Empty Days

Thursday, October 21, 2004



Crap onto gold.

I have a curious predilection for unpleasant discussions. That is: the kind of opinions that express the worst in all of us. These may be expressed stupidly or intelligently, either way it doesn't change their unpleasant nature. Perhaps I simply have a predilection for honesty.

*

In the very midst of triumphant paradise a cesspool is growing - full of things unsaid yet lived and felt. The inevitable, fatal error of all temporal paradises is the famous putting of a lead on the cesspool of all things human. In a society bent on goodness and non-violence, violence and badness become desirable - the steam-engine of civilization propelled by strange boilings.

*

In the common parlance this sort of talk is designated as provokative. I wonder - what does it "provoke"? Oh yes of course - the worst in all of us. It is believed that unless badness is provoked out of its slumber, it doesn't arise. It is also believed that the less is said about the Devil, the less He exists. Etc etc. My observations show a different picture: badness does not slumber, it lives and manifests no matter how inarticulately. As well, the Devil is not a solipsistic creation. Of course the lead that is put on etc is the word "badness" itself. We're talking a system of values as applied to "what is". However - what is goes well beyond any sort of morality: beyond and under and in all the cracks and holes.

Practical application: I live in a world where racism and related discrimination are forbidden both by common law and politeness (or social morals), yet I observe it every day both in myself and in all the disparate others around me. Should I simply disregard what is and say no more? Hardly.

*

Therefore discussing "what is" can only be provokative - if it is not, this is a clear sign that the discussion revolves not about what is but rather about "what should be". Which is the morally correct talk par excellence. The brilliant invention of political correctness transformed our all-too-human universe into a universe of moral discourse. An ideal reality that does not exist - if only in the talking minds at large.

Meantime the cesspool is growing - unacknowledge, forbidden, auto-censured, denied, unsaid, untought, unseen and unseemly. Rampant. Uninvited. Hopelessly real.

*

This is not a new historical phenomenon - it is a very old and boring and perfectly familiar phenomenon. In fact it is so repetitive in history that we all know by heart how it will go from here: first the cesspool will grow out of hand, then it will emit poisonous gases and contaminate all air in the hood, and then some fool will spark a match somewhere nearby and the whole thing gonna blow...

*

The practical value of provokative, unpleasant discourse does not really consist in the attribute of "honesty" - it consists in taking the lead off the cesspool and letting some of the steam out. It's a natural urge - and it is *not* rational.

What I want to hear: everything that I rather not think about.




Nexus.

Seeing the direction that are taking the newest and freshest (and thus so far "marginal") intellectual movements both in Europe and North America, I am tempted to predict that the focal point of this XXI century in the whole of the West will be a massive, triumphant, sweeping return to reactionary ideologies and regimes currently condemned as "fascist". The evil that was thought to have been vanquished and laid to rest is in us - and it wants out real bad.

As with all the holiest taboos, this taboo will grow into a new tree of hate and envy looking up to the stars, shining like a star. Jacques Derrida is really dead - and not only.

*

I thought Houellebecq was a proto-fascist, no matter how reluctant. What worries me is that I share his impetus. What worries me even more is that I am not alone - reluctantly and implacably so - Jung with his collective unconscious and his "shadow" does come to mind.

Are you ready for the new Fleurs du Mal yet?

The ultimate paradox is that those countries and nations currently at the forefront of "democracy" are the most likely candidates for the backlash on the inside. Already quotation marks are in order. All those shadow-like "generation X" and "generation I" and how many more such to come? There is a gaping void and a rot happening all over the place - yet undiscovered in all its putrid splendor but all too palpable still - and I am not talking about "fascists". The habitual transmutation of values is waiting to occur - familiar words will change their meaning, imperceptibly - the scale of good and evil is always on the side of the righteous. This willingness to speak the anti-language is too great and one day the mask of sanctified goodness will fall off because the face under it would have rotten away.

Mark my word.

*

Whatever historical circumstances will prevail. What I know for sure is that ideas are never born in vain and determine outcomes, sooner or later. I can never understand circumstances - but it is enough to see what is being thought - and perhaps also why this rather than that.

*

The revolt against humanist ideals, degenerated into nothingness. Humanism is like a pillow - to rest your head on - the old familiar comfy pillow in your parental home - and the bad boys want to tear it apart. Or maybe sleep is not enough anymore? Or perhaps the pillow has been icreasingly used for gagging purposes? :-0

Tuesday, October 19, 2004



Autopsy.


A series of photos of an actual autopsy in some russian morgue numbered vskr01.gif to vskr20.gif without links and shot on a really bad film. Bound to disappear soon, I figure.

The endlessly fascinating memento mori - up to a point.

Monday, October 18, 2004



Anatomy of will - fourty days in the desert.

Even in the legends of savages we find the same thing universal; somebody who is nobody in particular goes away for a longer or shorter period, and comes back as the "great medicine man"; but nobody ever knows exactly what happened to him.

Making every possible deduction for fable and myth, we get this one coincidence. A nobody goes away, and comes back a somebody. This is not to be explained in any of the ordinary ways.

