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The Orobouros and the Alt Right

I had been reading in Julius Evola’s book, the  Hermetic Tradition, about the Alchemical image of the Orobouros—the snake biting it’s own tail.  I first tried to tackle this ponderous work some 20 years ago, after I saw that Carl Jung cited it as source material for his classic book, Psychology and Alchemy.  I again returned to it recently when I’d heard that the alt right was greatly influenced by Evola’s dark, cyclical view of history, as well as his particular brand of arcane, spiritual racism.
I then saw an article by Maureen Dowd, who compared Donald Trump to the Orobouros.  I took this synchronicity as sign I should further meditate on this ancient image of western esotericism as a way to gain a more holistic view of a dangerously polarized political landscape which loomed beyond the hermetically sealed world of the dogfish Bay Marina.
Dowd writes of 45’s isolation by an inner circle who shelter him against the verities of the exterior world, parrot his mad ejaculations, and compound his delusional paranoia.  She evokes the Orobouros to point out his self -destructive qualities.
This mandala has long been contemplated by spiritual adepts who sought awakening to ultimate truth of Unity.  Evola says it represents not so much a philosophical concept as much as a state beyond the dichotomies of I and not-I, inside and outside.  According to the literature, the full realization of this state is the “first matter of the wise.”
In the tradition, this unitary awareness is the beginning of the great work.  But in Evola’s dark, elitist, and apocalyptic elaboration, this work is a cyclic process that, after ages of decline brought about by egalitarianism, multi-culturalism, and democratic “leveling,” heralds the triumphant return of the golden age.  He views history as a cycle of degeneration and regeneration which turns in a series toward its ultimate realization in the re-establishment of a hyper-masculine, solar king which dawns only after violent revolution upsets the status quo.  The losers swept up in this upheaval are expendable, and quaint notions like charity, love, and compassion are jettisoned for the profits of a corporate elite.  Evola may have attained some degree of genuine insight into the spiritual truth expressed by the Orobouros, as well as to how that essential unity is not obstructed by its infinite manifestations (dharmas) in the field of space and time.  Evola studied the Pali cannon of the Hinayana (lesser vehicle) Buddhism, which focuses on self liberation from the cycles of existence (Samsara.)  In contrast, the Mahayana (greater vehicle) stressed the cultivation of loving kindness as not only ethical, but the means by which we awaken to the ultimate truth of essential unity even while working to aleviate suffering in the relative world of Samsara.
  As long as we have not realized that the mode of being of our mind resides in the union of relative truth and absolute truth—a realization that corresponds to awakening—these two truths are seen as separate instead of being seen in their original unity.
Bokar Rimpoche
From the viewpoint of ultimate truth, the dichotomy between positive and negative lacks reality, but from the perspective of relative truth, the karmic results of negative actions are inevitable.  The cultivation of loving kindness is essential until ultimate truth is realized.
  This fundamental split between the two understandings of the unitary state—symbolized by the Orobouros– is reflected in the polarized debates surrounding health care and immigration. Republicans seem to champion only the needs of those inside the adamant circumference of racial and economic privilege.
  One of the strangest aspects of our rancorous, political debate is how these venerable teachings are spun by intellectuals of the alt right; and how Evola’s  brand of spiritual fascism provides ideological cover for the rise of global fascism.
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Speculum Warfare

  We saw the projection dynamic in play during the second debate when Hillary, rightly, said 45 was Putin’s puppet.  “You’re the puppet!  You’re the puppet!” was 45’s childish reply.
I reminded of the ancient, Chinese art  of Feng Shui where, through practical as well as highly esoteric remedies, the built environment  was altered in ways auspicious to health and prosperity.  Mirrors were mounted on home fronts to counter the negative chi of neighbors.  The neighbor then responded in kind, but with a larger mirror, and it soon  escalated into all out, speculum warfare.  I see something similar in the endless projections that one side of the political spectrum visits upon the other to manipulate public perception.
  Like 45, Milo Yiannopoulos is an Internet troll, a cartoon character manifest as a faux-real person.  The cyber-world has so morphed with reality that a ficticious, TV personality can become President, and gaudy, physical spectres are  conjured from the etherial world of online trollery.

