Yes. “Metathesiophobia” is a word. It means “fear of change”. There’s also “chronophobia,” or “fear of time”, which might be a related phobia, or perhaps the same phobia. I came across these curiosities on a peculiar website called “The Phobia List”. As you can see from the list, there appears to be a hell of a lot of things for human beings to be phobic or anxious about.

Apparently, metathesiophobia is derived from the word “metathesis“, Greek for “transposition”, and having somewhat the meaning of “put in a different order”, or a dis-order. The term is more commonly used in linguistics to describe the re-arrangement (or de-rangement) of phonemes (sound units) in a word.

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The Proverbs of Hell

“The Proverbs of Hell” are a famous collection of often quite profound epigrammes published by William Blake in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Many of them are quite cryptic and enigmatic. Blake claims to have heard them in “vision”. Blake also claims to have read the Bible in “Hell” in its “infernal” aspect, also in vision. This, he says, will come to the knowledge of mankind in this New Age as a revelation, and “which the world shall have whether they will or no”. That means, apocalyptically… even catastrophically.

Those aren’t the rantings of a lunatic. I understand what he means. In some ways, long before Nietzsche had forecast the advent of his “two centuries of nihilism”, Blake had already foreseen it.

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Mandating Virtue

Oddly enough, after recently posting on the significance of the number “12” in making reference to Rosenstock-Huessy’s essay “The Twelve Tones of the Spirit” (“All Roads Lead to Rome”), today I read that the Thai military junta has — controversially — mandated the teaching of “twelve main virtues” in Thai schools.

What’s with that?

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Integral Consciousness and the Narcissus Trap

Genesis 6:5 

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Everywhere people declaim for peace. Everywhere they find themselves entangled in war and the celebration of war. If human beings really wanted peace, human beings would have it.

But where there is no peace within, there can be no peace without. That is the rule. The rule is, that you create the reality you know. The human form is a strange juncture of good and evil, a hybrid of god and monster, reason and appetite, and being such becomes a battleground, a battleground called “dualism”. A heaven. And a hell.  “Integral consciousness” is self-transcendence in the respect of the overcoming of dualism. “Integral consciousness” is just another way of speaking of “peace within”, or the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Reality is always the faithful mirror in the sense that it is the realm of the projections, projections misconstrued as purely objective, as belonging to “the natural order of things”. But that is only the narcissism of the human form.

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This Means War

The Guardian  has on this, the hundredth anniversary of its start, posted an absolutely superb mini-documentary on the First World War. “A global guide to the First World War” really does do a great job of showing the meaning of the war as the violent collision of the past and the future that drew the entire world into the vortex.

That theme of the contrast and conflict of old and new is often subtle, but unmistakable. Viewing the clip, however, may provide you with insight into why so many considered it a watershed event in human history and why its effects still lurk and linger. Rosenstock-Huessy, who was himself a soldier in the war on the German side, thought of it as the first civil war of the global era.

Very worth viewing.

The Shattered Mirror: Preaching Democracy, Practicing Autocracy

I’m toying with the notion of doing a whole separate series on the theme of “the shattered mirror” and posting the series separately. By “the shattered mirror” I intend to be understood the disintegration of the mental-rational consciousness structure. If “the Sacred Hoop is broken” is the tragedy of the magical or shamanistic consciousness, and “times out of joint” was Shakespeare’s experience of the breakdown of the mytho-religious consciousness or Age of Faith, then “the shattered mirror” is this same disturbance for the “reflective” consciousness structure or Age of Reason (or “Modern Era”) and is, moreover, what Erich Kahler means by “the breakdown of the human form” in his book The Tower and the Abyss.

“The shattered mirror” is what lies behind memes like “the multiversity”. And it also makes sense that the state of the mental-rational consciousness structure would be most apparent in the one institution that exists primarily to serve that structure’s constitution and reproduction — the university. As we will see, this institution is not in very good shape today, not only in terms of the disunity of knowledge and “the end of the Grand Narrative”, but of also its core values of conviviality, collegiality, and civility.

In other ways, nonetheless, the “shattered mirror” is another term for “nihilism” more generally — the nihilism of how “all higher values devalue themselves”.  The “shattered mirror” can be said to be the “disturbance in the Force” that is dissolution of the mind’s self-understanding, loss of identity, spreading cynicism, and the de-coherence of its “Grand Narrative” as the negation of the principal of universality and of Universal Reason. This, today, manifests as growing “inequality” in all areas of social life.

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All Roads Lead to Rome

“Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam” we know as the saying “all roads lead to Rome”. Rome, emblem on Earth of “the Eternal City” which is also the Great Harlot of the Book of Revelation.

Rome and Jerusalem both serve as poles in the narrative of contemporary Western origins, like the poles of a battery. It is because they are symbols for something subliminal — the meaning of the political and the prophetic and their conflict. Old medieval maps put either Jerusalem or Rome at the centre of the known world, as the “Caput Mundi” — the capital of the world. More than cities, they represented values; cities of the imagination.

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