Friday, June 29, 2012

In Memoriam Georges Bataille: Truth, Love & Death

Portrait of "Dianus" by Alberto Giacommetti

“As I sought it out I have never found it.”

Truth. Comprehending the truth of love, of death, of laughter and tears: such experiences disclose the Impossible. This truth is strictly speaking ungraspable. It exists inextricably bound by a relationship of complementarity, a discordant accord, with that other side of truth which is the business of lucid scientific rationality, i.e. the production of knowledge as an objective description of the world of things, of what is possible. Irreducible to objectivity, such experiences as love, laughter and tears are no less real and no less a part of the world in which we live and die. They escape the grasp of knowledge, properly speaking, and yet without the perspective given therein, truth would remain forever incomplete; and what's more, the unknowability of death itself guarantees the necessarily incomplete status of life, of history, of the world, and of the totality of the universe.

Georges Bataille à Oréans, 1961
“Science is silent about the moment in which reflection loses its moorings within the impossible.”

The truth of love and of death, viz. the impossible can only come into the purview of objective knowledge (whether according to the methods dictated by scientific reason or by philosophies such as phenomenology or logical positivism) by means of a reduction: any objective description and knowledge of love, of death, is possible only from without and après coup: to mistake love or death for merely biological phenomena amounts to an amputation of all that arises from (inner) experience. While a work of decidedly broader perspective and (in my view) greater intellectual rigor and honesty, P.-L. Landsberg's Essai sur l'expérience de la mort remains the fruit of a project doomed in advance, one that could only fall short or fail utterly: one simply cannot have knowledge the experience of death from the perspective of the one who dies – for death is essentially the permanent disappearance of the very subject of knowledge.

Laure and Georges: once again united by death.
“In so may ways, the ensemble of mankind has fallen into a trap. This much we can grasp.”

Our inevitable, final fall into the impossible is our common destiny: slipping beyond the bounds of meaning into absolute senselessness, every being does finally escape from the twin prison-houses of self and world; likewise from that of language. That final destiny which we share with every living being is to at last venture beyond every possibility, to transgress the most distant of limits. We are bound to joyously disappear into that unknown domain to take leave of the world, of knowledge, without so much as a shadow of self. Dissolution into boundless immanence is our final destination, for the world in which we live is that of false, reified – deified – transcendence. The lie of transcendence is supplanted by truth in the final reckoning, for “the totality of the world rests finally on my precarious self, and on death.” In truth, we are bound together by the universal and inevitable disappearance of our selves.

Would this then not be the “nothing of transcendence?

No, let us not be seduced by the thought of nothingness. Human existence is always in suspense of death: beneath the surface there is an inconceivable abyss into which, one day, we will fall. Does the end of all possibility and knowledge signify or reveal nothingness, non-being, as the ultimate truth of life, of being? No, for we can only speak of nothing as poets, as dupes, or as liars: for nothing exists only as the abstract negation of the something that is. There is no nothing: no experience of nothing. What's more: even in the vacuum a sort of creation ex nihilo takes place - an ephemeral creation destined to return to its origin and to repetition.

"Experience is immeasurable," and the universe is inconceivable. When we confuse our impossible destiny with absolute annihilation we succumb to the seductive, cold comfort of nihilism: we suppose that we have attained absolute knowledge, an immutable, ultimate truth, and thereby forget that human existence is of its essence an unanswerable, open question, forever incomplete(able). 

"We are never within our rights in preferring seduction: truth has rights over us. Indeed, it has every right. And yet we can, and indeed we must, respond to something which, not being God, is stronger than every right, that impossible to which we accede only by forgetting the truth of all these rights, only by accepting disappearance.”

The preceding reflections, composed on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death (7 July 1962), are to a great extent inspired by the final expression of the thought of Georges Bataille, the preface to The Impossible. This text was written with a sense of great urgency, as his correspondence with the publisher indicate, and the book had been in print less than three months before he died peacefully, like a cat, in his sleep, while his wife and young daughter were vacationing in England. With the exception of the last, which concludes the published preface, all quotations are drawn from the manuscript version found in Tome III of his Oeuvres Complètes (my translations).

Mythos Media Fundraisers 2012

Rather than these vague twitter posts let me be very clear what is going on.

