Saturday, December 9, 2017

Afterthoughts and Fillers
By © Anton Vendamenc, 2017

3 The Senses as Embodiments of Religion

The greatest of expressions of religious feeling is music and poetry. Two of the greatest twisters of the sinews of the heart in the past were Sebastian Bach and William Blake.

One of the great problems with regard to religious feelng is that many people attempt to turn it into a white rabbit. That is to say, feeling is turned into something solid, like Heaven, the Garden of Eden, Paradise, Elysium, Arcadia, Heavenly City, and so forth. By turning religious feelings into a solid, we kill the appreciation of the Divine within ourselves. Can the Divine continue to exist as a white rabbit? The answer is “no”, because the nature of the living world is such that there should always be more subjects than one. If you and I are owners of a rabbit and we meet, each one of us is likely to insist that “My rabbit is prettier than yours”. If the rabbits were made of porcelain, soon one or both will lie smashed on the floor.

One may say that a melody and a poem are forms of objectification, and that consciousness necessarily trends toward objectification. Still, a melody and a poem are more ephemeral and physically less real as a porcelain rabbit. One can hear notes being played and words being read, but the sense of the divine is not represented by a certain painted idol, which is a step closer to the ephemral becoming an object. In other words, objectification proceeds by steps: from perception through the senses (hearing, sight) to becoming graspable by hand, which then shapes it according to the dictates of an ego that has little or no understanding of what it is about.

It comes to mind that one may also point to an overlooked sense: the sense of smell, of which humans have lost much, but which is elemental to other forms of life. In fact, smell may represent a greater sense of religious feeling, and is, thusly, superior to what Bach or Blake produced. This may be the reason why we are alive: smell makes religious feeling so immediate and real that we want to eat it or seek to engage with it through sexual contact. It is a way of objectifying without the use of hands. In short, we are what we smell. What we eat and copulate with sustains us in one way or another. This may be the reason why animals do not need humanlike consciousness. It may be the reason why the noses of immature minds—recruited by self serving governments to kill humans outside its incestuous circle—do not find the smell of corpses repulsive and keep returning to the battlefields until they in turn become carion.

I have always been impressed with the fanaticism with which my cats hunt, and after killing their prey (a word that is the very synonym of prayer) how they toss the dead mouse through the air this way and that, as if paraphrasing Blakes sentiments: “When the stars threw down their spears/ And water'd heaven with their tears:/ Did he smile his work to see?/ Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”

Indeed, I am horrified over the religious feelings of my cats (John Purr and Rumyancov) and amazed over the attachment and loyalty with which we regard our relationship. John Purr, a mix of Siamese and Angora, was thrown into my yard from a passing car with a suppurating leg that took a few months to cure. Rumyancov was rescued from a cold winter in the wood and brought into the house, for which he thanked me by claiming my house as his and shitting up every corner of every room. He got a thrashing, which he did not forgive by not coming near me for a year. Still, I let him live in the shed and fed him. Now he lets me pat him with my hands dressed in workmen’s gloves without biting my hands.

But I may be digressing.

I would like to suggest that languages, too, are created by a sense and sensibility that forms out of something like religious feeling. The howling of wolves is a good example of what I believe to be a proto-language arising out of religious feelings. In raga EC637, I write about anthropologist Pierre Clastres comments about the Mbya Guarani Indians of Paraguay. Writes Clastres: “The[se] pa’i, whom one is tempted to call prophets instead of shamans, give the astonishing profundity of their discourse the form of a langage remarkable for its poetic richness. We see in it a clear indication of the Indian’s concern to delimit a sphere of the sacred so that the language which articulated it is itself a negation of secular languate....” For example, these prophets call the pipe “the skeleton of the fog” and the fingers of God, Nanadu, “flowery branches”. The rise of the sun means the awakening of their language and with it the awakening of anguish and need to pray to the “inevitable ones”. But does not the failure of their prayers to connect with the Gods bring them frustration and after no response to their prayers a resort to violence? As Blake says of the Tyger: “Did he smile his work to see?/ Did he who make the lamb make thee?”

