Posts Tagged With: faith

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.
Categories: Books I love, Musings, politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.
Categories: Musings, politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mochtar

image

I named him after the Indonesian novelist, Mochtar Lubis.

Categories: collage, Poulsbo | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Valley of Elah

image

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OLd Hand’s Indonesian Voyage part 4–The Wayang Kulit

The party at the table up front drank, yammered in Bahasan, and leered at the floor show.  I noticed a small, greasy guy in a white suit who fondled a carved cane and glanced our way occaisionally with fidgety, bug-eyed intensity.
 In came the gamelan orchestra to set up their fantastic array of gongs, bells and xylophones; chattering away and chain-smoking smoking kreteks like it  was just another day on the job.  They were followed by the shadow puppeteer, a fat guy with a pin mustache who smirked past the gongs like some portly kingpin of the marionette mafia.
The place went dark.  A large, white screen was lit from behind by a single oil lamp.
The gamelan started with flute spiraling upward.  Then, a rising squall of chimes blew into a crescendo of jangling fury and drum – slapped rythyms, before falling again into opaque silence.
A hermit intoned mantric praise to a great, translucent river that fell from the luminous sky onto a shadowed plane of droning sound.  This marked the hallowed place, ancient locus where the pure image of Sita was wrought by artifice in the old kalpa, and now brightly projected upon the smokey nightclub screen for the amusement of arak-swilling hipsters bent on pleasure in all it’s many twisted and pharmaceutically enhanced forms.
Gandarvas sang where two rivers merged their sibilant flow–opposed currents of light and shadow twined in harmonious confluence of gong and bell; genius loci of the sacred earth where the gamelan’s strict measure streams into eternity.
Then, a malignant cloud of darkness loomed and long-taloned Rangda pounded the mountaintop in a gleeful, seismic dance.  Staccato footfalls crossed man’s path with evil, and summoned the grim spectacle of imperialist might. Rama’s sandals held virtual court at the feet of his forsaken throne while the pious were led away shackled, in weeping counterpoint to the slow melodic line.
That hypnotic tempo still rings over the rubber plantations of the archipelago; in a dissonant mode that yet fans the undying Indonesian spirit; as if Rama’s return to his kingly estate mirrored their own tortured story; and Hanuman’s revolutionary, healing energy–born of the very earth of mankind–must ever suffer cyclical defeat and triumph; an ebb and flow whose influences lie beyond the sublunary sphere.
It’s a sacred rite where eternal Vedic wisdom is sold on naked Jakarta streets; a yarn as old as history–as fresh and fleeting as the play of shadow on a backlit screen.
All went dark and the screen was emblazoned by the bold legend: Samsung.
The small, greasy guy in the white suit grabbed his cane and made his way to our table with mincing stride.
“Saturnius McWhirr I presume?”

image

Categories: Old Hand's Indonesian Voyage, Saturnius McWhirr stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Hand’s Indonesian Voyage–episode 1

The bewitching breezes that had vexed our northerly course along the bleak, rocky coast gaveway to an absolute calm as we steamed into Sunda Kelepa Harbour and brought up under the ornate, lofty spires of Jakarta.  It was as though the anchorage were under the spell of somevengeful deity that held the stagnant seaport in irons– a fitful sleep of waking dream.I gazed up at Jakarta’s towers and heard, high on the ramparts, Rama’s  gong-struck plea to deliver a flute-weeping Sita from Ranga’s jangling curse.  A sword held against a blood-red sky by masked Barong tragediennes brought down the threadbare, red curtain in the ritual re- enactment of the primal leave-taking and arrival; when carved gods glared from the bowsprit, holding vigilant watch against marauders while we were moored off the savage isle of dreams.  I too, have sat hungry around those ancestral fires, a villan, hero or common swab, subject to the changeable turns of karmic law..

.“Skip lively, Mister Spencer.”

The resonant voice was hoarse, as if weathered by eternal watches on the Greenland ice, or worn ragged from hurling oaths into the teeth of a gail.  I flaked out 5 fathoms of chain from the locker with hamfisted elegance.

“Nicely done, lad. Ye’ll be a sailor before long.”

McWhirr is a pain in the ass sometimes. He’s a relic of working sail and can be as dark as Ahab in rehab on a bad hair day.  He stood stark against the red sky like a weathered piling on a  rocky cape.  Light flickered through the dark shrouds, his shadow looming on the limp stays’l behind him, as if projected on a movie screen.  The  harrowing passage through the Sunda Strait had frayed my nerves and I groped clumsily the 3/8ths chain from the locker.

“All right, Mister Spencer.”

I let go the anchor. There sounded a low rumble as I paid out 3 fathoms of chain into the muddybottom of Sunda Kelapa Harbour.

“Have you paid out enough scope, lad?”

“I cast the anchor in 6 fath…” I said.

“Avast, Ya greenhorn! You don’t “cast” anchors. This isn’t fly-fishing! My gorge rises at suchlubberly misuse of sailing language.”

His wrath, like a line-squall, subsided as rapidly as it came.

“Did you know that to raise an anchor you must first let it go?”

“That’s true, sir.”

He always makes these pithy pronouncements like they were scripture.  And, for McWhirr the act of sailing is a religious rite. He hails from Zoroastrian, Quaker stock and, for him, a ship is a vessel to carry his weary spirit ascending through the 7 concentric spheres of corporeality to the final landfall of essential being. He has seen the beatific vision reflected on the sea’s mirror and it draws him ever northward in search of the true face of divinity behind the mask of appearance.

Categories: Old Hand's Indonesian Voyage, Saturnius McWhirr stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TOWER–Old drawing reworked

image

Categories: collage, Paintings in Progress | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving out

image

Categories: collage, Paintings in Progress | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Spring Poem

image

Categories: poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dump run by Barge

image

Categories: collage, Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

Marina Kanavaki

Art Towards a Happy Day

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

Writings By Ender

The Writer's Adventure

Logical Quotes

Logical and Inspirational Quotes

Sideways Angel: Heather Keyser's Perspective

Drawing my truth and writing what burns.

Dr. Stein's Photographic Establishment

Photographic Life In The Little Studio

Linda Beach

Artist and Teacher

jill millward artwork

blogging and oil painting about my daily adventures in art & life...come follow along!

J.J. Adamson

Character-driven epic fantasy

Blueangelwolf

WORDS OF POETRY FROM UNDER A HAT

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

Old Road Apples

A Magnificent Fountain of Gurgling Wit, Wisdom, and Intriguing Insights. Some Other Stuff, Too.

Metaphysical Reflections

Exploring philosophical, psychological and spiritual concepts & ideas with a view to illuminating the mind.

rangdrol's Blog

open space - luminous clear - empty mind

alchemyparusha

parusha777@yahoo.com

Early Modern at the Beinecke

Early modern British and European collections of Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library