  Milo Yiannopoulos’s ambiguous role is fabricated to appeal to opposite ends of conservative spectrum, so that both sides might then be swayed toward more extreme, alt-right views. He explained his role perfectly by saying his position with Breitbart countered the perception that the Alt Right is homophobic, and racist.  He’s a shill to make their hateful rhetoric appeal to edgy progressives and third-party stooges in order to draw them into the alt-right fold.   Also, since Yiannopoulos is gay, the alt-right can spin this to deflect accusations of intolerance.

  There are other, more esoteric, means Bannon employs in his global, coup attempt.
The world was perplexed by 45’s recent, shrill warning about immigration when he said: “Look what’s happening in Sweden!”  We are quick to cite this as just another example of his lies.  Then, a few days later, riots break out in Rinkeby.  The Alt Right News then posts an article proclaiming 45’s near mystical powers of prognostication.
  But I wonder if some darker truth was revealed by 45’s “prophesy.”  Bannon has made no secret of his dark vision of historical progress as a series of violent upheavals; and is eager to set the next phase in motion by exacerbating global conflict.  He is quite capable of hiring thugs to incite riots in Sweden in order to support his call for an immigration ban. I think 45’s mysterious warning about Sweden was actually another brain fart along the lines of his famous “Russia, if you’re listening” gaff.  45 did indeed have foreknowledge of the riots–just not of the mysterious, prophetic kind.  He knew Bannon had cooked up another pretext for the planned expulsion of immigrants.  This strategy accords with the Yiannopoulos riots in Berkeley where–says Robert Reich— thugs were hired to amplify the Alt Right claims of Liberal intolerance, and justify violence against peaceful protest.  In the context of this twisted form of psychological and spiritual warfare, it is fascinating to consider that Bannon is a follower of that esoteric fascist, Julius Evola.
   It is easy to get lost in this carnival house of mirrors.  The Alt Right exploits the gullibility and myopia of both extremes of the political spectrum in order to realize their goal of global dominance. It helps to appreciate the ambiguous nature of this struggle in order to remove ourselves from the dizzying play of dissembling and projection.  The art of Feng Shui helps us to appreciate the paradoxical nature of today’s reality and, as remedy to political and spiritual malaise, design that golden bridge that Sun Tzu, admonished us to build for our enemy’s retreat.
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The Russian Iago

I used to listen to Thom Hartman in my studio.  I loved listening to his astute, well-articulated arguments as I struggled with canvas and paint.  I especially enjoyed the lunch with Bernie hour.  But I was later dismayed to learn that Thom’s program was funded by the Russian Government—or shall we say—oligarchs?
Through the election until now, I’ve been struck by the propaganda, mendacity and maddening projection, whereby paid trolls exploit gullible viewers and draw them toward extreme positions on both the left and right.
Opposite this approach is the “friend argument,” as when 45–under Bannon’s council–tries to combat his sexist, homophobic image by nominating Gorsuch who, because he has a gay friend, seems sympathetic to LGTBQ community.
Breitbart uses Milo Yiannopoulos similarly.  But rather than appease moderate, gay Republicans with a dog bone, Yiannapoulos’s appeals to young radicals who can be persuaded by his gaudily ambiguous persona to embrace Steve Bannon’s racist agenda.
I am trolled mercilessly on RT threads when I bring up Thom’s questionable relationship with Putin’s main propaganda arm.  The only articulate response I get are the familiar, tedious attacks against the DNC and strenuous denials of Putin/45 collusion.  This concerns me greatly since I still agree with most of Thom’s arguments. But since Putin would not do anything counter to his authoritarian agenda, there must be some payoff for his toleration of Thom’s views.  Putin is a master manipulator who plays plays our differences, as well as our accord, against one another.  He is the Russian Iago.
The trade-off is that while Putin provides a platform for Thom’s well-reasoned rhetoric, Thom delivers an audience of educated hipsters and die-hard Berners to RT; where they see programs like Redacted tonight, that try to mould said, hipster opinions along 3rd party and alt-right lines.  And Putin comes off as open-minded to boot.  This is one way that well-meaning progressives are being played by Putin.
This is not meant to cast aspersions on Thom Hartman, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, or the good intentions of their supporters. But I think it’s a lapse of judgement on Thom’s part.  The trade-off isn’t worth it.
RT trolls call me paranoid and irrelevant but why should Thom Hartman be above criticism?
 Why would Putin invite a progressive, third party candidate like Jill Stein to attend the RT gala dinner alongside Michael Flynn?  Trolls say it is because their authoritarian leader is open to contrary points of view.  What a laugh.
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Trolling–deplorable tactics or Art?

