Friday, June 25, 2010

death as we know it

death as we know it was invented around 50,000 years b.c.e., more or less. its impossible to determine and this writer has deliberately selected a round number. feel free to correct me. t’was in europa, around that time, according to the archeological record, people started burying their dead. and more than just sticking uncle hans in a hole and covering him up, they started placing the dead in the ground in a specific position, the foetal position, and more often than not with the head aimed in a specific direction, east, the direction of the rising sun, the dawn, the birth of a new day. and they started to place gear in the graves: tools, weapons, ornaments, clay pots containing foodstuffs, flowers. those neandertals didn’t have piles of extra resources to just go flinging useful items into graves. they buried their dead with items of great value and the best, if not the only, logical reason for this kind of behavior is that they believed in some kind of life beyond the terrestrial one. that’s death as we know it: death with at least the possibility of something beyond.*
there are two things happening with these graves. one is the foetal position, the other is the grave gear. it wouldn’t be too awfully hard for neandertals to figure out the positioning of a baby in the womb. they certainly knew what they were doing and it sure seems logical to assume that what they were doing was placing the dead body in the earth in the same pose as a baby in the womb to symbolize or facilitate the rebirth of some aspect of the deceased. whether they believed the dead would be reborn in this world or some other, we cannot know. but rebirth of some kind: in the belly of the earth and oriented toward the sun. the grave gear implies a journey to be taken. down to hel and across the river styx or to the happy hunting ground or something of that sort. some life beyond.
and at about the same time, on the other side of eurasia, on the island now called hokkaido, the ancestors of the ainu started shrining the skulls of cave bears. and these two events make sense when the distance betwixt them is put aside and that’s not hard to do. people were travelling back in them days and exchanging ideas. technological advances made their way slowly across the populated continents and ideas surely went with them. the idea of a life beyond the obvious one may have arisen in different ways in different places or it may have been carried along with new and better ways to knap spearheads and come to its physical manifestation in different ways in different places. its likely that there are graves yet undiscovered that predate the ones in europa or that they once existed but have been erased by time. either way, the formula goes something along these lines: we exist in some form after our bodies have perished; the animals that we kill for food must also continue to exist in some form.
that is big shit. that is some major conceptualizin’ that gives the lie to the idea that cavemens was a buncha grunting dummies. the cave bear shrines in northern japan, furthermore, point toward an idea common to the hunting peoples of north america, who, by the way, passed near if not thru ainu territory on their way to the bering strait landbridge a few thousand years after the beginning of the cave bear shrining, which has to do with a covenant between the people and the animals the people depend on for food. people are lousy animals, remember, so the idea goes that the game animals give themselves voluntarily to the hunter who is worthy of such a sacrifice in order that the people may survive. in exchange for this self-sacrifice, the people perform some sort of ritual. in north america, among the buffalo-hunting plains indians tribes, this generally took the form of a “buffalo dance” which ensured that the spirits of the buffalo killed this year would be reborn next year. the people get meat; the buffalo get renewed youth, again and again and so on and so on, until whitey showed up. the ainu ritual of the cave bear differed in detail, but the gyst of it was the same and that continued on up into modern times, also gradually fading, or being deliberately forced, to almost non-existence with the invasion of civilized people, in this case the japanese. both traditions yet live. both show a reverence for life and for the creator of life that reveals the token saying of grace before tearing into a factory-farmed, cruelly-kept, mechanically-slaughtered chicken or pig for the disgrace it is, in my opinion, which is the only one i have any real interest in putting forth, truth be told.
once people got the idea in their heads that some aspect of an individual continued to exist in some form after the death of the body, they kept it there. evidence exists of some deliberate care being taken to preserve the dead, or prepare them for rebirth or for some kind of journey all down thru the ages. shrines to animals, same thing. sacrifices? oh yeh. o’ coss, sacrifices are of an altogether different nature, becos a sacrifice involves a deliberate killing, but the fact of a sacrifice implies the belief in another world or it isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a homicide. so the concept of an other world to which some aspect of an individual human or animal goes after the death of the body is 50,000 years old, +/-. domestication of the dog appears around 30,000 b.c.e. the wheel wasn’t invented until 10,000 b.c.e. and i’m being generous with that one.
what’s on the other side? that question has been addressed in many different ways by different peoples at different times and i’ve no plan to start listing them here and/or now. that’ll come up as it does. all i’m trying to get into at this point is the long-standing, world-wide recognition of some sort of continuation of some aspect of the individual beyond or after the death of the body and i think i’ve made that case adequately enough to be able to skip to the quick: all differing details aside, the one thing that is universally on the other side of death is the ultimate. the heavens, the hells, nirvana, all that stuff happens on the other side. what happens in this world is the time/space bounded business of this world, which includes the seeking of or participation in or relating to the spiritual realm in some way, shape or form, but which is still the business of this world. the buddha woke up in this world, but he didn’t dissolve into the blissful void of nirvana until after he died of food poisoning. jesus was the son of god but he could hardly conquer death without first dying. the ultimate ain’t here. its over there. we’ll be over there soon enough, but for now we’re here. and once we’re over there we won’t need the bhagavad gita becos we’ll be staring krishna full in the faces or maybe the baptists are right and boy howdy, won’t we feel sorry for ourselves if that turns out to be the case, but pretty much however ya cut it, myths are about living not about being dead.
i would like to stress this becos one of the most common misperceptions about myth is that its about where you go when you die. myth is not about where you go when you die. myth is about living life. myth is about living a full, honest, unique, genuine, real life. there is no other you. there is no one else who can be what you can be. your life is yours, for god’s sake. forget about death for a minute** and focus on life and ask yourself if you want it to be full and honest and unique and genuine and real. if the answer is “no” then go watch t.v. or go shopping or go fuck yerself for all i care. if the answer is “yes”, then i’ve got good news: that’s what myth is about. see, its hard to figure out how to get that life. its easy to get sidetracked and diverted and think you got it when really you’re just shuffling along with the rest of the flock, getting fleeced and finally slaughtered. or to believe the advertising. never believe advertising. the genuine life is not easy and there are no myths that i know of that pretend it is, tho’ i may’ve missed some. the genuine life is damn hard to find and harder still to stick with, but it is genuine. and it is better than the alternative.
the alternative, in case you were wondering, involves selling your soul to the devil***.

