27 July 2010

New aphorism

In my experience, this simple rule of thumb is invaluable in politics, psychology, and anywhere else which involves dialectical discourse:

Criticism always says more about the critic than the criticised.

(Ref: previous post on psychological projection.) If you read person Y saying "X sucks", then they may be right or they may be wrong, but what is 100% certain is that you can see clearly what person Y means by "sucks", and from there speculate about their inner life, or at least what life experiences might have led to them to adopt the reality tunnel where object X conforms to the category of "sucks".

24 July 2010

Well. Don't I feel stupid.

So it seems that - whereas I stand by all the analysis that's come onto this blog in almost four years, and some of it actually seems to come from Somewhere in my psyche much smarter than my regular self - especially this, it's pretty hard-core - it's a case of physician, heal thyself.

So tell me, who do you think I was really talking to when I kept yelling over and over again: "You are what you do! You're keeping yourself stuck in oppression, pointlessness and miser! You have to give up your favourite identity otherwise all your schemes and dreams will turn out useless! A revolution / enlightenment means unpredictability, the return of the repressed, all kinds of drama, and if you fear things getting out of control then you, sirmaam, are part of the problem!!!"

Go on. Take a wild guess. Humility is endless, and I'd much rather see all this done than hear about it.

22 July 2010

HOLY CRAP IT'S TRUE

God really is everywhere and in everything.

Okay, to be more precise: every meaning that I experience, every mental box into which I slot my sensory perceptions of the objective physical world, was created by a process in my psyche (logical or subconscious), and those processes form a unified-but-contradictory whole - the Higher Self of mysticism, Jung's Self-as-opposed-to-ego. Which means Fred Engels was right too about the Dialectics of Nature - if by "Nature" we mean our experiences of the real world, rather than that world's ontological reality. Actually, every school of philosophy or psychology worth a shit recognizes this one. Even that scoundrel and fraud Fatso Hubbard got the gist: "the thetan is mocking up the reactive mind", in his repulsive jargon.

(Parenthetically, I would agree with Jung that orthodox Christianity - with its all-nice-and-cuddly Christ balanced by his evil cousin with the horns and the pitchfork - is a psychological step back from Judaism (or Islam's) purely monotheistic deity who is responsible for everything good and bad that happens, or even the polytheistic nature gods.)

Now. How does one go about behaving as if this were true? Because when you're up to your ass in alligators it's hard to remember that your Higher Self created the swamp; even more so to believe that the swamp might be there for some good reason; and triply so to believe that it might be the right thing for this time/space junction that alligators should be surrounding your ass.

19 July 2010

Work is work is work

In every era of class society, there has been a mystique woven around certain kinds of work - the idea that only a Special Chosen Few can do it, and therefore they have the right to own slaves / dispose of serfs / order common gutter proles around. In ancient Egyptian times, it was reading and writing (actually, that was pretty much the case in mediaeval Europe as well). In the early capitalist era, it was abstract, scientific thought and the ability to make arguments - you might remember in particular there were all kinds of "scientific" (by the lights of the age) studies made proven that women just could not think abstractly very much before their brains overheated or their wombs shrivelled up or something.

The modern capitalist era, based on increasing automation of production and outsourcing of manual labour to countries outside the noosphere of "Western media culture", has swept this all aside, because it has to teach higher order thinking skills to the vast majority of the working class or else live with the consequences of a permanent unemployable underclass. (Actually, they do a bit of both). Now, the mystique of labour inheres in two kinds of work:

- leadership skills (i.e. the cult of the CEO, management voodoo, etc).
- creative work;

Both these kinds of work are presented as if they needed a certain genius not available to common gutter proles. The first category carries with it the ideology that "the ruling class deserve to be where they are"; the second category carries with it the ideology that "middle-class occupations deserve a certain status in our society". As explored before, since the creative classes now provide the mass indoctrination/hypnosis necessary to keep the proles accustomed to their lot, via the media, it is vital that the ruling class cut them a significant slice of the pie.

A real revolution would have to spread not only Lenin's idea that "every cook can and will govern", but that - for example - every garbageman is capable of artistic expression, creative thought, and even religious ectasy. (As to the latter, remember that in every country the mass-market forms of religion are employed to give the gutter proles a metaphysical "high" every Sunday or Friday or whatever, in return for making shyster-clerics rich. R. A. Wilson was right that there'll be hell to pay when the proles work out that everyone can do this for themselves.)

