Sunday, March 9, 2008

In Union We Trust

Seneca's Measure of the Human Life (in Scott Horton's 8 March 08 blog, No Comment, appearing in Harper's Magazine) is very interesting. I think it's losing something in translation. If I'm hearing aright, its about the opposition of Being and Becoming, of Eternity and Time, of wu-hsin (no thinking) and Making Ratios.

Comparing our Awareness of Becoming to the universe at large,
is a vivid example, illustrating a new cosmology in which to understand psychology, sociology, and mythology. It goes like this.

Looking up into the night sky, the tendency is to feel very small, very insignificant indeed. But, dear reader, this has the effect, on our quantum shares of Psyche, of collapsing our Being into psychic black holes--and misconceived ones at that!

Take a look at this illustration from

For me, the crucial difference, between Newtonian mechanics and Einsteinian relativity, has to do with the fundamental units of analysis. For Newton, of course, it was the point particle in a vacuum. Tragically, the APA adopted this as our model of ego. But Einstein's universe is absolutely seamless; there is no absolute and eternal Other; absolutely speaking, there's no rupture from here to the other side of Being. The fundamental unit of Einstein's universe, I argue, is the cisterna mystica, a {self-filling/self-emptying} Vessel.

That's what's going on in this illustration. The thing on the left is most salient to my point. That's a black hole, with opposing jets, and a disk of the stuff of which we are made. Is the star on the right being devoured? feeding it's child? Neither: {self-filling/self-emptying}, that's all there is to Life.

Looking up and misconceiving our egos as dust motes, has the tragic effect of collapsing Psyche into quantum singularities of pain, with the Commons shrink-wrapped around our inescapable egos. Here's a formula for the mythosociopsychology of that cosmos:

[(Absolute Supremacy) /No1's Land/ (Absolute Subjugation)] = Sucks to be you!

Note that the area designated "No 1's Land" is what's left of the Commons. This induces a condition I call CELLf-imprisonment. In this mechanical society, we machine others into compliance through application of overwhelming force. Torture is the Order of the Day in this misbegotten cosmos.

We have another way of knowing, another way of Being Aware of Becoming. As Vonnegut argues in Galapágos, we're bewitched by this very ability right here: to order and Flow formerly inchoate meaning into these very cisterna mystica, passing them over to our Beloved, where they self-empty of their own accord.
(Cha-no-yu, the tea ceremony, has its roots in Zen, for obvious reasons.)

You aren't forcing the meaning out of these very words, I trust; I trust the meaning self-empties.

Our ratio-making mind comes out of a non-dual, selfsame background. With the invention of maths and maps and words and such, we silly djinni have seduced ourselves into them, mistaking their entirely porous walls for impassable barriers. The little tiny segment at the heart of every ratio is mistaken for an impassable barrier: too deep to go under, too high to go over, too wide to go around. So go right through!

You are overlooking the spaces between these words. You are passing your eyes along this line of (squiggles on a contrasting backgrUnd), and its contents are self-emptying. By Xeno's paradox, though, these Voids could become impassable, too.

We are more than only rational; we are intuitive as well. In this frameless mind, we are not infinitesimal, insignificant particles; we are all there is, simply becoming from within, as a plant grows from its apical meristems of root and shoot.

Here's a formula for the mythosociopsychology of this, our native cosmos:

beloved /UNION/ Beloved

The motto of this cosmos is:

In Union We Trust

As you can plainly see, this is a more perfect Union, pouring forth a cosmos in which, for example, homosexual marriage is right at home. In this cosmos, we cultivate an ethos of hospitality. In this cosmos, empathically-mediated altruism (my specialty), like the "mind-brain" problem, are entirely natural, no problem at all; mere artifacts of our assumption of the inviolability of the Law of the Excluded Middle (the only law BushRoveCo ever obeys). Schopenhauer's amazement, that one person should help another, even at great peril or certain death, is based on the false assumption that there "really are" 2 beings to begin with.

As you may know, the Upanishads long ago answered every child's question: "what's that?" Tat tvam asi, that thou art! "Thou art that, my beloved child, and guess what? That loves that!"

In this cosmos, empathic compassion and cooperation, not Social-Darwinian competition, are the natural and proper bases for human social intercourse. It's "into" this cosmos we must "move," even though we've been Here All this Time.

Which brings me back to 'put up or shut up time' for poets. Poetry and revolution go together like thunder and lightning: though they may be named separately, just as 'you' and 'I' are, dearly beloved, they are selfsame.

As many know better than I, the Scientific Method is not a neutral instrument. It presupposes a dead machine as a subject, then confirms its own prejudice, making a Frankenstein's monster of our own Mother Earth, which we then proceed not to husband, but to pimp for all She's worth.

So this is the question at the heart of my poetry: are we cisterna mystica, or mere mechanical receptacles? Do we trust our experiences, or do we see and believe what we're told to from "on High?"

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