*some atheists will argue that there is no possibility of life beyond death. these people may be, can be and should be, ignored. they make their claim after the possibility has long been acknowledged, as opposed to homo sapiens neanderthalensis, who was breaking new ground. and furthermore, atheists love to claim science as support for their negativity. well, pal, the scientific method leans on proofs and the existence of an afterlife or spirit world or deit(y/ies) or devas or any of that esoterica can be neither proved nor disproved according to any creditable experiment so the best that science can do is throw up its collective hands and say “we don’t know”, which is fine and good. religion oughtn’t be in the science business either. the earth is round. that’s a fact. the earth is a goddess. that’s a myth. you tell me how the earth functions and i’ll tell you what the myth means, deal?
**death is important, in its own way. i’m not saying throw it out the window. i am saying its coming no matter what so there’s no need to get worked up over it. one of the 10,000 paradoxes is that if you focus on life instead of death, death becomes no big thing. death, whether its your own or someone else’s, becomes just another seasonal change, just another transition. its worth thinking about from time to time, but to spend too much time on it is inappropriate.
***this is a point that i will be dealing with ad nauseum as we go along, being, as it is, a reoccurring motif in the revelent materielle.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"ligio" is latin

“ligio” is latin and it means “connect” or “join” or “bind”, so “religion” is about reconnecting things. things which once was one & which have been split apart and now wont to be back together. on the one side of the equation there is the individual. you and me and every one else, alone and apart and individuated whether you like it or not and on the other side there are four things: society, nature, ultimate and self. this here will be a very brief sketchy introduction with some very little backstory on these four. i aim to be writing about them, separately and in combos, in much greater lengthiness later on.


human beings are pretty piss-poor animals. we ain’t got claws or wings or shells or teeth big enough to bring down antelopes or bison and we can’t even run very fast. some myths explain this by making us the last creatures to be made, the sweepings of the parts, the leftovers. all the good stuff was already used up. then the gods felt sorry for us and gave us big brains, or some titan or animal stole fire and gave it to the first people or somethin’ and the fire then became the center of the group and it was this grouping that allowed humans to survive. one bald, bipedal on the savannah wasn’t ever gonna last long but a group could manage to make a living. we were social animals from the beginning and so there had to be some kinda organization, some kinda process for resolving disputes and making it possible for people to get along without killing the shit out of each other the first time heads butted or somebody stepped on somebody’s ped. we have no friggin’ idea what it was, o’ coss, ‘cos our dumb, dim, dull-witted, prehistoric forebears didn’t write anything down but those slouch-shouldered, grunting meatheads managed to make it for 95% of the time that homo sapiens have been around so they had something. agriculture and the rise of settled communities led to the development of writing only five short millennia ago, so from then to now we know the rules of societies and they’re pretty much basically the same all over the world. “don’t kill each other”, “don’t steal”, that kinda common sensical shit. most cultures made up some kinda marriage arrangement to keep people from killing over fucking; some just said “fuck whoever ya want…except yer siblings, no matter how attractive they might be”. that one about fucking yr close kin, yeah, that’s pretty much all over.
that’s society. and that puts the individual in the position of having to get along with or at least tolerate a bunch of people who have their own agendas and their own wants and desires which may be at odds with those of any given individual at any given time which brings us back around to the need for structure and then furthermore for the need to make these people want to be around each other, bound together, connected. the survival of the group depends on this. and society is of the male. and this is not about genitalia – its about energies and there are/was reasons for it, some of which is/were symbolic whilst others flat-out am/be practical and that’s the way we have it. it ain’t about gender roles or relations at this point, tho’ this writer does intend to deal with those issues at another time/space.
society is of the male energy. the structure of society is given to the people by the male deity or determined/discovered by the male culture hero. religion, in general, is a social institution, tho’ it deals with all levels, and the functionaries of religion are typically guys and the rites deal more with men’s needs than with women’s. this has a lot to do with the fact that females are associated with nature and men with society which will be touched on in the section to follow and it also has somewhat to do with the fact that a buncha guys sitting around smokin’ cigars and figgerin’ out how to organize the rituals are just gonna work it that way. and then again there’s a lot we don’t know becos when anthropology was invented, ca. 1869, the first people who took it up were over-educated, unemployed second-sons from boston, ma, who went out west to annoy the red injuns and only talked to the men, assuming that the women didn’t know anything. so we missed out on some stuff there.
at any rate, the rituals of the mass, the bacchanal, the dance, the oke-kee-pa, &c, all group rituals, serve the purpose of joining the individuals together, of making them feel connected and interconnected and related and bound. go ahead, try it on: get naked with a bunch of people, chant and dance around an alter with venomous asps for a few hours, see how ya feel about those folks.


