Footfalls of Dionysus

At last, whenever my feet hit the scorching desert sand; feel the sand transformed into semi-muddiness; when my foot falls naked upon a cholla spine; when the floor of aspen leaves feel my feet tread upon them, welcomingly;  this chilly mountain torrent which sends shivers toward the topmost hairs of my head…With each footfall I find myself always somewhere, ‘y llega siempre,’ and I cannot help that I arrive in each instance more a pessimist than before.

No. Unlike those crusty old German men I will not assign this world as the worst of all possible worlds. My feet hate dirges, my ears the sound of the abacus!  For this world is the only one possible through which I may live! And I cannot count against this world, and thus my life, for any of the suffering inherent as ‘life.’

A strange pessimist I may have become in each and every footfall. I surprise myself. I love surprises; chance. While I can weigh my approval and disapproval of things, that I’m able to weigh at all becomes my delight and my frolic. That I’m able to meander through the tempests, some which might even kill me, or the lush mountain greenery where I pick berries and sustain myself, is my pessimism. I go where my feet may go and can take me; dancing, trudging, running, a shuffle…

Footfalls in a Dionysian pattern of desire. Where I arrive is who I’ve become, no matter the time of day, how dark the night. May I no longer curse my own arrival nor those horizons and glow-worm stars almost out of sight!

Come: let us thoroughly forget God in our gratitude, drown the philosophers’ monotonous praise of the over-worldly and scent the air with our joyous presto , and in our hedonism push every half-living shalt(not)-sayer from their lofty perches so in the very least their blood fertilizes the verdant ones remaining with wish and will to live! That through one’s naked feet upon the ground one may become ever more the ‘sense of the Earth!’

‘Trumpet Vines’ Reverberation

I don’t want the presents which
Contrary to your intention, are
The very denial of what you give.” -Ricardo Reis

It’s become so ingrained, the platitudes we offer Nature, and yet, there’s no clear sense of just who is to receive our intended gifts! But then offering a gift from a fearful distance may make one wonder if the real recipient is none but ourselves from the outset.

‘Nature’ is a concept and no matter how vague it may be, it’s a dominating concept, a ‘higher ideal.’ Just when we could move in closer, we keep our distance. Safe. Out of harms way. If we were to move close, we’d sense a thousand-million leaves, some of them thorny spines who want not our embraces; that black widow there; those ferns hanging by that spring and the fungi below our feet; all each unique. ‘Nature’ provides us with a wall of green at best. We can never turn toward it because there is no ‘it’ to turn toward — except our own reflection. ‘Nature’ a reflecting pool, our mirror.

Reverence toward ‘nature,’ only deepens our alienation from those we’ve already once denied our gifts. Do we not assume that gratitude is something we ought to show? Do we not stifle every opportunity for each of those ‘thousand-million leaves’ to be grateful for us, not only through our concept ‘nature,’ but in reverent feelings? Reverence isn’t rejoicing. That we con-fuse wariness with intimacy, awe with an embrace, is symptomatic of just how ill-constituted for joy we’ve become. (1)

Why the fearful distance?

Perhaps partly for the illusion of control (as has been pointed out by others). Control for our ‘well-being,’ our commerce, our ‘progress,’ and so forth. Maybe this is partly why we chose the name ‘nature.’ With only a touch of skepticism on our part we can see in this word the piece of arbitrariness which girds it. Namely, that ‘birth/generation’ supports us in every way: our food, the narcissism that all else is but a stage for our ‘human’ drama, to assuage our fear of death/disappearance, etc. That our well-being, that which we like, signs off for all which exists.

And maybe if we delve a bit more still we’ll find that if we move closer, to meet and mingle, with so many other unique ones, that not all are willing to become our friend, desire our intimacy or reciprocate our warm feelings. Again, there are spines and thorns, venom, running and hiding, camouflage, attacks…this in degrees and gradations not ‘either/or’ for not all desire our company in precisely the same way or manner.

And we fluctuate, change, as well. To forget this is to retain a bit of a belief of ‘afterlife,’ continuation of our ‘isness,’ that ‘no’ against living.

Yes! Sometimes we’re able to stand more, we’re stronger, more healthy, vibrant, full; and thus we can digest that which we previously believed cruel.

