Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Life Phases of the Dreamer: Poe and Developmental Psychology

Edgar Allen Poe's Raven by Gustave Dore
"Is all that I see or seem/But a dream within a dream?" E.A. Poe

The practice of remembering dreams is one way to practice deep, inner self-awareness. The subtle energies of dream arise from the Source of Emotion. Both destructive and creative emotions are based on momentums of conscious action. Thought begets thought, and action begets action. As the Poe quote reads, so the psychological, subtle phases of our lives seem as dreams within a dreams.

Emotions are also based in psychological development through various phases of life. As a child, emotions are indistinguishable between self and other. The emotional vulnerability of a child rests in the experience of lacking discernment between “what is I” and “what is not I”. When a child experiences trauma, they are unable to separate the trauma in their environment from their own thoughts and feelings, which are not yet recognized as theirs. By adolescence, the human being is naturally predisposed to reflection on the content of one’s inner life, forming and recognizing their unique thoughts and emotions. This phase is often marked by the difficulties in attaining psychological independence from the collective emotions shared by family and community. If the person passes from this stage, they are able to maintain a strong sense of self, and so go out into the world, learning but not assimilating, acting but not capitulating. These three stages can be summarized as sight, thought and action.

At the fourth stage, there is a marked shift in consciousness. All the previous three stages become indelibly present in life, yet they all become partial to completion through a conscious manifestation of love. In the process of developing a love relationship, the emotions go through the three phases before they are actualized and fully recognized as the enduring experience of love. In the beginning, the emotional phase of the child returns, where individual emotions become indistinguishable within the love relationship. From that stage, thoughts are dominated by thoughts of love, and all action is cautioned by the fact that everywhere one walks now, they are not alone, but with their love.

As with the mystical hierarchy of seven energy centers in the body, known in such traditions as the Hindu Chakras or the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, these four phases represent the involuntary (feeling), creative (thought), power (action), and compassion (love). In the fifth stage, the love emotion resonates outward to engage a greater sense of love for a community, nation or people. In the sixth stage, the focus is clear, and the way aligns with a specific practice of devotion to service in light of the accumulated energetic septet of emotional phases of psychological development. In the final phase, sight, thought, action, love, community and devotion unites every phase of emotional development. The completion of self-awareness is actualized from the inmost depths to the outmost limits of human potential.


____________
She rushes ahead. Into a rigid cube of wooden frames and metal housing. Rusting chains fall over the marginal impasse of domestic space. The outdoor heavens collapse over the head of my lover. 

The Face in the Pool (frontispiece) by James Allen St. John 
Brilliant orange tigers growl and laugh with the insatiable greed of bestial hunger. She is engulfed under massive wingspan of the jungle predators. She submits to death, agog with passionate surrender.

__________
Filmic mind, braving theatric kingdoms
            Weighed heavily by the German cross
Over western shores, blonde
            With sightless camaraderie
In the sociopathic gaze of mindless pain,
            Order & god for trade
                        At the bedside, nude
                                    Binging before a final restitution,
Breathing in dream-talk laughter nightly,
            Not for escape,
                        Only to tread the unfulfilled urge
                                    To let go of body into an act of base movement

excerpt from "think IN drink"

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Madman Within: Valery and the Personal Energy Crisis


Paul Valery par Jullien

"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
 
"Breath, dreams, silence, invincible calm, you triumph." 

"To enter into your own mind you need to be armed to the teeth." 

"At the end of the mind, the body. But at the end of the body, the mind." 

"A man who is of 'sound mind' is one who keeps his inner madman under lock and key." 


Here, I continue on the themes of an essay regarding a theory of sleep cycles, and the natural course of the human experience of time as espoused in my previous post, Metaphors in the Art of Goya: A Theory of Unconscious Development. Beyond the bounds of the twenty-four hour time bomb, the seer lives to posit the cyclical nature of time in the natural course of creativity as it rises and falls based on the "internal clock" or "the internal orbit" as I will more aptly describe it. Leading through to an experience of time in the twenty-four hour day as much like the seasons, at different stages of life, or the year, we will be naturally disposed to certain times of the day. 