the four categories i laid out ain’t arbitrary and nor are they writ in stone. there’s some crossing over and to ‘n’ fro. the relationship of humans to nature goes back to that business about people just not being very good animals. the natural world is all big and scary and full of things that want to eat us and that don’t want to be eaten by us. and there’s flashing lights and boomy-boom in the sky and rain and snow and dark of night. and you can’t get away from it becos the earth hasn’t been pounded yet. that’s an image from a myth, but right now i don’t remember what culture or continent or anything. some tribe somewhere had that in their creation story, that the creator told the first person to “pound the earth” which means to make it fit for humans to live on. it’s a pretty common idea. at the time of creation, the earth wasn’t right for people. it was chaos, which means, for our purposes, it wasn’t right for people. it was all water or there were monsters or titans or giants. sometimes it’s a god who kills a giant and makes the world out of the pieces of the giant’s body. sometimes the animals have to dive into the abyss and bring back some mud to make land out of. sometimes the first person or people have to go around killing monsters and in the process they usually create certain landmarks. sometimes its just a matter of naming the animals. that’s all about making order out of chaos. nature is chaotic. nature is of the female.
and again, this ain’t about gender. its about energies and archetypes. this writer intends to talk about gender at another time, becos it is an issue which needs some address, but for this moment the subject is the past and how things have been, so let’s just leave that other thing be for a bit, but the past stuff kind of is about gender in a way becos religion is of the male and the forms of religion, including the underlying myths, were mostly dreamed by the men so they’re slanted that way. from the male perspective, women are fuckin’ weird. they have vaginas. the vaginas bleed sometimes. blood is associated with death. but then babies come out of the vaginas too so the vaginas are obviously some powerful juju that nobody really understands or maybe the women do, but the men are off smokin’ cigars pretendin’ to be huntin’ saber-toothed rhinoceroses or something so they ain’t asking. but the vaginas are pretty scary mojo and at the same time pretty irresistible. the vaginas have power.
the women, of course, figgered out the connection betwixt fuckin’ and babies before the men did. they felt the changes in their bodies and they either let on right away or not, nobody knows and i’m totally free-stylin’ here becos nobody knows what went down at this point in prehistory. we’re talkin’ about 50,000 years b.c.e. here. god only knows. and she ain’t tellin’.
so the natural world don’t make a lick o’ sense, but we depend on it for everything. women are about the same, ergo women are nature and here we are smokin’ cigars and inventing society. and it continued to make sense all along, really, this assignment of the genders to society and nature, so it lasted. that’s a thing to be remembered about myth: it has lasted. people who are struggling to survive from one day to the next don’t spend a lot of energy on shit that has no value. they can’t afford to. and myth and religion have been around in some form or another for about 50,000 years, which is a long time, longer than homo sapiens have had the second sapiens, which means longer than we’ve existed in our current form and that’s something else we’ll get into at another time..
initiation rituals mostly have to do with turning the boys into men. something has to happen to the boys, something has to be done to them and it has to be done by the older men and it has to be a big fuckin’ deal. like being taken out into the scary, dark night and starved and beat around and kept awake for a week or two, dancing and chanting and then being circumcised with a jagged rock or, holy shit, subincised with a sharp chicken bone and having a tooth knocked out becos the first person got a tooth knocked out in a fight with a monster or something and then tattooed with a stick and so on and that’s some shit you don’t forget. you go thru that when you’re twelve and you’re a man, goddammit. none of this shit of getting to be about fifty and suddenly leaving your wife for your daughter’s roommate and growing a little ponytail, driving around in a sports car pretending you’re a kid agin, fuck no. you have been transformed into a man and you take your place in the men’s realm and there you are.
the girls don’t have to go thru all that. mostly. there are exceptions, but most of the time the girls get their menses and that’s it. off you go to the women’s hut, hon, and think about it some. girls become women automatically, from within and nothing has to be done to them. they start to bleed outta their vaginas and then they go thru the long trial of pregnancy and the bringing forth of the young’uns, which is a dangerous business and much more so back in the day so the polarity becomes something like:

women are/men do.

and that’s the nature/society split. nature is. just look around (not now, but back in the day). society has to be made. go out to the woods if you can find some and look around. its all higgledy-piggledy, chaotic and there’s no straight lines or anything. we know now that there’s a vast and complex system of mutually supporting, interdependent, harmoniousness going on, but it don’t look that way at first and if people are gonna live comfortably in it, there’s gonna have to be some changes made: knock down some trees, make a log cabin, clear a plot for corn and taters and a bit o’ terbaccy…fix it up nice. nature is, society has to be made. and what you lose in the process is the tenuous connection you had to the big scary natural world in the first place, which, scary tho’ it was, was also a connection and let’s not forget that nature is fuckin’ beautiful and our long-armed, thick-browed, stubby little ancestors musta seen that. they had big brains, after all and when ya get up to the time of the great cave paintings at lascaux or trois frères, it becomes pretty fuggin’ obvious they had a keen eye for beauty and those gorgeous bison and horses and gazelles weren’t first drafts. human hands had been crafting works of art for a good long time that just didn’t make it down thru the ages.
irresistible, beautiful, powerful, unpredictable, hostile…yeh, that’s women, alright. but women live in society, so they’ve lost the connection with nature, too. and society happens within nature. nature is bigger and older so the myths always start with the female energy. its frequently hidden, but its there, even when the mythmakers tried to have it not be: the chaos, remember? the chaos that existed before creation. that’s female energy. and sometimes you really don’t have to dig at all, its just blatant, like with the cow licking the salty hoarfrost and revealing the body of the sleeping giant, ymir, or vishnu sleeping on the belly of shesha naga, floating on the cosmic water – the cow and the water, whaddaya think they are?
so there’s nature, mother nature. and how do we relate to that reality? depends on what myths you look at, but all myth systems answer it in some way or another.