The word “troll” needs qualification–there are many forms. Some are ornery cranks who, at least, honestly represent their true motives. Some are masters, who raise trolling to an art form–SNL’s Fatal Attraction satire is an example–while others are paid by the alt-right to pose as progressives who encourage us to speak against our own self-interest.  Much troll activity is to get us to echo Alt-Right, talking points.

For instance, trolls–under the guise of progressives–encourage members of the resistance to gloat about the murder of a Klansman.  This only validates the extreme, right wing propaganda that claims the left is the hateful, violent party.  This image of the left as violent can be used as pretext to attack protesters.  This is crucial. At this time of escalating tensions, we can practice a compassion and human decency that accords with sound strategy–to say nothing of protecting ourselves and loved ones who participate in peaceful protests.

We need to be wary of the propaganda campaign against the DNC which encourages progressives to smear Elizabeth Warren for her alleged, selling out to establishment Democrats.  According to this line, it is not Russian interference, but she and Hillary who are ultimately responsible for # 45, as well as our current malaise. You see this echoed on the RT affiliated, Ring of Fire and Redacted Today videos.  Since Putin doesn’t allow dissenting opinion–without an ulterior motive–are the rad hosts of R of F being exploited by Putin in his attempt at a global coup?  Or are they willfully parroting his party line?

The ultimate form of control is to compel us to participate in our own subjugation. Putin, from his KGB experience, knows this well. We shouldn’t be stooges, drawn by trolls into dizzying webs of dissembling and projection.  Don’t allow them to frame the dialogue in their own terms.

Actually, there is some truth to progressive intolerance–we are intolerant of the racist and treasonous policies of the 45 gang.

 

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The Alchemy of Bird Poop

The real mystery does not behave mysteriously, but speaks a secret language.

                                                                       –Carl Gustav Jung20160919_101939.jpg

Bird poop is the Prima Materia of the opus, the alpha and omega of the great work of the philosophers.  Transmuted and transfigured by the alchemical fire in the sealed retort of the adepts, the excretions of our winged brethren reveal the grand pageant of creation on the microcosmic scale.  I shall endeavor to elucidate the arcana of avian excrement and thereby elevate my humble office of brush bearer to that of high art; to seek amid the white glyphs that adorn the docks a sign that might illuminate secrets of a hidden world.20160504_183526

 

Bird poop is the mother of all elements, without beginning, existent from all eternity and mixed with the handful of primal earth Adam brought forth from Eden.  It is found always and everywhere.  It contains the Divine presence in the obdurate whiteness of its adamantine– and often goopy–reality.  It is both the beginning and end of the great work, the primal ooze from which the aspirant takes flight into the rarefied spheres of heavenly gnossis.

This post is the first in a series logging my daily circumambulation, bearing the broom of my high office.  The broom is the emblem of adepts, the standard of those who seek the philosopher’s stone among the crustacean beasties that reign over the intertidal zone.

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Tales of the Tot Lot 2

So the land swap was stopped when the City Attorney admonished the Council it was their obligation to compel Parks to abide by the terms of the transfer and honor the restrictions.  The Council then voted unanimously to record a conservation easement which would preserve the Tot Lot in perpetuity.