I have noted (in many ragas past) indications of a similar notion in the Latviyan language, my native tongue. Instead of discovering flowersy phrases, the phenomenon (shared by many other Indoeuropean languages) expresses itself through the so-called diminutive or endearing word, which can be brought into being through every noun and verb. A similar notion in English has been elimited and removed to the position of wisdom teeth. The latter are due to the violent incursions (using the written word as used by the media) of secular language into our subjective minds. For all practical purposes, the endearing word in English has been eliminated and left for use in personal names; for example: John < Johhny; James < Jamy; Ann < Annie; Barbara < Barbie. Even here the secular world intrudes by turning the endearment into a cutesy word that can be readily merchandised, re Barbie, Dolly, etc. As for the Latviyan language—it no longer exists as its original creators intended it. While the politicians fight for its existence, because the fate of the language is on every Latviyan’s mind, paradoxically the populist users of the language care not a whit about it, because in reality the language has been seized by commercial interests and no longer belongs to them.

The objectification of the word did not occur through poetry, but through law in the service of unconscionable trade and its ‘inevitable’ companion—unconscionable advertising. Like science, law can function only by killing the mind: if the law were to permit the mind to use the endearing word, subjectivity would be resurrected, and the entire codifice of law would fail.

(Next: Populists Revolt in Paradise)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Afterthoughts and Fillers
By © Anton Vendamenc, 2017

2 The Nature of God

In my raga (blog book), re “How They Shut Down Populist Latviyans”, I argue that the concept of God arose from the Sacred King who sacrificed His life to hold together a given community of humans. While this is not a popularly held view, my opinion is seconded by (or perhaps I am the one who seconds him) political anthropologist Pierre Castres in his book “Society Against The State”.

In a Chapter titled “Of Torture in Primitive Societies”, p 186, Castres argues about the importance of pain among non-state peoples. The pain is inflicted on youths as a means to inscribe or mark on their bodies the law as understood by non-state people. Writes Castres:

“The law they came to know in pain is the law of primitive society, which says to everyone: You are worth no more than anyone else; you are worth no less than anyone else. The law, inscribed on bodies, expresses primitive societies refusal to run the risk of division, the risk of power separate from society itself, a power that would escape its control. Primitive law, cruelly taught, is a prohibition of inequality....”

Inequality of course fosters division and results in capricious and unselfconscious individualism as in our murderous neo-liberal civilization, where inition rites have been replaced by acts of killing, which are (as Acts of God due to their occurrence during a time of war) rewarded, more or less, by the ‘men of power’ with shiny medals and license to rape. That the ‘men of power’ constitute activity against Nature is attested by the frequent mental breakdowns experienced by young men after they return to their home communities.

Having escaped painful initiation rites, which have been condemned by the neoChristian ecclesia, modern youths (unrestrained by any social mark on their ‘sacrosanct’ bodies) wreak social havoc. Havoc is a form of Anarchism never intended by its originators [ 2 ]. Though there exists a mild form of Christian anarchism in Christian prolabor movements, this form of anarchism is based on the inner contradictions of neoChristianity, i.e., Christian message of unconditional love here on Earth vs neoChristianity’s support of taxation and empire building, which institutions are achieved only through the use and threat of violence.

Anthropologist Clastres’s book has several chapters on the Mbya Guarani Indians of South America. Once of a mighty Populist nation, known as Tupa Guarani (Guarani of the West), the Mbya, a tribe of the Guarani nation, have been reduced to a small remnant. Nevertheless, the remnant remain true to the Gods of their tribe, which is to say, they remain people of the wood, avoid the city, and will not be neoChristianized. Having said this, it appears that the Mbya have not only their own religion, but that that religion in many ways resembles the myths common to Christianity.

The God who created the Mbya is called Namandu, Who is also the Sun. It is to the rising Sun that the Mbya address their prayers, which are praises addressed to the God by means of a language given to them by the God. The Sun, Namandu, also showed he Mbya the way to the Land of No Evil. In times past, before the Conquests made by the Europeans, the Mbya actively sought the Land of No Evil by traveling East. Unfortunately, their quest was blocked by the Atlantic Ocean, whence came a charade of gods known as conquerors, aka conquistadores. Though many of the Guarani were forced to join neoChristendom and have replaced their former religion of quest for that of speculation, the Mbya remained true to the faith of their ancestors. Why were they able to do so?

The answer must be sought in the practice of initiating the young into society (in ancient times an ethnocentric tribe) by marking their bodies with signs that tell that they had endured pain. In the distant past, this ‘marking’ must have been a universal practice. The Jewish rite of circumcision, may be some kind of remnant of the practice. Needless to say, there are times when initiations into endurance of pain, may fail. It is then that the Healer and Sacred King appears and shows that beyond pain there is yet another charismatic tool that works toward restoring an ethnocentric society’s unity: the King who by His voluntary death brings the God of a dying tribe to life again.

