11 April 2010

Gets you jumping like a real live wire

"[T]his revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew."
- Marx, The German Ideology

"So, you see, the whole key to liberation is magic. Anarchism remains tied to politics, and remains a form of death like all other politics, until it breaks free from the defined 'reality' of a capitalist society and creates its own reality....Reality is thermoplastic, not thermosetting you know: I mean you can reprogram it much more than people realize."
- Wilson and Shea, Illuminatus!

"[P]ractitioners of the shock doctrine tend to seek a blank slate on which to create their ideal free market economies, which inevitably requires a usually violent destruction of the existing economic order."
- Wikipedia on Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine

"[A]ssuming daily life provides us with sufficient opportunities for appropriate & necessary learning, daily life does not provide the conditions for us to amplify & intensify educative arising-incidents, enabling us to better refine who & what we are. This refining only takes place intentionally and, usually, in carefully-designed environments. [...]
But, even were enough educative-opportunities to accidentally occur, ordinary life does not provide suitable environments for amplifying & intensifying our process, necessary & sufficient to cook us to the required degree. Different traditions & ways refer to this cooking & refining in various ways, one of which is transformation, whatever we may understand by that."
- Robert Fripp, diary of 2009/7/21.

You know something's true when not only do people keep saying it over and over again, but the ruling class manage to use it for their own effort. Simply put: when people's realities and identities are put under pressure, the impossible becomes possible. Real change only happens in transformative "leaps", which only happen under great strain and stress, or at least under artifically-induced "crucible" environments. I know, this is terrifying, heartless and illiberal. It also happens to be true.

ETA: But never let us forget the distinction that Sufis make between a state and a station. Robert Fripp's metaphor is: it is possible to take the elevator from the ground floor to the penthouse; but you probably can't afford the rent to live there. Making a change is one thing, making that change permanent is another thing altogether. My feeling is that shock and trauma and other "initiatory" experiences play a part in turning a state into a station.