To keep a fixed schedule of waking and sleep throughout one’s life is unnatural and unhealthy, leading to an incomplete understanding of one’s self in relation to the ecological rhythms of the earth, and one’s own nature. Put more concisely, the mad genius intellect of Paul Valery writes, "A man who is of 'sound mind' is one who keeps his inner madman under lock and key." So, continuing on this theme, I would say that, a great foreshadowing to the resolution in thought from the prose essay writings on SoJourn(al) can culminate in formulating a creative practice so that any person can discover the certain time of day that best suits their activity and temperament. 

When allowed to our own devices, we naturally settle into a certain time of day based on the kind of activity with which we are engaged as our primary focus in life. For example, if one is studying texts, the predawn hours may be optimal in terms of the energetic rhythms and ecological harmony involved in the practice and the setting in which one lives. This could potentially lead to invaluable developments as a repertoire of useful information for employers seeking to offer work-life balance and optimal efficiency and motivation based on the kind of work in which they are engaged. 

All of this, in both theory and practice, is based on variables of ecological distinction (the character of a place), individual temperament (how one relates to a certain time of day), and the focused activity (one’s primary work or occupation). Regardless of the person or type of work, with the application of guiding principles, one can find a harmonious relationship with time and productivity through attention to details of place (ecological awareness), energy (sleep cycles), and activity (work medium). 
__________
He is silent and still as stone. His face a petrified grey, staring blankly into an off-white wall. His mind has long gone, and yet his body remains. 

The Battle between Carnival and Lent (detail) by Peter Bruegel the Elder
A rodent gnaws into its raw skin. Dirt falls from its brittle hair. The animal dies before my eyes. I was happy and excited to see what once meant my life, and now...
________
As the tired groaning of racist America brews a proud glory of personal despair,
more,
An interpersonal contemplation on the theme of color:
Hair,
Eyes,
Fingers,
Pubis,
Nose,
And Shape,
Body of form,
And the formless desire

White against the all-escaping cloud of solar obscurity,
Who rushed civilization into the neighborhood of the absent & poor

Breaking the long arduous fast
with an unwelcoming community,
founded not on Love,
only on a hope to pray
before the Cyclops’ rise
over the crossed horizon
...

Stretching beyond the bounds of individual reaction,
To choice.

excerpts from "The socialist epoch"



Saturday, 26 January 2013

Talmud and Dream Interpretation: Thoughts of a Secular-Cultural Jew

Talmud Readers by Adolf Behrman
“Dreams which are not interpreted are like letters which have not been opened.” Talmud

I am a cultural Jew, a secular Jew, an ethnic Jew. As singer Arianne Zuckerman once said, I am "Jew-ish". Yet, I revere the tradition of the Talmud. As far as I know, it is the source of a great wealth of pride in the intellectual strength and heartened closeness to tradition that Jewish people have maintained throughout generations. We have kept our traditions intact because we are flexible. The Talmud is a massive compendium of volumes steeped in argumentation, discussion, rhetoric and criticism on the sacred text of the Torah. The Old Testament is not Old, it is vivified by thousands of years of continuous self-criticical analyses and contemplative thought. The Talmud is the tradition of intellectual meditation on the sacred word. No wonder why dream interpretation is honoured, as the Talmud is one of the oldest forms of imaginative interpretation known in book form. For more in-depth understanding of this quote, see Erich Fromm's work "Forgotten Language."
__________
An old woman sits languorous outside the concert hall entranceway. Her excessive body weight slumps over a barstool with the heaping fatigue of an overworked heart. Yet, in her eye, there is a glint of sound reason, a harmonious vocation towards authentic humanity. I stop for a moment to share a few words with the curious and unseemly woman.