To be sure, ‘nature’ allows us to forget the ‘cruel facts’ in the very act ‘existing’ in order to revere ‘it’ and, conversely, condemn ‘it’ because of ‘its’ cruelty. Additionally, we can also blot out our own deep fear of rejection by those many we depend upon for our very existence. By relegating every unique one to ‘nature’ we’re able to deceive ourselves into believing we ‘know’ every one of the thousand-million leaves since we can talk among ourselves about them, with little to no play with them, and hence they reside always just below our self-presumed rank. We might not feel so alone with our own reflection, but this is only superstition arising once more, since we’re never truly isolated to begin with. We’re always accompanied by innumerable and often imperceptible relations.

That we simply don’t like the character of some of those relations, or conversely, to trumpet those selections loudly, says more about ‘us’ than it does all those we commit to our dyspeptic asylum, ‘nature.’ Might it be possible that a few arrive yet at a gastronomy where they find ‘nature’ completely abhorrent to their taste (as far too bland, at best) upon tasting the array of flavors available to them? To each I and You?

 

  1. ‘Revere’ and ‘wariness’ stem from the same root word

Trumpet Vines

Upon an evening breeze I heard a light whisper in your leaves:

‘The time for bowing is over. Please, bow to us no longer. We await an overflowing fullness from each of you who – can.

Reaffirming: God is dead – and my primal insurrection against every trace of him begins; begins anew in every ‘now’. …omnibus laetitiis laetum…Now. Here. My ‘egoism.’

What? You say there are better forms than the old shepherd god?

Even re-gendered as Big Green Momma and neutered as ‘Nature,’ the continuing appeal of God little more than a demand to remain impervious to existence! Perennially ungrateful since that day when some archaic soul took fever and was then able to look out upon the world and utter, ‘not good enough.’ The gap between ‘self’ and ‘world’ yawned forth as the first moral essence diffused itself as intimacy retreated outside, as abstraction.

With our newfound power-over, we forgot that each of us, each ‘ego,’ may only continuously become – place. A No-thing.

Re-intimacy: a ludic nexus of your somewhere: not of prayer, of morality, of ideals.

Into Nature, But Not of This World

‘You want to live ‘according to nature’? O you noble Stoics, what fraudulent words!’ -Nietzsche

Indeed. What fraudulent words.

Yesterday I bashed a chipmunk to death with a rock. I couldn’t stand the screams any longer. Anger, frustration, irritation…sadness, reluctance, gratitude… all felt at once, in the same moment, and then some!

The cat. Only being a cat, right? The essential cat-ness. Torture…nearly three hours of it. Never mind the canned food, the indoor sleeping quarters, showing up here already used to people. That’s the ‘way cat’s are.’

I shouldn’t interfere. That cat is acting according to ‘instinct.’ The cat is a natural hunter. Cats = predator; chipmunks = prey. Simple math. Death as prolonged agony to the prey, and to your ears? Externalities of mere sentiment.

Nature. Natural. Evolution. God’s plan. The Way It Is. No contour. No context.

My feelings? Irrelevant. Unnatural. Domesticated. Weak…depending on one’s perspective, of course. Many flavors for you, the moralist, the miserablist, the socially acceptable. For me: the bad, sick, the discontent. My feelings equate to a problem to be fixed, resolved, healed: a rationalist’s tikkun olam.

Yes. My feelings run through me. They ‘are’ me. I can be no other, and hold no desire to be any other. Not ‘Man.’ Not Rational. Not Natural. ‘I’ do not ‘feel’ any more than ‘lightning flashes.’ There is no ‘lightning’ separable from a ‘flash!’ There is no ‘I’ separable from ‘sentio!’

Enough of your moral optical illusions! I’m no woman in a box to be sawed in two for your magic show.

Your code: nothing but a threat of annihilating–me! An attempt to render me ‘natural’ is to equate me with every-thing, object, and  if any-thing, a moral object, a thing to be realigned according to the magnetic north of your pitiful ‘moral compass.’

‘Nature’ is ‘all things equal.’

 

I saw that there was no Nature,
That Nature does not exist,
That there are mountains, valleys, plains,
That there are trees, flowers, grasses,
That there are streams and stones,
But that there’s not a whole to which this belongs,
That a real and true ensemble
Is a disease of our ideas.

Nature is parts without a whole.
This is perhaps that mystery they speak of.

-Fernando Pessoa, The Poems of Alberto Caeiro

Nature: a concept invented and used by dis-eased men. Men with and who desire power over other men to justify their lives. To justify their power via an appeal to morality, and to fix a blame, a ’cause’ for a problem; the ‘problem’ nothing more than a threat to that power.  ‘Nature’ second only to God as apologia for a ‘culture’ of misery.  ‘Nature’: the voice of God’s Law spoken…as you interpret ‘it.’