But then, Val Tollefson moved to delay the recording of the Conservation Easement while an access road was worked out between Laughlin, Parks, and the adjacent, Madison Cottages community. It seems the Madison Cottages folk decide it best to accommodate the access road because if the Wyatt Cottages proposal is not granted, a more intrusive and aesthetically disagreeable development might replace the good work of Cutler/Anderson Architects.

Point well taken, but too smacking of defeatist accommodation for me. And since the good folk of Madison Cottages represent a mere fraction of Park’s-going public, why should they have such disproportionate influence?

We await the announcement of the Wyatt Cottages proposal to the Design Review Board with a mixture of dread and anticipation. Will the concerned parties present accurate information this time around regarding the Declarations of Covenants, Restrictions and Reciprocal Easements–remember those?

This is but a sketch of a convoluted tale of intrigue. There remain such details as the erroneous reports by the County Assessor, a land value increase of nearly 80% the very year the property was transferred to Parks, the “disappearance” of the studio from the assessor’s building report 2 years before it was demolished, the miraculous appearance of a ghostly pole-frame building, mysterious address changes, and specious readings of legal terms.

It seems we are afflicted with a double denial of many troubling aspects of the concurrent Wyatt Cottages and Suzuki developments. On the one hand, the Madison Cottages community–as well as the Friends of Suzuki– sweep the shady history of land transfers to Parks under the rug. On the other, we have the present Council embarrassed by their part in obscuring Parks and the previous Council’s questionable deeds. Add to this HRB’s reluctance to jeprodise Council support by allowing public scrutiny of these sketchy practices, and the tight-lipped, good old boys in the Building Department, and you have a first class cover-up.

All sides of this debate can be said to lack transparency.  We need a fresh and honest perspective on the issues that shape the island’s future. We need tranlate our high ideals of inclusiveness and economic equality into practical solutions while preserving the precious remnants of our natural environment.

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Winslow Heat–Flashback

So I took the Prince Ivan thoroughfare up the hill to the east of town to where Joel had said E.G’s new developments were. It seems a big mall was in the works and EG, with the backing of some Ohio LLC, was building a pharmaceutical emporium and a corgie day care center. There was a broohaha when local poodle lovers had protested this plan as being discriminatory against their chosen breed, and had filed a complaint with the City to that effect. But the mayor, being a member of the Little Siberia corgie society, set them straight on that score, and the permit had fairly sailed over the desk of her brother Vinnie in the planning department.

I turned onto a gravel road that led north into the woods. A white and yellow building notice was spiked on the wide based of an old-growth cedar. I got out and walked down the road until I saw a short old guy with ruddy complexion being led by, what appeared to be, his grand daughter. After a respectful greeting I asked:

“Did you know this parcel is being developed by a mobster?”

I’ve been told, that for a private eye, I exhibit a marked lack of discretion, and this was not lost on his grand daughter who attended his obvious infirmity with touching solicitude. He hobbled, leered at me with a sideways grin, and said in a thick, southern Italian accent:

“That’s good. It will be protection.”

I got back into the Dart, lit a cigarette, and thought it over. All the seemingly casual series of events now funneled into an inevitable vortex in which the alluring image of Lupe flowed with languid abandon in the smoky arabesques of my square.

I suddenly became quite nervous indeed. For here in this lonely stretch of woods, all the crazy, disconnected events that transpired on the rock added up in a most disconcerting manner. It was as if all the paranoid imaginings of my troubled adolescence had come to realization; and the events of the past week had formed into a clear pattern. Most of all, I saw that no interference in the schemes of real estate speculators to realize a tidy profit would be welcome—especially such interference as might be offered by a simple artist like myself who does detective work as a sideline.

