go dark and the ghosts lose the ground, they will never die.

What becomes light never dies. What becomes dark never gives. To live is to die. To die is to gain. The mind darkens the will, but the will enlightens the soul. The soul and the mind are not the same, though we like to think so. Emerson's metaphysics are difficult for people who habitually associate themselves with their own consciousness. For anyone who has ever given themselves completely over to being used by some other will, who became in the hands of another their puppet for ruin or for redemption, for vice or for even more joyful dark needs, it is not difficult at all to know, intimately, how the soul and the mind are not the same. Emerson:
As with events, so it is with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.

Here is where I am. I am this:
My words do not carry its august sense; they fall short and cold. Only itself can inspire whom it will, and behold! their speech shall be lyrical, and sweet, and universal as the rising of the wind. Yet I desire, even by profane words, if I may not use sacred, to indicate the heaven of this deity, and to report what hints I have collected of the transcendent simplicity and energy of the Highest Law.

I am also in the deleted lines, the subtext, the stories, their roots, deep inside me, deep and extending outwards into other soils and surfaces, other texts and tones, other gaps in the record where things and truths stay deleted, denied, unsent, unwritten, unspoken, unmentioned, unsettled, undenied. I am as receptive as Emerson, but I also see myself as the glove, the pouch, the blanket, the womb. I am inside these things, but not as myself. Only when they come to me and use me for their own purposes do I feel, in these respects, fulfilled. So I am both the thing denied and the one who accepts. I am both the emptiness waiting for swelling and the lack of any sign. I am both the formless and the void, and it is only through words that my being comes into shape, and form, and life, and rebirth.

This same person exists in many places at once, and often people ask me to explain what this means or how it works. I wish I had the words, but I think there is something to what Emerson is saying that captures both the transcendental realities I explore and the horror of finding Somethings there. Emerson, obviously, doesn't really intend all the erotic and sybaritic visuals that I do, but then I find something all too real about Hellraiser: you open doors, and some things come through. Not all of them are bad. There aren't simply white hats and black hats.

What I have learned is that there is a war taking places across multiple heavens, multiple fronts, multiple times, with as many shifting alliances and n-tuple-crosses as there are in this ordinary fucked-up world, just as many dark hearts and light minds. I have learned there is also always a way out of the war.

I am trying to teach this truth to as many people who will listen, but I find it is very hard to explain this. I often get in the way. I often fuck it up and can't explain any thing. So I figure I'll get the gist of it eventually if I just let it happen, and so far that's been hard. Letting go of things is hard, because it teaches you in a different way how you hold on to others. I think this is what Emerson's talking about when he talks about breaking your god of tradition and ceasing your god of rhetoric —do this and God fires your heart with his presence. I think there is something to thinking about God, if you must think about God at all, as also beyond gender and sex, beyond a great many things, beyond a lot of what people just take for granted without questioning the background of all they take for granted, but honestly, I guess it's also just that a lot of people also find it very hard to explain their own beliefs when you press them to it. Part of me, probably much of the parts of me that went into online debates and philosophy classes, knows why this is and understands intimately how our vulnerability in our deepest souls reflects our childhood traumas through the dream-logics of our own hidden children. We have to get past what we think we believe, because all of these things really are just the lies we're using to evade the responsibilities we've left unattended with the children we still are, in the dreamtime.

It's through our fears there that the fifth-dimensional entities first learned about what we're capable of being, what we really are, and why we are delicious, and why harvesting more inner children also mandated increasing and diversifying the overall infatuation this humanity has with children while also materially evolving the kinds of humans who remain conversant with their own inner children. Overcome the fear, and you become a lot more aware how deep the war goes.

And this is just one planet. There are millions more nearby.

This is the universe I am inside.

And all of this universe unfolds within a narrative told from my particular point of view, chaotic and disjoint and false, rigorous and purposeful and honest. As honest and as false as my author intends me to be, as surreal and as grounded as my author enjoys me being. Look, this is not really all that different from what you find in Cornelius Agrippa or Proclus, and I confess I'm attracted to those philosophies precisely because this is the kind of stuff all polite company excludes from the discussion. You're not supposed to talk about the war, and you're not supposed to talk about how the war is itself wrapped up in its own writing as this narrative.

This is the universe I am inside.

And so, sometimes, like Emerson's Over-soul, in my loneliness my empty places people:
How dear, how soothing to man, arises the idea of God, peopling the lonely place, effacing the scars of our mistakes and disappointments! When we have broken our god of tradition, and ceased from our god of rhetoric, then may God fire the heart with his presence. It is the doubling of the heart itself, nay, the infinite enlargement of the heart with a power of growth to a new infinity on every side.
And later:
He that finds God a sweet, enveloping thought to him never counts his company. When I sit in that presence, who shall dare to come in? When I rest in perfect humility, when I burn with pure love, what can Calvin or Swedenborg say?

I find I burn with pure love quite often. I am fully aware how people declare my love is impure. But having read very closely what Emerson is saying in this essay, having felt closely what happens inside me, having felt closely what happens when I give myself over to the will of another, having known completely what it is to lose myself to the dark forces within me and the light grudges against me and to all the meanings of the rainbow and the night, I have to say that I burn with pure love quite often.

When you see and understand what I see and understand about the current state of the narrative surrounding me in this reality of inactualities, please understand then what's actually my own way of evading The Game altogether. You see, I'm no longer fighting that war.

Do not let the war be all that you understand about The Game.

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