*

"To sum up," we assert a secret source of energy which explains the phenomenon of Genius.



Aleister Crowley, Book IV, part I




Anatomy of will - the perfect stroke.

At certain times you will feel as if there were a contest between the will and the mind; at other times you may feel as if they were in harmony; but there is a third state, to be distinguished from the latter feeling. It is the certain sign of near success, the view-halloo. This is when the mind runs naturally towards the object chosen, not as if in obedience to the will of the owner of the mind, but as if directed by nothing at all, or by something impersonal; as if it were falling by its own weight, and not being pushed down.

Almost always, the moment that one becomes conscious of this, it stops; and the dreary old struggle between the cowboy will and the buckjumper mind begins again.

Like every other physiological process, consciousness of it implies disorder or disease.

In analysing the nature of this work of controlling the mind, the student will appreciate without trouble the fact that two things are involved -- the person seeing and the thing seen -- the person knowing and the thing known; and he will come to regard this as the necessary condition of all consciousness. We are too accustomed to assume to be facts things about which we have no real right even to guess. We assume, for example, that the unconscious is the torpid; and yet nothing is more certain than that bodily organs which are functioning well do so in silence. The best sleep is dreamless. Even in the case of games of skill our very best strokes are followed by the thought, "I don't know how I did it;" and we cannot repeat those strokes at will. The moment we begin to think consciously about a stroke we get "nervous," and are lost.

In fact, there are three main classes of stroke; the bad stroke, which we associate, and rightly, with wandering attention; the good stroke which we associate, and rightly, with fixed attention; and the perfect stroke, which we do not understand, but which is really caused by the habit of fixity of attention having become independent of the will, and thus enabled to act freely of its own accord.


Aleister Crowley, Book IV, part I




Anatomy of will - the invisible hat.

In any case, the mass of mankind is always ready to be swayed by anything thus authoritative and distinct. History is full of stories of officers who have walked unarmed up to a mutinous regiment, and disarmed them by the mere force of confidence. The power of the orator over the mob is well known. It is, probably, for this reason that the prophet has been able to constrain mankind to obey his law. It never occurs to him that any one can do otherwise. In practical life one can walk past any guardian, such as a sentry or ticket-collector, if one can really act so that the man is somehow persuaded that you have a right to pass unchallenged.

This power, by the way, is what has been described by magicians as the power of invisibility. Somebody or other has an excellent story of four quite reliable men who were on the look-out for a murderer, and had instructions to let no one pass, and who all swore subsequently in presence of the dead body that no one had passed. None of them had seen the postman.

The thieves who stole the "Gioconda" from the Louvre were probably disguised as workmen, and stole the picture under the very eye of the guardian; very likely got him to help them.

It is only necessary to believe that a thing must be to bring it about. This belief must not be an emotional or an intellectual one. It resides in a deeper portion of the mind, yet a portion not so deep but that most men, probably all successful men, will understand these words, having experience of their own with which they can compare it.


Aleister Crowley, Book IV, part I

Curiously enough, Ludwig Wittgenstein arrived at the same conclusions in his book On Certainty: unlike most philosophers of logic he was enough of a psychologist to figure out that certainty is not based on reason. Haha!

Sunday, October 17, 2004



Pollock.

Ed Harris made a film where he impersonated the american painter Jackson Pollock. I do not much care for his art, but the whole idea of what a strange thing it is to be a painter is the real point of the film - the idea itself is not about painting but rather about what people are made of and why they do what they do. The supposed uselessness of art strips this whole question to the bone. It is only seemingly less meaningless to be a lawyer than a painter - and in that sense this film is also about the illusion of meaning, or maybe what meaning really consists of.

To supplement the film comes this quote from Aleister Crowley, another odd character:

It is also desirable before beginning a formal meal to go through the following dialogue: Knock 3-5-3: say, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." The person at the other end of the table replies: "What is thy Will?" You: "It is my Will to eat and drink." He: "To what end?" You: "That my body may be fortified thereby." He: "To what end?" You: "That I may accomplish the Great Work." He: "Love is the law, love under will." You, with a single knock: "Fall to." When alone make a monologue of it: thus, Knock 3-5-3. Do what, etc. It is my Will to, etc., that my body, etc., that I may, etc., Love is, etc. Knock: and begin to eat.

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of performing these small ceremonies regularly, and being as nearly accurate as possible with regard to the times. You must not mind stopping in the middle of a crowded thoroughfare - lorries or no lorries - and saying the Adorations; and you must not mind snubbing your guest - or your host - if he or she should prove ignorant of his or her share of the dialogue. It is perhaps because these matters are so petty and trivial in appearance that they afford so excellent a training. They teach you concentration, mindfulness, moral and social courage, and a host of other virtues.


Lorries or no lorries.




Wolfhook.


Left: Wolfsangel as SS insignia meaning defense or wolf's ferocity. Center: XVIIIc border-stone in wooded area picturing tool used to hunt wolves as protection symbol. Right: medieval magical rune against harmful influences or for binding magic power.





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