Archive | April 2014

William Blake and Politics

As you know, I am a great admirer of the English visionary poet and artist William Blake. “Disciple” might be too  strong a word for that in the same sense that Nietzsche considered himself a “disciple of the god Dionysus”. I am too much the critical spirit to be comfortable with discipleship.

Nonetheless, I recognise the value of discipleship as an important stage in the course of a life, as an apprenticeship is an important phase in life. But one does oneself and one’s teachers great wrong to remain a perpetual disciple. Not even Jesus or Buddha expected their disciples to remain disciples and nestlings forever, but to learn to soar on their own wings.

Or, as Nietzsche put it — the three metamorphoses from a camel to a lion to a child.

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“You Create the Reality You Know”: Life as Art

There is an obvious implication to Seth’s constantly re-iterated insistence that “you create the reality you know”, and it is one which is also implicated in the so-called “measurement problem” in Quantum Mechanics. If it is true that “you create the reality you know”, then we are all artists, individually and collectively.

But that is no more than to say, with William Blake, that the “Poetic Genius” is the “true man”, and that imagination is the life of this “true man”.

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The Spectral Order: “Economy of Ghosts”

Ours is an economy of ghosts, of deliberate blindness — Naomi Klein

I read a great article by Naomi Klein in this morning’s Guardian, Climate change is the fight of our lives...”  As I’ve found with Klein’s other writings, she often touches upon some very profound issues of the human condition and has a talent for summarising them in memorable turns of phrase. An “economy of ghosts” is a great turn of phrase that is packed full of significance.

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A Brief History of Western Civilisation

I have been doing a great deal of reading lately on the rise of fascism after the First World War. It has been one of my keenest interests since my university days because of my deep concern that we are not free of this beast yet.

One of the books I have come to appreciate very much in that respect is Peter Viereck’s Metapolitics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind (1940). Another, which I just finished, is Stephen Roberts’ The House That Hitler Built (1938) which I had never heard of until a few weeks ago and ordered immediately (a remaindered copy arrived that was once in the Harvard University collection). Roberts’ book has been one of the most rewarding studies that I’ve read of the Nazi period. He spent about two years in Germany from 1935 to 1937 and had remarkable access to many of the Nazi leaders and their organisations, including an audience with Hitler.

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The New Normal: Unreason Seizes Power

Reason and reality are related words. That relationship points to an important truth towards understanding reason and reality (or consciousness and cosmos, if we wish to put it another way). Ideally, they are best thought of in terms of husband and wife. They perform a marriage, a bond.  Their happy union is what is called “cosmic consciousness”. And the fruit and offspring of their union is called “truth”.

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Stephen Harper: The Man Who Put the “Con” in “Conservative”

Fresh on the heels of the controversial bill C-23 to undermine democracy, but entitled “Fair Elections Act,” comes bill S-4, “The Digital Privacy Act” which critics say does the exact opposite of what the bill’s name purports to do.

This has become something of a repeat pattern with the Harper government and with the public conversation more generally. Everything comes wearing a mask. Everything misrepresents itself as something it’s not. Everything lies in an age of brands and branding and perception management.

In short, everything is a con-job. It’s as if the Harper government has lifted the plot from Orwell’s 1984 as their own programme for exercising and maintaining their grip on power. Because there’s always something controversial in a bill, call it the exact opposite of what you intend by the new law and no one will see the subversive intent of the bill.

That practice reflects Mr. Harper’s Jekyll and Hyde personality itself — publicly pose as a “libertarian” concerned about creeping statism, but implement an authoritarian programme and agenda behind the “brand”. Create a smokescreen and a diversion so that few will perceive (or will invariably misconstrue) the real aims and motives.

The question is: Can such a society long survive the con of living on the “genuine imitation” of images, mirages, hallucinations — built upon brands, “truthiness”, and walking amongst shadows and spectres?

The answer is: No.  It’s delusion. It’s nihilism. Everything lies and misrepresents itself in the culture of narcissism.

 

Tower of Baffle

I am going to share with you a recurring dream sequence I have been having, if only because it demonstrates the peculiar nature of dreaming and consciousness. This particular dream is a little different from other dreams. It has been building upon itself over a very long time. Last night, however, it took a different turn.

I haven’t mentioned it earlier simply because it baffled me. Even my dreaming self, who usually takes all the weirdness and the baffling nature of dreams for granted, finds the dream baffling. Moreover, the dream is still unfolding — still inconclusive.

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