There are several projects in production and all of them need some seed funds to really get off the ground beyond a sort of "pilot episode."

And this is of course despite conjecture such as this. The fact is, it costs money and time to produce media, and I've killed myself (and years of my life) too many times on projects that made it through round 1 of funding only to die at round 2, which often means due to contracts that no one even got to see anything for our labors. No more. Beyond the most bare bones, which usually amounts to words on a page or on a screen, transmedia and multimedia projects need to gets funded and produced, or they have to get shit-canned. I am streamlining production cost but there is only so far you can go and produce the kind of quality that I am aiming for, and in the past I've encountered problems of retaining talent when they have studios like Image and Vertigo and movie studios knocking on their doors and it comes down to "I really like this script, James, but I've go to go where the money is."

So in a sense I'm counting on all of you to vote with your dollars, cause that's what we have to vote with these days. And our past track record of production at least shows that well--considering what we've done on shoestrings, what we could do with slightly longer ones could be amazing. 


A dark modern fairy tale. 

Below is a piece of artwork-in-progress from the artists I am working with on issue 1. At least some of these will appear in the ongoing series if we raise the necessary funds to produce a multi-part series that will also be collected as a graphic novel. The production will include a lot of mixed media material, availability as print and ebook, and short video trailers and web materials that add layers or other angles to the narrative. (Transmedia.)

Fundraiser: September 1 - October 10. 

I plan to run this Kickstarter in September and really hope I can get some press help and bloggers and all of you on twitter to get the word out because it does come down to a popularity contest at the end of the day. We will work our asses off to make something beautiful and unique if we can fund it. 

Estimated necessary budget: $30,000. (I have to review the spreadsheet before I say this is final.)

Giveaways: Just initial thoughts...We will be giving away various artist prints, of course e- and print versions of the illustrated story 'pilot' (issue 1) as well as the lowest donation tier which will be the unillustrated text. The pilot is why I'm waiting until September to begin the Kickstarter which will run for 40 days. Of course I have ideas for posters and some unique items, but the question does arise of production cost of giveaways vs. funds raised and production overhead itself so I have a lot of math to do...

Words of Traitors:

These Are Not My Memories. A collection of stories that get at the nebulous - fate, faith, choice, death of the self, death of another, young lust - while they are in transit from one place to another.  These are works of "honest fiction" that I've been working on by way of 'stretching' myself as a writer. Or that is how it began. As all projects do, this is taking on a life of its own, and I am now seeing the final version being ideally a hardcover with a single very nice illustration to accompany each piece. I would like to pitch first rights for each short story to publishers but want to retain creative control over the final version which means having money for an editor, for luring artists to actually hit deadline, and for a marketing campaign that actually gets the word out.

Fundraiser: July 20 - August 20. I plan to run this on Indiegogo. This is because even if we get partial funding, we can make some headway with this project. They say that August is a terrible month to fundraise. I guess I'll find out.

Estimated necessary budget: $7,000.

Giveaways: obviously, early editions of the stories will be giveaways, as 1 offs and as a collection at a higher tier and then in an early print chapbook at a higher tier. I'd also like to offer something unique, so I'm thinking about that as well. Then those at a certain tier will also receive a final, hardbound copy when production on that is complete - likely several months after the fundraiser is complete, but long before it is available on the public market. You can read first (and I mean first) drafts of pieces for this project on my tumblr under this tag:

If you'd like to get in ahead of the curve and donate to Mythos Media / Modern Mythology productions in general:

[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kali The Cremation Ground of Bakreshwar Temple

By William Clark

[For an earlier conversation see Alterati.]

A narrow, unpaved road beginning near the main temple complex guides you along a winding path flanked on opposite sides with a motley arrangement of grave markers. As you approach the cremation ground’s main entrance, a small roadside temple presents itself. The phrase “JAY MA SMASHANA KALI” (Victory to Mother Kali of the Cremation Ground) is written above its doorway in bright red Bengali script. Housed within this shrine, a murti (sacred image facilitating divine communion) of Kali depicts her standing upon her husband––Lord Siva––in characteristic pose, brandishing a sword and holding a severed head with her right hands while her left hands give the mudras (symbolic hand gestures) of abhaya (fear not) and varada (conferring boons). Although essentially depicting the dark mother goddess in her popular form, a few macabre embellishments have been added here to emphasize the particularly fierce nature of her smashana (cremation ground) aspect. Wavy red lines, flowing from the corners of her mouth around her cheeks and down her neck, have been painted to represent oozing blood. On Kali’s left and right sides, two semi-nude female shaktis (human embodiments of feminine force) gaze upward toward her as they dance, both of them smeared with gore and feasting on human flesh.