the ultimate is ultimately ultimate and therefore can’t be written about or talked about. the ultimate is transcendent of words becos any/all words or terms or turns of phrases are limit(ed/ing) and so can’t touch it. the ultimate is unknowable. at this point, someone who has been following along might say that “unknowable” is one side of a pair of opposites, being equally balanced by “knowable”, but that person would be wrong. the knowable can be divided into two categories: that which is knowable and known and that which is knowable, but not known, or “known/unknown”. the unknowable can’t be so divided. it is a whole unto itself.
within hinduism, the ultimate is called “brahman”. brahman is not a god. brahman is that of which the gods are personalizations. people like to have something to wrap their heads around, something that they can visualize and think about and its pretty dang hard to think about something which by definition can’t be thought about so there are the gods, vishnu, kali, shiva, ganash, durga, indra and indefinitely on thru the entire freakin’ cavalcade of the hindu pantheon, all and every one of them understood to be personifications of the unity of brahman. all that is and was and will be is and was and will be an aspect of brahman and can be recognized as such, but the totality of brahman can never be conceived of. that’s some heavy shit right there.
many native american peoples had and have a similar concept. this writer’s favorite of these happens to be that of the lakota: wakan tanka. “wakan” means “holy” or “sacred”. all things are “wakan”, but some things show it more clearly or have more of it and it can’t really be understood. “tanka” means “ultimate” or something very like that. so “wakan tanka” is “the ultimate sacred holy powerful mysterious thing”, which is dead-on. that’s just what it is. wakan tanka may be directly addressed in a way that brahman wouldn’t be, but the lakota know that when they do so they are addressing only an aspect of the greatest mystery, not the totality.
then you run into the monotheisms. well, really, then you run into yahweh. there may be some zoroastrians still around someplace but they’re not exactly major players on the world stage at this stage of the game. yahweh famously stated that he was and is and will be the only god and that all others are devils and somehow there are no less than three different religions that claim to be his: judaism, christianity and islam and coincidentally enough, these are the same three that have histories of bloodshed and violence. there has never been a buddhist crusade. various hindu countries have made war, but those were wars of conquest or capital gain and that’s very much a different thing. no hindu holy wars. that digression having now run its course, there is, within the context of judaism and therefore within christianity and islam, judaism’s children if you will, the idea of the “godhead”, which refers to the unknowable aspect of god as opposed to his knowable aspect which is revealed in the torah, new testament and koran and is for our purposes the same concept as brahman and wakan tanka.
now, all of this is pretty vague and this part may not even matter to a lot of people. maybe most people just want to know what they’re supposed to do to not piss god off. those people will be satisfied with the torah, new testament and koran, the sutras, upanishads and so on, the basic texts of the religions. those people will be satisfied and they will get all they need without this ultimate transcendent jibber-jabber that can’t make sense. but there are others for whom this part is quite important. so this part is touched on by the myths. it is never resolved.


we are born tabulas rasa and immediately somebody starts imprinting shit on our smooth pink little brains. this is the role of the parents or primary caregivers: to train squalling, slobbering little shitting monkeys to be socially acceptable, self-determining members of society. it’s a tough job and every parent overdoes some things and doesn’t do other things enough which leaves the individual with some self-work to do and gives therapists jobs and in the process we lose some connection to our “selves” or think we do. then we have to go on vision quests or hike across australia or ride motorcycles across america and take acid or some shit.
“who am i?” “what’s the meaning of life?” that kind of thing. myths and their religions handle these questions in various ways. if you’re a buddhist, its all moot becos there is no “self” to be known and you just have to figure out how to know that. if you’re a jew, your identity is you’re a jew. confucius set up a system of potential identities depending on birth order and whoever else happened to be in the room and that was so confusing that it took up all everybody’s brainspace to keep up with so they were distracted from the whole question. in hinduism, there is the “atman” which is about the same thing as the soul and if you happen to be of the esoteric persuasion and inclined to dwell on these things, you might spend a while thinking about the idea that “atman is brahman”, that is, the individual soul is the ultimate ultimateness. but not the other way ‘round. you are brahman, but brahman is not you, see? you are of the same unknowableness as the ultimate, but you are not ultimately it, tho that potentiality is potential. if that makes any sense and if it doesn’t its becos you haven’t done the yoga and meditation and pondering that saddhus and yogis do to attain that realization.
but that formula, atman = brahman, is the reason i ordered the four categories the way i did. i wanted to end this part on this: the realization of the self as an aspect of the ultimate, the final union of the soul with god, the dissolving of the illusion into nirvana, the rejoining of the many to the one, is the deep down nitty-gritty of what myth is about. and the reason for that is death.

Monday, June 14, 2010

all that free jazz

all that free jazz about the multitudinous layers upon layers of possible meaning and potential personal interpretations inherent in the corpus of myth should not detract nor distract from the fact that sometimes plain speech is the best way to communicate. myths use plain speech. when, in the coarse of yore study of myth you encounter statements like “thou shalt not kill”, its okay to assume that it means “thou shalt not kill”. “judge not lest ye be judged” is pretty easy to figure out. ya wanna get all thinky-thinky about those two? then ask yourself questions like “what was happening in the historical context of the hebrew people at the time that moses went to the summit of mount Sinai and had his encounter with yahweh?” or “whom shall be the judge of me if i appoint myself as the judge of others?”, but while you’re twisting yr brainstuffs around those conceptions, don’t kill and don’t judge. duh.
if a statement can be taken at face value, do so.
if a story involves a talking snake, assume there’s a metaphor happening.
there are some grey areas. some knowledge of the context in which a statement was made is frequently helpful. jesus sometimes talked around things. that’s becos there were people out to get him and they were trying to back him into a verbal corner. he was a slippery ol’ eel tho’ and didn’t let ‘em snare him ‘til the time was right. there was also the matter of logic. this was a really big deal in the first coupla centuries of christianity, the logic. jesus was considered a bit of a genius becos he combined the esoteric oobly-goobly stuff of judaism and the all-too-often ignored mystery religions of his time and place with the sound, logical thinking of the greeks.
“ye who are without sin cast the first stone.” that’s a logical statement. if you have never sinned, then you are qualified to punish someone who has. if you’re a dirty sinner too, then ya oughta be hoeing yer own row and let this po’ ho’ go. that’s plain and simple logic. its also pretty fertile ground for contemplation, if ye’ve a mind for that sorta thing. some do, some don’t. some people read a statement like “love your neighbor as yerself” and immediately start adding clauses and loopholes and giving themselves exemptions becos they just don’t goddam feel like it but they do wanna feel righteous. bullshit. it means what it says. (here’s a little known sooth: it ain’t a choice. want to or not, you will love or hate yr neighbor as yrself.)
whenever possible, take a spade for a spade.

what is the sound of one hand clapping?