God and Nature are silent! Neither have ever lived.

Your ‘nature’ is no-thing to me. Your ‘culture’ of misery for me to overcome! Your morality? An ugly dance of avoiding your ownness.

No more ‘cat nature’ and ‘human nature’ and your fuzzy concept…Nature! The world you engender is the world you can and may own. Your ‘property’ is no-thing, but your own qualities!

You? I? Also only parts with no whole. Even all the ‘meat’ is in flux, never to be stepped in twice! ‘You’ and ‘I’ indicate ‘earth pieces’ where this flux finds any and every possibility of joyful gratitude interwoven in uncountable ways seen and unseen.

I will not abide by your morality, your ‘nature,’ your ‘how things are.’ As such: this cat eats, this chipmunk dies, and I hate torture, refuse it. Struggle against it where I’m able.

The kitty ate the chipmunk and my story flows onward not to be stepped in twice…

Almost to the Bone So Deep They Cut

I’m grateful for the new gash in my hand. Meeting it was both colorful and painful to be sure, but since our acquaintance has been made (and a resulting smallish scar may continue with me the rest of my days), I can only accept its invitation to my ownership. This (or could it be ‘that’?) moment becoming my own.

During the initial pain and blood (as well as my brief ‘foul mouthed’ excitability), I found myself repeating, almost mantra-like, a litany of self-blaming ’causes,’ ‘reasons’ and reasoning, for the position quite readily…at hand. That I was distracted, not focused, not paying attention, unaware, absentminded, spaced-out; in that moment these were the ‘reasons’ I attacked myself. Somehow, ‘I’ was the blame, the guilty party, the perpetrator against ‘I’! I had become, or perhaps maybe my self-concept still retains a bit of that old pulpit(-eer), a renunciation of my own life  despite my ‘best’ moments, my most joyous, grateful, moments.

On my ride home to fetch some yarrow to halt the bleeding, I realized that, in our ‘society’ one often stands against oneself as if in a court of law, as both plaintiff and defendant, with its ever present white-noise of guilt-finding, (that pervasive ambience informing us that anyone accused must have been accused for good reason).  We’re informed to do just this nearly from day one of our learning lives. It allows the shitty contouring of our lives seem so ‘natural,’ so inescapable, inevitable.

But is the latter the case?

Was I not at work? Was I not maneuvering my hands in a manner which has now become habitual? That is, were the conditions within which I was living, pulsating, sensing, not to some extent, dead, monotonous, repetitive, boring and through them my ‘mind’ may emerge almost as if somewhere else?

I’m not replicating a moralist agenda here. There is no blaming of my ‘boss’ (who, on the whole is a pleasant, generous, and empathetic person*). Nor is this any blame of ‘society’ contrasted with so-called ‘self-responsibility.’ I’m increasingly nauseated with these tedious, life-wasting, methods of moraloshakedownism! A choice between the false-dilemma of somehow essentially guilty (a ‘sinner’) and feeling guilt (also a ‘sinner’).

No.

This is  a phenomenoludicist’s playground! A moment of sheer joy in rejecting acquiescence to miserablist ressentiment and gratitude toward that moment of blood and pain in bringing along with it a snap of just one more suture holding this ragtag monster of my enslavement together!

Hierarchie ist Gedankenherrschaft, Herrschaft des Geistes!” -Stirner

Yes!

And now I can perceive yet one more layer of domination over me, my  unwitting participation toward that end through learned self-castigation, the belief in ‘I’ as concurrent accuser and guilty thing accused. Ownness can only become outlawry when the ‘rights’ and ‘duties’ of a moral legalis homo are recognized as no-thing at all. From where I speak now, my unwitting willingness to be an abstract faction against my ownness has suffered a blow against it. No more plaintiff, defendant, victim or perpetrator against myself!

For the rest of my days and nights My hand will sing me a wonderful story. The ideas of others, specters of control, vie with my desires for ownership my very flesh, imposing themselves upon me as the very habitat for ‘self’ to become alienated from my ownness; habitat which most people christen as ‘the norm‘ or ‘only natural.’ And so internalized these ‘norms’ may become for me, I may, at times, require such bone-deep wounding to recognize their power over me.

 

* That he’s a fairly ‘hands off’ type is evident in my being able to fetch the yarrow. I realize so many people have to work in far, far less favorable circumstances. I certainly have!