I was having, what we used to call, a flashback, and all these horrid imaginings unfixed my hair and made my heart knock frantically against all the studied uses of cool. The line between real and imagined dangers  becomes very sketchy at times, and steadier mugs than myself have found serious trouble in extravagant delusions and a swell dame in a skin-tight, sequined dress. At such moments it behooves a simple gumshoe like myself to breathe deep, take a powder, and intone the sacred mantra: Fuck that.

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The Valley of Elah

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Mochtar

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This is Mochtar.  He was rescued from drowning in Dogfish Bay yesterday by Shane.  He learned a valuable lesson from his ordeal.  don’t perch on kayak launch rollers

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Old Hand’s Indonesian Voyage–part 3

We piled in the skiff and I rowed toward a dilapidated pierhead while McWhirr continued his narration.
“My grandfather also told a darker tale. He said the streets of old Batavia were paved with sorrow, the walls built with the grief of mothers who toiled over an illusory harvest, it’s ramparts manned by desiccated souls who invested all their goods in the virtual fun-house of Mammon.“

We ascended the quay to the cobbled road.  McWhirr’s words had conjured a fantastic image of despair, though, in my green youth, I could scarce fathom the depths of his narration.
McWhirr hailed a bicak.  How this small guy was going to haul us and our seabags in the little tricycle was beyond me. His name was Rubio.  He was a grinning, eager pilot who pedaled like a fiend and navigated Jakarta like some Vasco de Gama of the alleyways.
Rubio brought us to the crumbling, neo-classical facade and we passed through the weathered teak door into the club.  While McWhirr ordered a couple pints I looked around.  A Strawberry Alarm clock tribute band blasted onstage.
Soon McWhirr came with the drinks and said: “Here’s to the Queen.”

I picked up a battered book lying on the table and read:
–And it came to pass that a great swarm of splog descended upon the land and the
soundcloud was darkened with idle slander and empty promises of sensual delights.  Worshippers of the true faith were subjected to the false blandishments of priests and the perfidious purveyors of illusory commerce.  And the once mighty creatives of the realm looked upon their followers and found naught of artistic merit and grew heavy in spirit, seeing therein ought but Jezebelian allurements by comely maids in unseemly attitudes of licentious repose–

“I’m glad I wore my sea-boots,” said McWhirr.
“Listen to this, Captain:”
–And lo, the verminous swarm of splog grew apace, and the goodly scions of the realm gnashed their teeth in anguish, for their earnest, artistic efforts were devoured by the black vultures of Satan. The fat herds of the righteous became but reeking carrion for the voracious appetites of the infidels–
“What fools would steal such windy bombast anyway?” asked McWhirr.
The joint appeared to serve a clientele of wharf-rats and scurvy rum-bots from dilapidated bum-boats.  One smelly clutch of waisters clicked madly at their laptops, their rummy faces aglow in the in the villainous blue light.
“Get this, a real Byron he thinks he is,” said a muscled hulk in a pink tutu.

“Ya really read that BS? “
Asked his mate in a voice  that sounded hollow and grating-like 50 fathoms of hause-fouled chain.
I’d heard of the splog pirates, but thought them mere paranoid tales by rummy tars around the fo’c’sle stove. And now here they were, as big as life, waylaying the earnest efforts of my myself and my literary colleagues like the nefarious ship wreckers luring unwary vessels with false
lights on the storm-wracked coast of Cornwall.

I continued reading:

-The once proud sites of the righteous became barren wastes of vacuous splogs and brazen images of bouncing titties–

“Maybe there is something to it after all,” says McWhirr.

“Aye, Captain. And look what we have now in this rank grog-shop of the internet-a foul lot of brazen cut-throats  who’d just as soon steal your traffic as say how-do-ye-do.”

One such galoot, a skanky brigand with a striped shirt and cutlass, approached the bar next to McWhirr with the slithery movement of a wolf eel saying:

“Eh mates, stand us a pint.”

I hastened to intervene.

“My good sir, may I introduce Saturnius Machirr?”

At this, the miscreant grew pale as an albino beluga and withdrew with an obsequeous bow.

“Most honored to meet you.”

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