By Brian George
A while back, I posted an essay on Reality Sandwich called "Habits of the Heart." I have assembled an essay out of some of the comments from the forum, which I have been in the process of revising. (Comments to me are as orignally written--my own comments have been expanded and revised.) Over the next few weeks, I will be posting the nine sections of this essay. Here is the first part:
And in this sense, I say, the world was before the Creation, and at an end before it had a beginning; and thus was I dead before I was alive, though my grave be England, my dying place was Paradise, and Eve miscarried of me before she conceived of Cain.”—Thomas Browne, from “Religio Medici,” 1643
The Enigma of the Labyrinth; Any Wrong Turn is Correct
In your comment entitled “Culture Cage”, you wrote, “Crazy crossed wires frizzing miles and miles of toxic channels carved through your synapses through long fermentation. Language is black magic and the double edged sword. Please only take it out of the sheath to reflect light into the dark not to hack away at gifts placed around you. Mr. McKenna stated ‘culture is not your friend.’ He wasn’t wrong. Are you wearing clothes or are you the clothes?...Truths are only evident in the pit of the stomach or the centre of the chest. Plant vegetables or create your thing and chuck away the television or magazine.”
I do believe that we—as the collective embodiment of the vision on which this country was founded—have reached an impasse, but it is an impasse only in terms of our own level of understanding. All of my work is premised on the assumption that the universe coheres in a state of multidimensional perfection; it cannot be broken. This, of course, presents us with a paradox, since Time would appear to break all things. Without being “broken” the Primordial Male/Female Body cannot act or reproduce, and creation would remain a hermetically sealed dream.
You speak of a “double edge sword,” and in this intuition you are correct: The energy of the trickster is never far from my thoughts, and a love of paradox is at the heart of my creative method. When faced with mutually impossible alternatives, the mind can jump to a different level of connection. Ends and beginnings are not necessarily different. When the “common wisdom” is a euphemism for oligarchic propaganda, and our habitual modes of interpretation do not really explain a thing, then perhaps we would do well to approach each fact or phenomenon as a koan. The Monk Mayo asked this question of the Sixth Patriarch: "What is Zen?" The Patriarch answered, "When your mind is not dwelling on the dualism of good and evil, what is your original face before you were born?" This would suggest that real knowledge cannot be reached by a process of addition; instead, it has to do with the removal of all irrelevant objects in the foreground.
Let us say that some ancient trauma has blocked access to the Macrocosm: Our instinct is to run from the event, which, with each step that we take, gets closer. Glass towers are built on the emptiness that is left when indigenous tribes—with most but not all of their oral literature—are erased. YHVH is pleased, as is Calvin—the stone god of psychopaths.
Yet there is no starting over. Fear has turned us into victims, and a near-death experience could not come soon enough. A sword, in the end, is intended to destroy, and thus to liberate the energy that has been trapped within a form, but it is up to us as to whether this will lead to discrimination. I envision a perfect sword strike, in which each head will be split open from the crown to the pineal gland, and that out of this will rise our perception—now direct—of the sphere whose center is as large as its circumference.
(Illustration: Leonora Carrington,