So: any revolutionary organisation where leadership and/or creative thinking are reserved to a minority is simply reproducing the norms of class society and needs a shakeup. This is easier said than done, of course.

15 July 2010

14 July 2010

Now I understand what you tried to say to me

A while back, I said the following:

Robert Fripp has said that "any act based on principle is a good one". Dr Javad Nurbaksh has said that hooking up with even an inferior, selfish, not-properly-enlightened Master is better than letting your ego continue to run rampant. I find it very difficult to accept these propositions, because they're very similar to L. Ron Hubbard's dictum that "you must let others control you before you can learn to control yourself", which is clearly a cynical command to induce people to sign themselves up as slaves.

My main counterexample to Fripp's quote above was: "what if the principle is 'no niggers'?" Well, thinking about it, we can disentangle racist violence from - theoretically - making a principled stand on a racist basis which actually causes you personal disadvantage. (Like: setting up a barber shop in Soweto and only catering to white people? Do that and I'll give you serious points for style.)

It's like, the Catholic Church has a principle: "only celibate men can do the magic trick which turns a wafer and some grape juice into the Living Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ". I think this principle leads the Church to be (at least in part) a force for repression and negativity in the world. But what is the alternative? Ordaining women because... why? Because that's what everyone else does? The whole point of the Church - any Church - is being something other than The Real World Of Horrible Jobs, and if the aims of religion coincide with the policy aims of the State and the price signals of the competitive market, then it is surely a complete waste of time and a con-job.

Only by making a stand on principle - even a reactionary one - can you pry open some space for a different reality. It might be a shittier reality than the mainstream one, but it at least proves that different realities are possible. (I personally think that any Catholics who really object to the Church's teachings on gender and sexuality should just walk and join the Anglicans or many of the independent or schismatic Catholic congregations. Hell, become a Gnostic, they've got all the bells and smells. Attempting to change Church doctrine because it conflicts with common sense or even basic human dignity is missing the whole point of what the Church is there for.)

First noble truth: pain don't hurt.

Pain is good. Pain is a sign that you're alive and awake and there's a clear direction in which you should go. If there were no pain, you'd probably just sit and drool, or at least lead a totally selfish existence, like a cat. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but it's not a lifestyle choice for everyone.

I know for a fact that almost all my problems in this existence have been caused by trying to avoid or (as the Clams put it) "not-is" pain. You only make something go away by "as-is"ing it. This isn't instantaneous and requires patience, but the way out is the way through.

I'm currently in a process of re-evaluating and cutting loose my allegiances and commitments to everything in my life which isn't necessary for biological survival, because I'm trying to... well, some call it "find yourself". Others say "find God". Still others say "achieve Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel". Robert Anton Wilson would have said "activate Brain Circuit VII". It's surprising how much avoiding and trying not to feel pain makes this totally impossible.

The thing that really frustrating me is that I keep remembering The Truth... then forgetting it, going back to sleep, slipping into bad habits, backing away from the Dark Night of the Soul. Only if I feel the pain can that stop happening.

You might also be interested to note that - given all the ranting I do here about "addiction to identities" being what stops us bringing the Magickal Kingdom to life in the here-and-now - that I think I've identified the identity which anchors me in the filth. In one phrase: I am a weirdo whom everybody hates. It's not much of an identity, but it ... well, I wouldn't say it "works", but I'm still alive and still capable of effort, which you wouldn't have bet on a few years ago. Time to say goodbye.

12 July 2010

Always good to note...

... that someone is taking seriously the whole point of this blog - that materialist dialectics are not only not incompatible with some traditions of mysticism, but emininently complementary.

From a Marxist viewpoint, Buddha was an early materialist who touched on dialectics. Buddha would have been aware of the debate about the relationship of “absolute” to “relative” but not any dialectical resolution of that debate.

Whereas Hinduism embraced the absolute, the rebellious Buddha taught about the relative world, the real world. His teachings are anchored in everyday life and all living things.

(source) For an opposing viewpoint, see here. ETA: And more on the absolute and relative here...