Sunday, September 16, 2012

Revolution by Night/ Parts 1 and 2

By Brian George

Excerpts (revised) from the Reality Sandwich Forum for “The Goddess as Active Listener”

Strange bedfellows/ 6 questions about aliens

Hi Joan of Art, 

You wrote, “I really appreciate your imaginative matriarchal approach to narrative and recognition of the necessary threads we spiders weave into the cracks' of each other's psyches through imaginative hooey flab. I marvel at how you managed to present the game-changing wisdumb of aliens from a human perspective—WITHOUT being alienating, which is always my problem, but at this stage in the game I don't seem to care. What is your relationship to extra-terrestrials?”

Please, will you watch your language! The ones I know prefer the politically incorrect name of “aliens,” which they take to be a kind of inter-dimensional joke. Who, you may ask, is the butt of this black humor? That is the never ending question. Perhaps the eight-armed egg of Moebius knows, but he/ she cannot be tempted to say much, and we humans seem to have lost our keys to the grammar of the once universal language.

You could argue—as so many in search of re-virginization do—that certain aliens are “bad,” while others, more properly called E.T.s, are “good.” Vampiric Grays from Zeta Reticuli, for example, are out to tamper with our DNA. They are fond of cattle prods. To them, humans are a type of god that is powerless enough to eat. They can taste fear. They will shrink when we call them out. Nordic 7-D Pleiadeans are a particularly attractive group. Their white skins are translucent, and gleam. 4-D Snakes from Draco are the masterminds behind the International Monetary Fund. Their hearts are black, while the race of 9-D Ambassadors from Arcturus have no shadows.    

I can’t help but ask: doesn’t this just re-format the traditional light/ dark opposition that has made such a hash out of human history? How are alien or E.T. traits in any way distinct from the mix of forces that we struggle with each day? Instead, let me echo the Roman playwright Terrence, who said, “I am a man; thus nothing human is alien to me.” I would tweak this as follows: there is no part of the Macrocosm that is not—at least potentially—a part of my own body.

In the Ptolemaic cosmos, one argument for placing Earth at the central point was that it could not have an orbit. Circles were a perfect form, while the Earth was an impure mixture of four elements. If this is true, then the center of the body would seem like an odd place for a navel. The gods would disdain to communicate through such an opening. A hex would be placed on Omphalos. They would not want to catch germs.

Sal Rachele, in “The Truth about E.T.s,” argues that close to 100 percent of the Earth’s population is made up of species from other star systems, and he even gives an exact breakdown of the figures. Not only do E.T.s walk among us, but, according to Sal, they are most often indistinguishable from the average pedestrian on the street. All the better for those who would prey on the unsuspecting, and who hide their unnatural wet dreams under hats.

Let us say that you are standing at a crosswalk near the docks of the Generic City, above which a wave towers. There, you are attempting to determine the significance of each sign. Two signs—“Walk” and “Don’t Walk”—flash, but, above them, there are lights of three different colors, and the streets lead off in four directions. So: is it safe to cross?  FYI: that is not a Wagnerian helmet. Instead, those are Brunhilde’s horns. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

In Chapter six of the Tao Te Ching, we read, “The great state should be like a river basin, the mixing place of the world, the feminine of the world.” And, in Chapter 49, “The sage has no fixed mind. She treats the mind of the people as her mind…I treat the good as good. I also treat the evil as good. This is true goodness. And in Chapter 41, “The great square has no corners.”

One can only wonder what other Earth species, such as cows and fish, would say about the benevolence of humans if they could speak. The verdict of an alien board of judges on our race would no doubt be severe—if they were to look at such things as Auschwitz, the bombing of Hiroshima, the BP oil spill, the Stalin purges, or the institutionalized violence of the global “free market.”

There is a statement that I think is from Moses Cordovero’s “Pardes Rimmonim,” or “Pomegranate Garden.” I can’t remember the exact quote, but it goes something like: “If each thing were allotted the judgment it deserved then the world would cease to exist.” Let us hope that love is the operative principle, and that we will all clap when the actors take their bows.

Joan of Art, you had asked, “What is your relationship to extra-terrestrials?” Let me respond to your question with six questions of my own: 

1) How “alien” are they, really, and is the shiver of uncanniness we feel a tribute to the closeness of our bond?