Woman playing a kithara by Anoniem
(Wall painting from Room H of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale)
I become so filled with sympathy for her life story. I run out onto the street, looking for a candy that I recently became aware that she enjoys. All I can find is a broken piece of chocolate on a dirty sidewalk. In my nervous frustration, I dust off the candy and walk back into the hallway. As I step cautiously through the alleyway to the concert hall, a man a few years my elder feels he must give a word of advice.

Two women at the street by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
"There is no sense in your sympathy," he affixes his language to my throat like the strangling inexorability of truth. "I've heard too many racial slurs from the mouths of your likening. You'd like to give back, and yet you cry on a pedestal," he musters an incendiary rage, of darkening complexion under the flickering streetlamp. "How many times have I heard your story, I'm Jewish, so I can empathize," he continues unalloyed. "And when you speak of G-d, I am utterly disgusted."
____________
The Italian connection, un-swayed by the prudent fire of tango nights
       stirring wilderness roosts
                in the back hall of some sterling porch façade
                in the mundane sky of an after-party dimming
                       beside alcoholic whiteout praise
                       and the ruined name.

excerpt from "The ruined name"

Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Triunity of Conscious Remembrance: Writings on Noetic Symbolism

“We can dream about anything, no matter how preposterous, topsy-turvy or unnatural it may be.” Cicero

The three-tiered modes of consciousness, being unconscious, subconscious and conscious are reflected in the synchronous relationship between dream and memory. This is a daily experience from which we may understand the depths of mind on an elementary level. Fundamentally, it is a known fact that all people, and even many animals, are inevitably sent into the subtle realms of dream; it is part of our natural physiology. The three modes are as follows:

1)

Unremembered dreams are phenomena of the unconscious. The subtle emotions that the body and mind feel as a reaction to such dreams are only known by the most acutely aware. 

2)

Dreams that are had, and are known, where the dreamer on waking knows they were dreaming, however cannot remember any specific details apart from references to waking experience, are manifestations of the subconscious. At this point, waking and dreaming states of consciousness meld into a noetic dialogue, an inter-meeting, wherein the fluid exchange of reason and sense are exchanged with imagination and emotion. 

3)

Dreams that are remembered vividly, and dreamt lucidly, are part of the conscious realm. Most people are not fully conscious in their waking life, meaning they are not fully aware and actively engaged in their own lives, as in the source of their own lives, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. A conscious dream is more than a physiological memory of the natural, instinctual imagination, it is a gift from the transcendent inner world, a gate into our inmost being, where we contact that which seems at once incredibly strange and entirely familiar, our fully exposed, and whole selves. 
__________
The sting of marshland rushes bruise and cut the soles while tangling the toes in knots of wet, risen moisture. The earth perspires with enduring anxiety under these blank skies. Emitting the hot sweat of gaseous vents through the decaying roots and bacterial soil, I trudge. 

The Pontine Marshes at Sunset by August Kopisch
On the horizon, a large city is burnt to ash. They say it all begin with the conflagration of a movie theatre, and a plane crash that split the small city in two with massive fires extending outwards. Not a soul survived. The earth feels cleansed by the death of a throaty death rattle. The decay of human bodies seems to rise as from the strength of the grasses rooted in the damp, dank shifting ground. 

The Unknown by John Charles Dollman
Above our heads, a plane spews hot trails of ash. A man behind me loads a rocket and stings the plane through its side. I watch as the behemoth machine incinerates in mid-air, crumbling with a hauntingly delicate rush through the death-consuming land. I am surrounded by a feel of homicidal, at once in the horizon, while within the breast of the alive. The air is heavy with fate. 
__________
The rains bear down hard and long
On these deceased pangs, longing to embrace ghosts
Long shied-away, deep within memory’s misbegotten despair
...
The diminished poor bear arms while the rains fall
Calling them home no more to breath
In the air of pure and raw savagery
Beckoning our rice-fought union to work
In undivided shame across river’s breadth
That brings wealth and a name to the American prince

With breast inflamed
Prepared to reason with his shame
And engrave in the desert an unplanned way
Towards brotherhood
...
Freeing spontaneous whispers
To a last pleasurable remorse
Upraised and sacrificed
As great offering to the Klezmer bonfire
Whitewashing the New York tide with Greek verse,
In one soundless escapade towards relaxed state of being
...
Cyclically bridging the human body with the global fate
In one silent orbital wave that resounds instantly in every curve of lost strength
Between arms where the beat follows to our brethren and kin,
A growing and invisible host to our name, thinking up a sound
And so, calling forth the blessed invocation of being

excerpts from "The rains bear down"

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Call of the Sacred River: Pather Panchali and Dreams of Varanasi

Wife

"Let's go to Benares. Don't the orators make lots of money?"