 

So Many Constellations of My Desire

O, my desire, that so many would strip you bare in public  with their derisive and scornful words, that your greatness remains so far away from them, o stars, they mistake your twinkle for a ‘mere’ flicker of flame compared to the aethers through which you shine forth still!

As my gaze meets the vast diadem of the heavenly vaults, I recall ancient augurs and the company of navigators you kept prior to your imprisonment as ‘subject’ by the theo-logicians (is there any other kind of logician?), the philosophist-tyrants-in-training. These who’ve never smiled upon sensuousness which refutes every axiom, all argument. Leave the cheerless (theo-)logicians to ‘verify’ their own hands and feet through disputatio, laming their limbs, wasting their lives, every possibility of joy.

But, you, so many constellations of desire, send forth your light that I, this aperture, may interweave with you, and thus can become this shape; my desire. You may be held, but never groped with aetheric games and puzzles. You’re far too voluptuous for that reductionist policy of white-haired, grumpy old codgers: intelligibility.

Even martyring oneself for intelligibility (not even ‘God’) gives away the secret of this game, that it too is found in the singing stars. It’s just they were too busy formulating rules for the game to perceive the rest of melody, and thus they heard only half the song…and felt deeply cheated by their own sense. In short, their bad augury is of their own making.

Sense: that living verb which has become a conceptual shell game once our logico-soothesayer chants his values, his axioms, upon it. Watch his joyless hands! ‘Meaning’ will become separated from sensuousness, except in service as ‘evidence,’ and always through his rules, always by way of mentation. Which shell is ‘meaning’ hidden now? Under ‘sensation,’ the ‘impression’ upon ‘the senses?’ Under ‘mind?’ Or for those more familiar with this form: under ’empiricism?’  or ‘idealism?’

Bad omens due to interruption of  each our star-and-earth song leads one head-first into the sewers of every old European city, under Rome, under Königsberg, under London, which spilled their contents the world over. (Sometimes they even tried to sell it for profit, and when this ‘exchange ‘ was offered it was promptly refused. Then coercion was deemed necessary in order to spread ‘the market place of ideas…and stuff.’) Every city believed that in creating eternal daylight, our plaited world, O desire, would become concealed from our sense in ‘the life of the mind.’ That we may only chase miserablist rats and thus, do as we’re told and even come to consider this misery as ‘normal,’ as ‘the way things are and must be.’

Will the pundits of life-constriction now ask: Are we to take it that desire is then ‘good’ and only so? Such a question already seethes with  aliveness; with the motion, undulations, the music of stars and of earth, despite such tone-deafness, which for so many seems a chronic condition. Only those who’ve taken up the priestly dirge cogito ergo sum as an invocation against joie de vivre (is there any other joy?), even in the most insidious, although, subtle ways, could ask this silly question with any airs of gravity.

O, desire, perhaps the is ripe for those with affinity with my ken (my cunning?) to take up a poly-rhythmic dancing poetry of their own. Can they? The deliciousness of each our desire: sentio ergo existere.*

* I’m grateful to ’emile’ for aiding in a refinment of my previous usage of ‘sentio ergo sum’ and bringing this much more suitable phrase out of it. More constellations to weave together!

A Few Thoughts on Nietzsche – II

Sooo…about the music we might hear if we listen to these Nietzschean cues. How may the possibilities appear if we entertain the play between ‘can’ and ‘may’?

It might be said the possibilities are endless, although such a posture retains a whisper of the human, all-too-human hope for certainty. That is, there are possibilities which remain yet to be discovered, a teleology of becoming toward ‘being,’ a final purpose ‘of it all.’ All the articles of faith in ‘things,’ in ’causes,’ Progress, and perhaps even Truth, remain intact which have both spawned and perpetuated the illusion of separation and the latter’s ‘real world’ impacts we perceive symptomatically as ecocide, social fragmentation, personal/self-alienation. We shape the world with our hands according to how we sense our ‘worldiness.’

Nearly every discourse is girded, and thus funneled, by way of these articles of faith: subject/object; cause/effect; mine/yours; matter/energy; and so on. With these assumptions grounding our living relations, and yet slowly killing those very same relations by way of conceptually placing a sense of solidity to that which may be better likened to watery whorls and undulating music, we witness our fleeting lives as hardly more than an interminable allergic reaction toward that we arbitrarily consider ‘not I,’ more fashionably stated as ‘the other.’