Bakreshwar’s sacred burning ground is separated from the surrounding area by a border of tombstones and a small river running along the side of it. Cremation here differs from others I have observed in that a network of connected trenches is employed to contain the improvised wooden pyres. The resultant fire, burning at ground level, is thus easily managed by the Dom who use bamboo poles to manipulate the wood and break the body down as it is slowly incinerated. Pieces of wood which have not burned away are removed, put aside, then later incorporated into fresh pyres.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Red Dawn: The Pluto/Uranus Square

The sun rises, shining a deep, red hue over the cityscape, drenching the still-sleeping populace in its unwavering light. The tides have turned, and the hour draws near where those that have kept quiet will emerge from the shadows, enacting vengeance upon the wronged.

The planets have no doubt bestowed myriads of abuse toward the game-players over the past year. Perhaps, they have always known it would come to this. At once, the sleeping giants lay down their aggravation, and form a link of protection surrounding our fragile inner and outer selves.

Why the change of pace? For so long, Saturn, you have disrupted our efforts to build, establish, and balance. Now, your staff has been thrust into the ground, granting stability to our enflamed Moon before her dark transit through the past.

He glares sternly into our eyes, demanding our questions be silenced, for now. The mighty god carries the weight of his brow as one who has seen too much, and the Aquarian Age, far into the future, ripples in response.

The shamans, Pholus, Nessus, and Chiron, have retreated into ceremony. No doubt, our guiding light calls us home, offering shelter within the comfort of what we know to be family. The effect of our dreaming has begun to take shape around the planet, no longer individualized. 

"You are the waking dream," Neptune replies, continuing to find empowerment in the early charged degrees of Pisces. "This is no longer about you. The resonance and retribution of your inner selves have evolved, manifesting themselves in angelic countenance. Let them take flight."

Karmic forces reunite from the past, triggered by phrases and remembrances decided upon centuries ago, unlocking a hidden destiny. Our eyes flutter open to greet the day, the sun's rays granting us an extended calm. The birds sing with peaceful repose, and the average day progresses as one might expect.

What we do not see are the mystics at hand--a secret order floating through the shadows. The game is set; every cog in place, every wheel in motion, the universe in symphonic accordance with itself.

A neighborhood church echoes the familiar hymn:

"...the foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conquerer silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps."

Quietly, a sense is gathered: this brewing war is far different than what we have come to expect, and a stark revelation comes upon us. The transformation is cold and distant, stricken with subconscious ripples. The towers are dismantled from within.

"You stand at the precipice," Saturn speaks, conducting the congregation. He leans upon his staff like a crutch, his weariness revealing itself. "Your reality is doomed to be broken. Let go of concept. Let go of religion. Let go of understanding. Soon, you may lean upon my staff, and allow it to be your reason."

At that moment, the roof of the church flies open; brick and mortar spiraling upward into a swirling vortex. Saturn has opened the Portal of Time, and an array of Universes lie above us, asking to be explored.

[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Descent to the Merkavah/ Part 1

By Brian George 


“Man’s quest for immortality, to ‘live forever,’ or to be self-sustaining in one way or another is modeled most economically by the vortex. ‘Looking into the world,’ he observed the vortex in fire, wind, and water, and in the weave patterns of the heavens above, etc. When, whether consciously or subconsciously, he recognized that vortexes represent ‘the only manner by which a self-sustaining motion can exist in a given medium’ (Arthur M. Young), he would naturally have gravitated to such an idea—specifically, the idea that a vortex appears to be other than the medium which sustains it, but actually it is one with the medium within which it exists.”—from Martin Farren, “In the Mirror of Creation”

My explorations in Kabbalah and Kundalini yoga had led me in and out and upside down through the convolutions of an arcane curve, and deposited me, at a different turn of the spiral, again exactly in the place where I had started. It was in this position that I had always found myself—as a stranger with a social slot to fill, as a non-local presence with a local job to perform, as an ancient soul at a perpetual beginning.