Friday, June 11, 2010

this is myth

this is myth.

and this is the way to deal with it: by paring and parsing, by freely associating and streaming consciousness, by tearing down and building up, by land and by sea. word for word, line by line. and this is how we do it:


what is “this”? lacking in any sort of referent, i.e. an indication by means of a finger pointing at the moon or a sentence preseeding wherein some noun is given to which “this” can be understood to be representing, how are we to take this “this”? to state that not enough information is given to give any answer is a cowardly cop-out. any barefoot boy can easily supply the smart-ass accuracy that “this” is a word. and as a word, as are all words, it is a symbol, a syllable and a grouping of letters which are also symbols, a sign which has been laid out and agreed upon by a people to have a certain value and currency despite the obviousness of the fact that in and of itself “this” don’t even exist. there ain’t no such thing as “this”. it’s a concept and can diasapear in an instant if we, the collectivity responsible for its existence decide for whatever whim to have it do so. like any other word, it is not the thing which it refers to in any case and lest it be objected that this is splitting the hair too finitely, it shall hear hear be noted that wars have been raged and massive graves filled o’er the devilish details of word association games and inkblots. words have meanings and are serious business, as fires and sabbath days and were made to serve us, not we them. “this” is a symbol.
“this”, thusly and furthurmore, sits or stands as against “that” in common parlance. it is well knowed and clear that “this” is not “that”, nor shall the two be joined without fundamentally changing the nature if not nurture of both for by the very ground on which they rest, they exist only in reference to each other, each being defined by the relationship betwixt them. here, therefore, we have a pair of opposites, like unto the following sets of pairs: up/down, male/female, yes/no, right/left, right/wrong, day/night, win/lose, i/thou, yin/yang, ting/tang, good/evil and so on ad nauseum becos all the 10,000 things (ancient chinese secret) have their existence and value only in as they are in opposition or contrast with some equally other, this being the very foundation of existence as can it be known in this reality of space and time. there is nothing that be grasped at by the brainstuff which is nought bought by space nor is it bounded by time for that is how we’re made and equally elusive is any anything which is neither spaced nor timed, such things cannot be just as the north wind can’t be held in a sock nor secular cows jump o’er yon lune. “this”, then, is never complete e’en unto itself, but always in relationship to “that”.
backing up a bit to consider our overall progress, we refer back our original intent and recall that the statement we are using as our example of examination is “this is myth”. within this context, “this” is seen to skip ahead one space and to be “myth” and the reverse of the sentence is also true and has equal effect, to wit: “myth is this”, which is neither a palindrome nor is it a palingenesis, but it is a circle of meaning and when we rush into this terrortory whence angels fear to tread, circles and circles within circles are what we can expect as we are spinning plates like wheels within wheels in the middle of the air and that’s the sorta thing we have to accept as the nature of the beast and the lay of the land (t’will be hear set forth and should be remembered that the pun is always intended, the entendre always doubled and duly noted that “nature”, “beast”, “land” and in some cases “lay” all are of a kind and each may be taken as having reference within the mythic material to themselves, each other and on again beyond to others unspecified and nonspecific due to the facet that that’s just how it is). our initial object is an endless loop, from which infinite threads of digression may spin.
let us now move to the next word, acknowledging that we have barely scummed the surface of “this”:


“is” refers to existence. “is” is not existence for “is”, like “this” does not, factually, have existence, but it does refer to existence which is quite a big job for such a wee word and almost an unnecessary one since t’would be easy as easing to do away with it and simply take existence as a given which we all daringly do anyhoo, exceptin’ certain amongst who shalt be refered to as “philosophers” and not denied their stone, (with all due respect to our colleagues across the isle, recognizing certain symilarities betwist our disciplines, if’n ya’ll’s gonna crawl so far into yer own navels as to to banty about the question of your own existences, then you can expect to be somewhat scoffed upon for accepting as proof the claim of one whose existence has nary been proved that he cogitates as proof of his existence, or in other words, feh), but ‘tis not in our jurisdiction to quibble over the existence of a pussy in a box (nor postulate what herr freud would’ve speculated about that hypothetic), but to ask what does the pussy refer to and to what does the box refer?
again, like “this”, “is” forms a part of a pair, being placed alongside of or rather, should it be worded, on the flipside of “is not”. here let it be noted that these terms ain’t absolutions, that the acceptable truth of “this is myth” does not automatically imply “that is not myth” as both may be true and few will be surprised who have read this far that this writer will be henceforth declaiming that the other permutations of the forms given are equally true and that “that is myth” is not differentiated from “this is not myth” altho’ they may be separated and therefore joined together with a / as in the examples listed above/below.
“is” joins “this” and “myth”. “is” is the tissue that binds them, then. existence, to which “is” implies, has some relationship to the relationships between things which exist and things which exist exist in relationship to each other. this is familiar ground becos we trod it before in our discussin’ of “this” wherein the 10,000 things were shown to each have their revelant opposite in which relationship they had and have their existence. again, we blindly stumble upon the concept of mutual interdependence betwist the components of that which we call “reality”, no thing being able to be or be understood in and of and/or as if a thing-unto-itself but all things being joined to others by the very need for others over and against which to know them and define them and recognize them and then to pretend that they are separate entities up to and including the “self” for to exclude the “self” from speculation would be to err in the self-same self-justification as the stoned philoslopper refered to in an earlier digression. the “is”-ness of any given anything is not given but is gifted and is always and only divided by a line from its opposite form.


