samedi 23 septembre 2017
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
Once the demands of hunger are satisfied (and they are soon satisfied), then the vanity, the need - for it is a need - to make an impression and survive in others comes to the fore. Man tends to hand over his life for his purse, but he hands over his purse for his vanity. He is vain, for want of something better, even of his debilities or deficiencies, and is like a child who struts about with a bandaged finger in order to be noticed. And what is vanity but the longing to survive? The vainglorious man is in the same situation as the miser, who takes the means for the ends, and, forgetting the latter, pursues the means as an end, and goes no farther. Seeming-to-be, en route to being, finally forms our purpose. We need to have others believe we are superior to them in order to believe the same thing ourselves and to base upon this belief our faith in our own survival, or at least the survival of our fame.
Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations
Dances Sacred and Profane
For many years bodymod and piercing fans have been asking for copies of this classic feature length documentary film first released in 1986. Now after twenty years in the dark, Dances Sacred & Profane is back in circulation in a digitally remastered DVD with extra bonus material. See Jim Ward and Fakir doing the Sun Dance and O-Kee-Pa suspension rituals in Wyoming. See Fakir bearing the Kavadi. See Charles Gatewood's explorations of early "underground" societies and cults.
Dances Sacred and Profane: Fakir Musafar documentary (1985) -
At its most elemental level the human organism, like crawling life, has a mouth, digestive tract, and anus, a skin to keep it intact, and appendages with which to acquire food. Existence, for all organismic life, is a constant struggle to feed–a struggle to incorporate whatever other organisms they can fit into their mouths and press down their gullets without choking. Seen in these stark terms, life on this planet is a gory spectacle, a science-fiction nightmare in which digestive tracts fitted with teeth at one end are tearing away at whatever flesh they can reach, and at the other end are piling up the fuming waste excrement as they move along in search of more flesh.
It doesn’t matter whether the cultural hero-system is frankly magical, religious, and primitive or secular, scientific, and civilized. It is still a mythical hero-system in which people serve in order to earn a feeling of primary value, of cosmic specialness, of ultimate usefulness to creation, of unshakable meaning. They earn this feeling by carving out a place in nature, by building an edifice that reflects human value: a temple, a cathedral, a totem pole, a skyscraper, a family that spans three generations. The hope and belief is that the things that man creates in society are of lasting worth and meaning, that they outlive or outshine death and decay, that man and his products count. When Norman O. Brown said that Western society since Newton, no matter how scientific or secular it claims to be, is still as "religious” as any other, this is what he meant: “civilized” society is a hopeful belief and protest that science, money and goods make man count for more than any other animal. In this sense everything that man does is religious and heroic, and yet in danger of being fictitious and fallible.
Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
vendredi 22 septembre 2017
jeudi 21 septembre 2017
That's why I want to speak to you now.
To say: no person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors. (I make up this strange, angry packet for you, threaded with love.)
I think you thought there was no such place for you, and perhaps there was none then, and perhaps there is none now; but we will have to make it, we who want an end to suffering, who want to change the laws of history, if we are not to give ourselves away.”
Adrienne Rich, Sources
mardi 19 septembre 2017
What gives life meaning is a form of rebellion, rebellion against reason, an insistence on believing passionately what we cannot believe rationally. The meaning of life is to be found in passion - romantic passion, religious passion, passion for work and for play, passionate commitments in the face of what reason knows to be meaningless.
Robert C. Solomon
A Poet's Advice
by E.E. Cummings
by E.E. Cummings
A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feeling through words.
This may sound easy. It isn't.
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel - but that's thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling - not knowing or believing or thinking.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.
To be nobody-but-yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn't a poet can possibly imagine. Why?
Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time - and whenever we do it, we are not poets.
If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you've written one line of one poem, you'll be very lucky indeed.
And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world - unless you're not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.
Does this sound dismal? It isn't.
It's the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.