As from a height, I had descended to a vehicle, and, from solid earth, into a state of watery flux.
There, the laws of electromagnetism could not be taken at face value. My evolution followed the path recommended to the student of Kabbalah—the “Path of Descent”—which was also the path taken by the first imploding hypersphere and its crop of unpronounceable gods, the Elohim—as they are called, for the sake of convenience, in this system. The name is a generic one, and, in contemporary terms, we could perhaps refer to them as “The Powers That Be.” We suspect—only—that they are powers now, although, in some respects, they seem close to being programs. When, amid flashing lights, they choose to put in an appearance, at times there does seem to be something of the manikin about them, and it is not clear if they really “act” at all. We do not know what they were before, or how they came to be in charge of the technology that projects us.

Friday, June 08, 2012

New LSDs Bath Salts Zombies and YOU

Direct link.

We are going to take a break from our usual material here for this Public Service Announcement. Please pay attention to it, unless if you want your organs to basically burn up alive. Also see this Disinfo expose on a possible theory about the truth behind the bath salts / zombie "craze."

 From the creators of Gonzomentary.

 [Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Fragments On life, death, suffering, and becoming art.

By Sascha Idakaar

The past two weeks I've been moving. Now I'm surrounded by boxes.

I wanted to pen a few of the thoughts that have occurred to me over those two weeks, in no particular order, although I think they overall present some kind of fractured picture of the thought process that is overlaid atop hidden experience. I don't mean any of this to be abstract. I don't mean it to be anything at all, they are just the things I have been wrestling with and thinking about these past weeks, so it's a series of mental snapshots. I'd like to think this will be useful or at least entertaining or informative for some of you, but that is for you, and not me, to say...

On the Ocean. 
Life is always swimming against the current. That's its defining characteristic. When it is full of vitality, we can even swim upstream. What progress we're making! Eventually that vitality flags, and all we can do is maintain. Then, either all at once or very gradually, we are slipping backwards and the current fully overtakes us. We are swept out to sea.

That is beautiful or terrible, depending on how you feel about what was left behind, depending on how attached you are to you. But this is all we know: we came from the sea, and we return. It is inevitable.

On the myth of The Story. 
Even the words we use mean different things to each of us. A story is not a story, singular. It is, potentially, as many stories as there are readers breathing life into those dead husks.

Designer Drugs, the Zombie Apocalypse, and You

homeless bath salts 

A Modest Proposal: 2012

By Rusty Shackleford

Some of you may remember a piece written by myself, no less than a half a year ago, on the potential of chemicals included in head shop designer drugs to chemically lobotomize the user and to effectively dissociate the hind brain from the frontal portions of the brain. The drug would then essentially paralyze the frontal portions of the brain, leaving a human being concerned with only the most rudimentary functions of the limbic brain: fucking, eating, and killing. 

Welcome to 2012. The only difference is that at the time, we postulated that such an effect could be achieved through chemicals sprayed upon "spice" packets sold in headshops containing active agent JWH-018 which is, in and of itself, a fairly unknown quantity. Since then, I have watched with a growing interest as report after report published on the internet, major news networks, blogs and newspaper articles have hit with new details on "zombie cannibalism attacks" generated by "abuse of bath salts, superacid, etc" depending upon whom you ask. Enter "Kapin Trips" (tm).

The substance in question

The following excerpt is from an anonymous tip off I received via the e-mail from a former organic chemist working for a company that I will not name. Suffice to say, he made me very certain of his credentials, and that the company in charge of this operation has its hand in a lot more than just legal recreational drugs: It goes deeper than you could ever imagine, and it is completely horrifying.

[Related topic: "Project Know" !]

He wrote to me after having read my piece on the use of over the counter or legal head shop drugs in creating armies of drone assassins. He asked me how I knew, and how I had discovered this on my own without any apparent insider knowledge of any of these events transpiring. The following is an excerpt of our communication via e-mail, verbatim except where omissions of titles and names were necessary for anonymity's sake.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...