But, what if we play with Nietzsche, to the Dionysian tune of ‘can’ and ‘may’? Indeed, here we may say ‘Ecco!’ as Nietzsche’s musical philology appears in content-form (‘content’ and ‘form’ no more separate than ‘lightning’ and ‘flash’)*. While the relation between ‘can’ and ‘may’ may be described as one of tension , this is due more to our word usage and the lie/illusion of separation. It might be better to image (a manner of appearing) ‘can’ and ‘may’ as this tension, as tones, vibrating different tunes. In and as this world, this singular becoming, there can be no separations, only variations; overlapping-s, harmonies, as well as notes of discord, but the ‘textures’ of tones nonetheless.**

When I use ‘can’ in a Nietzschean sense I’m simply pointing toward localized capabilities (‘able to,’ to be able’) within a dynamic, ever shape-shifting, Heraclitean strand, yet inseparable from and always an expression of this strand. ‘May’ indicates the non-localized capabilities, the conditions enveloping every instance we shape as ‘local.’ Here the age-old belief in the duality, the divide, between ‘general’ and ‘particular’ may show itself as an arbitrary piece of theological residue which still haunts our discourse. That which we like to believe are ‘things,’ ‘objects,’ ‘beings’ situated ‘out there’ to our ‘in’ or ‘over here’ are perhaps better spoken of as localized capabilities appearing to us, sensed through ‘us.’***

Every capability is as ephemeral as they are unintelligible/uncertain. This includes, of course, ‘ourselves.’ We can name each instance or event, number them, make them more usable for us, but there’s no nut to be cracked, no unalterable essence to be found. The ongoing search for such, even by way of those persons proclaiming their atheistic secularism, can be considered little if any more than the lingering paradigm of a soul-in-search-of-it’s-God; the hallmark of ‘The Axial Age,’ that morbid, world renouncing piece of theatrics: ‘My Life is a Journey Home’

Each ‘capable instant’ remains only to the extent of its capability. This sounds circular and indeed may only be so described. To ‘be capable’ is instantaneous, now, present; an instant is a plenum of ‘itself’ and cannot any be otherwise. And yet, the belief that each ‘I’ changes ‘the world’ without changing ‘our Self’ remains a persistent lie; the very basis of ’cause’ as a prior action to each ‘effect’ is at work. ‘Git ‘er done!’ We’ve fooled ourselves into believing our language (in this case, that based in PIE), our naming, our sentence structure, is synonymous with the real.****

The inseparability of ‘can-may’ could be described as one author puts forth as ‘dynamic non-dualism.’ We recognize we’re telling a helpful fib even when we use two words, ‘can’ and ‘may,’ to indicate the ‘eternal recurrence’ (Ewige Wiederkunft) of each ‘capable instant.’ Each is ‘always arriving’ (‘…y llega siempre‘ of Paz? Spanish can be so lovely). Every ‘can’ is conditioned by, that is within, the ‘may’ allowing for ‘its’ very appearance; likewise, ‘may’ is altered simultaneously…and vice versa. Any contradiction found herein is solely based in the employment of logic toward that which logic arises within. Logical systems and their ‘laws’ are forever ‘behind the times,’ ‘after the fact.’ The dynamic non-dual ‘universe’ can never be amenable to our systems, particularly binary systems, which always refute themselves…they remain forever a circular argument. (I’ll touch on this another time.)

Long ago, Heraclitus, for one, attempted to describe this undulating music: ‘the way up and the way down is the same,’ ‘you cannot step in the same river twice,’ etc. It’s just that people hate uncertainty, despise the non-logical openness and flow of ‘the universe,’ frown upon the fuzziness of ‘boundaries,’ all of which are naught but our moral values we parade around as synonymous with ‘reality.’ The dominant tendency, particularly in the so-called ‘West,’ has been to block and/or channel the flow of the river; to see two divergent paths, one ‘up,’ one ‘down,’; to divide ‘the lightning’ from ‘the flash,’ ’cause’ from ‘effect’ and ‘I’ from ‘not-I.’
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* See WP 531 for reference. In quoting or indicating Nietzsche’s corpus I will use the standard form of academic citation.

** All italicized words in this paragraph are etymologically rooted together.

*** Many times when I use the word ‘sense’ I am speaking in a broad…sense…in that in no way am I separating ‘sensuousness’, ‘the senses’ from ‘meaning’ (i.e. ‘In what sense…?’). Every body senses!

**** That many white supremists believe they are better and doing other than ‘the Semites’ is laughable at best when viewed from this vantage. Who cares if ‘Adam’ names or some Nordic precursor?