what is “myth”? rather, let us now consider, since we have demonstrated adequately how the usage of the “” works, what is myth? myth is a symbolic language which deals with phenomena, energies and realities which transcend the ability of language to adequately express, but which are simultaneously common to the experience of being human. there’s some shit as what just can’t be put into words. there’s some things that can’t be summed up. you can talk all you want about ‘em and you know you hain’t got it and whoever you’re talking to is by this point just nodding and stopped listening a long time ago becos they don’t get it and no matter how many times you say “really”, they ain’t gonna. and yet these things do want to be talked about by us and others still and so some sort of method must needs be and has been invented to so do just that and that is myth. myth makes it possible to talk around that which cannot be talked about.
myth is related to religion in that myth is the story out of which religion grows and from which religion gets its justification. religion is more than myth, being also inclusive of ritual which is the action and/or are the actions done in imitation of the myth in the context of the religion. the priests who sacrifice the goats and the priests who elevate the host both act out rituals in the context of their respective religions which have their basis in the myths thereof. myth can exist without religion, but religion cannot exist without myth at all.
myth is sometimes set against truth as if in the relationship of opposites formula used above as if “myth/truth”, which is a fallacy. myth is always true if taken to be metaphor and always false if taken to be fact. this is the problem with religion and indeed, the only one, that religious people believe their religions to be based on facts when in fact they are based on myths which are metaphors. in myth, the operative action is always the expression “it is as if” or some such same. consider if you will the following: q) what do atheists and fundamentalists have in common?
a) they don’t know what a metaphor is. for example, let us now turn to the words of one blake, william, mad anarchist, currently dead:
“tyger! tyger! burning bright”
shall we take this to mean, then that the tyger to which the poet revered had been set on fire and yet was neither consumed nor was it reduced to ash? the fundamentalist response to such an interpretation would be to proclaim the tyger a divine miracle of the one true and always ever-present living god and to raise a shrine or raise an army to raze the shrines of all who did not feverishly so believe. the atheist, contrariwise and smugly assurts that no tyger can be set aflame and nought be consumed nor can’t it be reduced to ash, lest ye die, and that therefore there is no such thing as tygers or tigers or tiggers, nay, no, never and not at all. well, drear fiends, the idiocy of both these poles is plain and clear for all who have ears to hear to see, so let us onward ho. (that myth = metaphor can ne’er be overstated. just try.)
myth is a dream. and when one interprets a myth it is as if it is a dream being interpreted becos that’s what it is: the dream of humanity, welling up from the depths of the unconsciousness and taking the form of an infinitely layered story wherein every charactor is also every other charactor and not even the background can be trusted. a dream takes place inside the dreamer’s head, ergo the ground and sky, the rocks and bricks, the trees and pillars, the rivers and sewers, any and all are projections and/or protections of the psleeping psyche and myth is the dream of us all. and there are many myths of the dreamer whose dream is the universe of the 10,000 things and the dreamer who dreams the dream of the dreamer who dreams the 10,000 things is the 10,000 things of whom humanity is only 1 and of that 1 only a fraction is known. for the unconscious mind knows everything about the conscious mind whilst the conscious mind knows nothing about the other. and there is more in the unconscious mind than is dreamed of in your philosophy, for above and beyond the repressed and forgotten which any dimestore shrink will tell dwells there, there is also obviously but equally often unsung the organs of the body, each with their needs and desires which they report to the brain via the nerves and to which the brain responds without often including its self-aware aspect in the execution. and oh, the memories and phantasies that have been passed along down thru the generations from one to the next and which lie docile in the matte grey waiting only for the stimulus proper to stimulate them to awakening and universals and universes and verses still as yet unnamed nor e’en conceivable which must yet only their time be biding ‘til the moment be ripe for to enter our awareness into themselves! oh, ye gods and daemons whom yerselves to humanity have shown, what many more wondrous ones are about to go marching in? ‘tis only a dream away and a moment’s notice.
myth is a symbolic language becos it has to be in order to convey multiple meanings to suit multiple needs. thus a babe in the woods and a hump’s dowager may read the same page and upon it find the meaning apropos to their daily task. the meaning of myth lies in the eyes. and again and again, becos some things just won’t fit into words.

enough for now. this could go on and on and indeed it will, for that is the purpose of this project. this writer intends in this place to offer forth thoughts and ideas and revelations and interpretations on the subject of myth. that’s what this is about. the “style” of the writing will be objectionable to some and more so to others and so must it be in order to be true to the subject, for to speak plainly is all too often to cast pearls before swine against which we have been advised by a one who offered the woeful world joy, sweet joy, and was nailed to a telephone pole for his troubles. and again, to give away too much is to perpetuate the fallacy of understanding amongst them’s as what ain’t worked for it. and this is only practice. these riddles and read herrings are sparrow farts in hurricanes to what’s in the real things, but it is our honest and onerous intention to offer our insights for the benefit of those who care to share them and we offer freely what we have freely been gived: for the study and pursooth and inquiry into and embracing of the truth of and practicing the preaching of the myths of the world have set us free who once was lost and washed the scales from the eyes of this “we”. this writer was changed by myth and myth was the key that unlocked the door.
now, let me pass along what i’ve received.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