2) Why do “aliens” approach humans in the most intimate of settings, such as bedrooms, which they enter with no prior notice, almost as though some long standing relationship were in effect, of which their Earthly counterparts, only, remain unaware? 

3) If they are exobiological, then why do they have such an interest in our bodies, which they violate with impunity, leaving only a few hieroglyphic scars, as we find that their zany transplants and their Fascist interventions often do more good than harm?  

4) And how should we interpret this incestuous family drama: heads or tails, love match or Greek Tragedy? 

5) Are they the servants and we the masters, now grown senile, on whose behalf they perform their initiatory rites? 

6) Is our categorization of these presences as “aliens” a kind of magical act to avoid confronting the full fear and wonder of the dimension that they come from, the home that we left some indeterminate time ago, on which a door slammed shut?
Moebius revisited; our stories return from the world of light to haunt us

Hi rodomontade,

You wrote, “Historical and artistic references don't usually have much resonance in my own search...I'm certainly intrigued by the ‘What if’ question, as my own life seems to have been altered by late-term, arbitrary intrusions/suggestions/interventions by others. However, that interest is an offshoot of questions about ‘decision-making,’ and whether decisions, as generally construed, are actually possible.

“‘Decisions’ seem unrelated to acts of ‘free will’ and are generally simply retroactive explanations, justifications, rationalizations, etc. Is there some knowable nexus between events, meetings with mentors, etc., and what, for lack of a better term, is called ‘fate?’ Many of us have experiences of the type that you describe here. Does the acting out of such an encounter at the time—and especially in retrospect—simply constitute the fulfillment of a need—an addiction, really—for stories with a narrative arc?”

So, to summarize what I understand you to be saying: you distrust conventional modes of interpretation, whether artistic, historic, or personal, and suspect that the world may be a kind of three-dimensional Rorschach blot, upon which we project our needs. Yes, what appear to be “meaningful coincidences” do occur, but perhaps these have less to do with Fate than with our desire to read the random patterns of our experience as a narrative.

For many years I avoided telling stories, for reasons similar to your own; the bits and pieces of the contemporary world did not seem to fit together, at least not on the level that I lived. Events were signs, to be read, but it was clear that the Ur-Text—if such a thing existed—was not set up to be user-friendly. Then too, my stupidity did not seem like an accident. If our pea-brains are the result of random changes in our DNA, as we have been told, then why would we not be content with sex and food, instead of yearning for their metaphysical equivalents? Large scale myths had meaning for me, yes, but there appeared to be a gulf between the larger patterns and the smaller ones.

In August of 1986, however, I had an experience of being lifted out of the solar system by a tornado, as I mention in “A Brief Biography,” for “energetic realignment by a race of acupuncture manikins.” In a kind of anteroom to the created world, I was shown the wheels which contain all of history, in which the beginning, the middle, and the end of every story are perceived as being simultaneous. Upon my return, after crashing through the roof of my apartment building, I had the sense that everything around me was about to spontaneously combust. I reached up and out to touch the lamp beside my bed, but had to yank my fingers back; the metal was too hot to touch.

For weeks, I kept finding evidence of a change. Shelves of books at the Copley Square Library appeared to have been moved, and everything in my neighborhood was just a little bit off. As in the movie “Dark City”, some things had been added, and other things left out. A subtle breach between dream and waking had occurred, which rendered both terms obsolete. The gulf between the upper and the lower worlds began to seem like a theatrical effect.

A revolution had occurred by night. My family, friends, and countrymen were unaware that a change in the narrative voice had removed the Earth from beneath them. For my own part, I felt seized and violated by my subjection to the small hands of the larger pattern. But then again, it would be easy to convey the wrong impression; the experience was one of equal ecstasy and fear. The seed of my current orientation had been planted: that our stories are more real than we are, and that the already complete story creates our lives retroactively.

Still, I can see the wheels, and feel the violence of the tornado, as the solar system tumbles into the three rings of an atom, and I can hear a soft voice asking, “Brian, do you know who I am?” I often wish that I had an encyclopedic memory—or, at the least, a half-way adequate one. Perhaps the Ur-Text operates on a need-to-know basis; it could tell us more, but it would have to kill us. Enough remains of the experience that I shiver when I think of it, as the force of the swirling energy begins to draw me back there.

(Illustration: Brian George, Fish mummy with vimanas, 1992)

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