Thursday July 27, 2017

I feel compelled to write my work this way, however crooked or stoned — for it needs to be written, and I cannot write it otherwise. A real act of hypnosis occurs. Hypnos is the god of sleep, whose abode is Erebus, eternal darkness. He carries his inverted torch when I lower my lighter-flame to my pipe. The circle within the triangle is the symbol that supplies a perfect field for scrying. But receptivity is not the same as submission. I suggest that you investigate the website of Ordo Astri: The Order of the Star. The central experience of the Initiate to the order is “the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.” The aim of this group is “Gnosis or Illumination, not belief.” Alongside my work as an instructor at a nearby university, I must also enroll in an Invisible Collegium. The faculty of this Collegium are Illuminated Souls who communicate through symbols. Ordo Astri itself is one such means. Their website tells me, for instance, to picture Horus as my Holy Guardian Angel, polymorphic and thus passing through many layers of form, these latter occasionally viewed out of the bottom of my eye all at once on a single plane. I’m disappointed, though, when the magical system introduces the need for adversaries, dwelling at the threshold between stages of Illumination’s unfolding. Of these stages, there are three: the Invisible Order of the Silver Star, the Inner Order of the Rosy Cross, and the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn. At that point, I lose contact: these man-made systems have too many rules. But what if, on second thought, I were to click on the link to their book, The Enterer of the Threshold? Nothing, as it so happens —  as one has to pay to read it. Robert Pirsig’s book, meanwhile, is oddly precise in evoking a scenario similar to the one I’ve arrived at with my courses on “Hip” — for the latter is a type of Quality, like the kind Phaedrus asked his students to write about when he was teaching up in Bozeman. This is just me checking in with myself about my emotions. Scanning into the silent interruption time of a streamed performance. The webcammer as stoned author of automatic speech. One who scans one’s contacts and selects inner voices at will. Perception’ll get blurry, you’ll start slurring “where was I?” Early onset Alzheimer’s. And the world feels like children playing games, some of them terrible and cruel. The sense Kurt Cobain captured with such economy in Nirvana’s “School.”

Psychedelia never included that skin-crawling sensation, that claustrophobia, that ’80s teenager unrest. These latter emerged only with post-punk, and its variant, grunge. How odd, to think of life or experience as anything but school! Remember the rich, psychological complexity of Michael Azerrad’s Kurt. A hero-character from childhood. Climbing out of windows. Up-up-up-and-down, turn-turn-turnaround: Azerrad’s Kurt was that kind of kid. The kind of tortured romantic personality that I admired in others, but never myself possessed. Imagine using lyric as a way to communicate with fans. Use your cosmic affinities to will bits of beauty into the minds of others. Imagine believing that, as an educator, you could actually shape the minds of others. Why am I not able to convincingly explain the relationship (for the many, not just the one) between language, consciousness, and media? My consciousness can manufacture, internally, cartoons against a dirt valley. A story that works out the ripple and thus contains a secret truth. With Game of Thrones, for instance, we’re processing allegorical impulses toward renewed alliance among former subjects of the Crown of England. That was a “game,” so to speak, that children in the universal playground were coerced into playing. A terrible way to put it, as the game was quite deadly — but the laws, the customs, the armies, all of it, were premised upon humanity’s propensity for social play. To perform is to act is to play. Given this line of thought, perhaps I should seek a copy of Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala’s Hermeneutic Communism. The goal, though, should be to construct a synthesis of Eric Berne’s Games People Play and Althusser’s theory of school as capitalism’s primary ISA.

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