in the beginning

in the beginning, in the time before the ancestors, in the time of the grandfathers, in the dreamtime, the people did not know what to eat. they didn’t know becos no one had told them, so how could they know? they just ate things they found. they ate rocks and they ate sticks and they ate dead things and living things and wet things and dry things and green things and black things. sometimes, the things they ate made them sick and sometimes, somebody would eat something and then die, but mostly they managed to survive, tho’ not very well. they were always hungry and weak, huddling around, naked and cold and afraid, becos they also didn’t know how to make fire or how to wear clothes or anything, really. they stayed huddled around in a clearing in the forest, hungry and cold and naked and weak and afraid of the monsters that roamed around in the forest. they didn’t know what to do about the monsters. there wasn’t a goddammed thing they could do about the monsters, so they just didn’t go into the forest, except occasionally, if somebody forgot about the monsters they might wander off into the forest and usually those idiots didn’t come back, but sometimes somebody would somehow, dumb luckily, manage to stumble their way back and they were always real upset and freaked out about the monsters and damn glad to be back in the clearing, not that the clearing was so great, or so much safer than the farrest, truth be told, becos sometimes a monster or three would just sashay right on into the clearing and eat somebody and make a big mess, but the clearing was what they had and where they’d always been and they were used to it so there it was and it was what it was and it was all pretty fuckin’ miserable, but that’s what it was. the people couldn’t do any better ‘cause they didn’t know any better. goddam. it was awful. and that was how it was and all they knew. the people didn’t know whither they’d come from or what was to become of them and they were too dumb to do anything about either one either way anyway.

well, that went on for a while. nobody was counting days becos nobody knew to, so how long it was nobody knows, but it was long enough for everybody to just be sick of it. there was a lotta pissin’ and moanin’ goin’ on about how awful it was and one day, this one girl got so danged sick of the whole mess she couldn’t stand it one bit longer and she just up and walked away. just got right on up and walked straight away from the huddled-up , naked, pissin’, moanin’ bunch of ‘em and on off into the farrest. well, that was a surprise. nobody seen that comin’. nobody really knew what to make of that. she’d always been a regular gal, just regular folks like everybody else and then she got up and walked right on off like that. holy shite. people was kinda sorry to see her go on account of she was so pretty and like that, so pretty, in all honesty, that it made people sorta uncomfortable, especially the young men. when they got around her, they got all weird and bothered and they had some kinda vagueish idea that they oughta be doin’ something but nobody knew what they were s’posed to be doin’ so they just felt uncomfortable so they mostly just avoided her. but aside from bein’ a looker, she’d never been unusual, so it was real strange that she up and walked off like that and everybody looked at the place in the forest whence she gone into the forest at when she went into the forest and then some people forgot what they were looking at and ate some stuff that was on the ground and then some wet stuff started falling on them and they all huddled up and felt sorry for themselves.

now, the girl who got up and walked off into the forest, she thought better of that pretty much right away, but then there was wet stuff fallin’ on her and then she forgot how to get back and then she walked some more and wandered a bit and ate some stuff that didn’t make her feel any better and by then she was about as lost as she was ever gonna get. she woulda cussed but she didn’t know any cuss words. just as well, it wouldn’t’ve done any fuckin’ good anyway. so she wandered and wandered and ate things and fell down and skunned up her knees and when it got dark she just huddled up alone where she was and felt real sorry for herself ‘til it wasn’t dark anymore and then went back to the whole wanderin’ thing she’d gotten herself into. there were monsters, oh shit yeah, but she managed to dumb luck herself outta their way and the ones that did see her had mostly just eaten something or someone else and wasn’t hungry so they didn’t bother with her. so she just kept wanderin’ and nothin’ she could do about the monsters anyway but for to be afraid and occasionally piss on her own feets and that wasn’t much.

and sooner or later, she wandered into a clearing between forest on some sides and more of the same on other sides and a big lump of ground on the remainder. it wasn’t the ol’ homeplace, but it was a clearing and therefore somewhat familiar, tho’ somewhat lacking in misery and company. whilst she was standing there doing the best she could with what little brainage she had to contemplate this new development, a monster came sashayin’ into the clearing on the side opposite the lump o’ ground and holy shite, the girl actually did somethin’ at that point that was just about the most genius fuckin’ thing anybody’d ever done: she made some attempt to get away from the monster by turning and walking straight into the side of the lump of ground where there happened to have been just at the moment she walked into it an opening of sorts like as if a lump of ground had a mouth and the mouth opened up and that is what she walked into.

dark. and then more of the same and that in all directions except for straight behind whence was the opening like a mouth which is what she’d walked into, but that got blocked up right quick by the monster what had seen her walk into the lump of ground and wanted to follow her to eat her, but which was also too big to fit into the opening like a mouth that she’d walked into in the lump of ground. dark and dark and then even darker when the monster completely blocked the opening and by then the dark was all the same so the girl walked straight on until she ran into dark that was harder than the rest and couldn’t go no further and that’s when she just huddled up alone with herself to feel sorry for herself about it all.

and t’was then that she perceived the presence of an other in the darkness and the other drew near to her and spoke unto her and the sounds of the speaking of the other made no sense to her but she was comforted and she wanted the warmth of the other which pressed upon her and filled her with its presence until she slept and her sleeping was warm and she was not afraid nor cold nor did she feel sorry for herself during the timelessness of that sleeping.