 [ 2 ] Noam Chomsky on anarchism  

(Next: 3 The Senses as Embodiment of Religion)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Afterthoughts and Fillers
By © Anton Wendamenc, 2017

1 Love, Hell, and Near Death Experience

I have mentioned Near Death Experiences a number of times in my blogs, because at my age (84) one is necessarily closer to death than at a younger age. Since all life forms on Earth are said to be mortal most of us not only think at it, but are forced to think of it, because the powers that be expose millions of children to the fright of death that war brings.

Madeline Albright, U.S. secretary of State under the Bill Clinton regime, claimed that killing a half a million Iraqi children was not too high a price to pay to secure the right to export U.S. wrought liberal ‘democracy’ and insure ‘free trade’ to pirate corporations. Since for the grace of a few seconds, I would have been killed during WW2, I can identify with the victims of war. In my late teens, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps. I did it primarily because the course in trigonometry that I was taking at Northeastern University did not particularly interest me, and architectural drafting bored me. The courses I was enrolled in went against the grain of my family’s past experience, which had clustered around religion, politics, teaching, news dissemination, and agriculture. After a few years in America, I enrolled in engineering courses as a way to insure for myself a secure future. My logic proved to be misguided. That is why I soon rationalized that discovering something about the military from a victor country’s perspective might cement my transition into a different culture with a bit more certainty.

I bring up the case of nde, because one of the striking projections of the experience (as reported by those who experience it) is that of unconditional love. The experience radically contradicts the one taught those brought up in the tradition of the Reality of Hell and for that reason are able to imagine that they could have been born in a Land Without Evil. Hell was ever confirmed by the hells brought about by governments this side of Dante’s ” Divine Comedy ”.

Why, say, would a parallel realm on planet Venus pardon the crimes committed on Earth as if the crimes of criminals on Earth are irrelevant? No platform on the internet that deals with nde has acknowledged this schism; no neoChristian theologian that I know of has made the observation or acknowledged the contradiction as real.

For some time, I have insisted that we are being forced by governments to live in City-wrought Virtual reality rather than Reality as wrought by Nature. An example that illustrates the diference between Virtual or pseudo reality and Real reality is—interestingly enough—hunger and not-hunger. In a Real or Nature based reality hunger is an inescapable reality. In a Virtual or City based reality hunger has become almost an unknown: hunger in a city has been practically eliminated because of a city’s ability to steel from the countryside* with impunity. How long will the thievery and killing of those born to Nature last?

*Because of the politization of the issue, we do not know for sure whether the so-called Ukrainian holodomor was caused by Stalin’s deliberate confiscation of Ukrainian grain or by conditions caused by war, climate change, and intervention by the West in the Russian Civil War, the latter a continuation of a war begun a thousand years earlier at the time of the Viking invasion of the realms about the Black and Caspian seas. Whatever the distant past, there can be no doubt that America and Europe  demanded the Soviet Union pay for the debts of the tsar and its own. In my opinion, the Western demand for the Soviet Union to pay off old debts when its territores were severely stressed by after effects of war, surely was war by other means—against the Soviet Union’s intuitive (but never discovered) identification with the  People of Nature. Indeed, America is as resposible for holodomor as Stalin.

The war waged by Virtual reality is the main reason why it and Real reality (Citybred Reality vs Reality of the wood-countryside)—both of which realities insist on Democracy as social order—will not exhaust itself until Virtual reality causes Nature to win by default. The Reality of Nature cannot compromise, because it is in the nature of Nature to be all there is. On the other hand, Virtual reality, which is of a citybred environment, cannot deny its origin in Nature—even though its thoughts are of a fantasy that will, sooner or later, end in a crash.

While Nature is immortal, the City—by its inherently artificial nature—rejects Nature, and is real only as a farce. It takes no great intelligence to discover that the State is of the City, which is why the State, too, (over the longer term) is a farce. The State of course insists that my judgement is false by insisting that Artificial Intelligence will soon overtake Natural Intelligence. My critics are supporters and lobbyists that come of the empires of our day: the United States of America, the Russian Federation, China, Europe, and several smaller State entities. Even in days of their comeupance, these continue to fantasize about their immortality. The only way that Virtual reality knows how to reinforce its fantasy is by reversing the order of logic and keeping the sword of Democles (monopoly of power) hanging over the head of the Nature-born Populists instead of itself.

While regard of self among Populists of the Wood and those of the City is of the same source, the nde of Populists of the wood and those of the City differ substantially. While the first would judge those who refuse to help their starving neighborswith great severity, the second care little whether those in the apartment next door live or die.

(Next: 2 The Nature of God)