but she did awake and when she did awake, she was alone and cold and somewhat confused and time passed by in the dark and no way of knowing the time. she lived alone in the dark and ate the things that crawled on her and the things her hands happened to touch when she put them down and that must’ve been good enough for she got fatter and fatter and fatter there in the dark. she could feel the middle of her getting bigger all the time and that was really fuckin’ weird for her. weirder still when her insides started movin’ around and thumpin’ and jumpin’ and she didn’t know what to do but rub her middle and moan, but truth be told, there was somethin’ she liked about the feelings she felt at the time tho’ she didn’t understand it or nothin’ and so her moaning was of a different sort, other than the plain ol’ just miserable, sorry for yerself kinda moaning she was used to, as it had a pleasantness also and was more sometimes of a cooing persuasion than so much of a moaning. so she moaned and cooed and rubbed her growing belly and it was dark all around her, but not so terrible as it mighta been.

and meanwhile, as she was getting’ fatter and fatter and cooing, there in the dark, the monster that’d been the initial cause of her goin’ in there in the first place was waiting outside and waiting and waiting and getting leaner and more and more hungry and just goddammed pissed off that she wasn’t comin’ out to be eaten. the monster’d hunkered down to wait and for shit’s sake, that monster was waiting. surely, the girl’d be coming outta the hole at some point was the general gyst of what the monster was thinkin’ and at that point, the monster planned on eating her, but she was taking forfuckingever to come out. time went by unreckoned and the monster waited and got hungrier and leaner and bonier and on and so, until it got skinny enough that it figgered it could just shove on into the hole and get the girl and eat her and be done and quit with the whole affair. so, begorrah, that’s what the monster did. just shoved on into the hole.

which upset the fat girl quite a bit. she’d pretty much gotten used to the dark and forgot what she wasn’t having which was something other than dark and she’d gotten right accustomed to eating stuff that crawled on her and sure it was cold, but it stayed right about the same amount of cold so that was dependable and then this shit had to go down. that monster, oh yeah, forgot all about that. ‘s’why she was there in the first place, oh yeah. so now what? she tried to do what she’d done before which’d worked pretty good for her which was go the direction that the monster was most not in but that didn’t work becos that way was too hard to walk thru and then her insides just decided to come out. just like that. bam. hurt like nothin’ she had to compare hurtin’ to. hurt so bad she couldn’t even feel sorry for herself and while the monster was shovin’ it’s self thru the opening like a mouth in the lump of ground and she coulda woulda shoulda been doin’ something, anything, even if it was just piss on her own feet, she wasn’t becos she was all laid up on the floor giving the first birth that’d ever been. she strained and she strove and she birthed out the first baby and it was a boy baby and it hollered out in the dark “MA! MA! MAAAAAA!” and wriggled and crawled up on the girl tryin’ to find her breast and she wasn’t any help at all becos she didn’t know what was happening and she was somewhat distracted by the fact that she was at the same exact time giving the second birth that’d ever been. she strove and strained and she birthed out the second baby that’d ever been and this’un was a girl baby and it also hollered out “MA! MA! MAAAAAA!” and started crawling and wriggling up trying to find a breast and finding that one taken had to go look for another.

well, wasn’t that some something, huh?

well, both of the babes got latched on and got to suckin’ and this being right and proper and well and good, they got themselves filled with the food they needed and they growed right quick and sussed out the situation with the impending monster and no route of escape and something had to be done about it or their lives be ended when they’d just then got begun. the girl baby bein’ closer to the monster, she unfastened herself and made to defend her dear ol’ ma, but she weren’t but a wee lass and the monster being somewhat larger just swiped a clawed paw and slapslashed her across the face, flinged her off to one side and outta the melee for the duration and kept a-comin’. the boy baby, seein’ that this monster t’weren’t one to be messed with empty-handed sought about for a weapon of some kind ‘r an other, but the pickin’s were limited to only rocks, one of which and of a fairly decent size he picked up and seeing as he was looking down that he had a penis, of which his sister did not have one, he tied his about the rock and begun to swing it, his penis, which by the weight of the rock was stretched and elongated until quickly enough, he was able to swing the rock about and around and get a good swing and make a solid connection with the rock on the head of the monster which stove its skull in and caused its brains to be smashed and to squirt outta its ears and killed it deader’n shit and made a big fucking mess.

goddamn, wasn’t that a relief. monster all dead. nice work, boy.

“i have killed the monster”, is what the boy had to say about it.

and hearing the boy say something, the girl whom had given him and his sister their births decided she was gonna say something too, which she never never had done before, but which she then did anyway, to wit: “aye, you have killed it, the monster, and so i will give you a name and the name that i will give you will be the name monster killer”.

now stood up the girl baby and her face was all tore up and disfiggered and she said, “and i, ma, what is to be the name you will give me?”

“i will give you the name disfigured face on account of your face was disfigured by the monster which your brother killed.”

“yeah, i killed it with a rock tied to my penis, which is a thing i’ll not do again on account of it ain’t the proper use for a penis and it hurt really, really, really bad much. from now on, i will kill monsters with a rock tied to the end of a stick for that is the proper weapon for killing monsters but i didn’t have a stick handy at the moment, so i had to use my penis which wasn’t proper and i won’t do that again.”

well, then they all sat down to see what they were gwine to do next and ma got to thinkin’ and said “i’m sorry you chilluns growed up so fast. i’d’ve liked to have ya’ll small for a bit longer so’s i could’ve enjoyed ya’ll bein’ little’uns and cuddlin’ ya more.” and monster killer and disfigured face agreed that this would’ve been a better thing and they decided that this was how it would always be in the future when other little babies were born, that they should be babies for longer and grow up gradually not all in the blink of an eye.

and then they decided to go outside, out of the dark and away from the monster that had been killed and to see what kind of day it was and weather or not wet stuff was falling and when they went outside into the clearing outside, they found that it was the clearing where all the people were, all huddled up together like they always had been, naked and cold and miserable and afraid and weak from not knowing what to eat and feeling sorry for themselves and ma and monster killer and disfigured face told the people what had happened.