Husband

"We can't go. How can we? This is my ancestral home; how can I leave it?"

Wife

"Why not? You were away eight years before. You left me at my father's and never wrote."

Husband

"Then I did not know you sweet you are."

Wife

"Save your compliments. This is my home, too. But look at it; it's like living in the forest. At night the jackals prowl around. There are no neighbours I can talk to. You are not always here and sometimes I'm so depressed. You won't understand these things. You live in your work. Sometimes you're paid, sometimes not. I had dreams, too, of all the things I would do.

Outside Their Door, An Old Lady Beggar Sings:

"Those who came before are gone / I am left behind, a penniless beggar / Day draws to its close, night's mantle descends / Row me across to the other side"

From the film, Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)

The same night I look back to Pather Panchali for a few words of wisdom on the experience of human dreaming, I coincidentally happened on the film, "Beyond" by NYC-based photographers Joey L. and Cale Glendening. The quote in the classic 1955 Bengali film Pather Panchali speaks to the luring effect that the ancient city of Benares commands, also known as Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Indeed, it is impressive to see the holy tradition of sadhus depicted in the light of modern photographic excellence. The final scenes in Joey L.'s film are incredibly touching as a young sadhu teaches about how the world is made for peace, and all must be as the sun, seeing all beings as equals and offering the light of wisdom with an exuberant heart to all indiscriminately. Long Live Mother India! 
_________
As the world turns, dreams often fall into the abyss of earthly shadows and solar illumination 

The Jaws of Life by RK
We Are Not Above Extinction by RK
Light On The Little Road by RK
Bridge Under Serene Sky by RK
All Rivers Sacred by RK
__________
and silence, and nothing, and silence,
and how in silent searching , the wandering fades

a trespasser in the popular living happen-stance of  “honest” life,
stopped,
self-betrayed,
to tarry with biblical heat
and white-skinned eyes

paranoiac doom
in the aftermath of domestic civilization
...

calling back to the childless dream
Earth
...

returning from within
the simplest symbolic stare into the beaten human sigh
pointing downwards

upwards

west and east
with the surest of numbered lies,
telling children to fear death and bless the flesh with ungrateful ears, blocked
to the great mystery
that is not
that I am.

excerpts from "that I am silence"



Sunday, 20 January 2013

I Awake in the Name of Django: Romani Jazz and the Dreamer's Embrace


"I'll see you in my dreams / And I'll hold you in my dreams" Gus Kahn's original lyrics

It was in a downtown French bistro where I listened to the hackery of a pseudo-theatrical storytelling musical showcase on the life of Django Reinhardt. I was expecting a real return on a small investment to witness the life of the Romani Jazz legend through his music. I was disappointed to say the least. Genius can never and should never be copied in any way, shape, or form. He made recordings.

I did learn from the storyteller with the gypsy guitar that Django, in fact, means "I awake". One of my favourite films, "Sweet and Lowdown" by Woody Allen features "I'll see you in my dreams" an all-time classic jazz beauty for our time. It speaks numbers with the instrumental ingenuity of the two-fingered guitar player, whose myths struck a chord from my earliest days of musical appreciation. It was especially this Antique FILM which got me hooked on Django! I've been awake ever since! 
__________
I Awake Too Long 
& Photographic Clarity Re-Places My Eyes 
From Dreamscapes Lingering
In His Element by RK
Color of the Horizon by RK
I Am Seen by RK
A Shared Path by RK
Domestic Offerings by RK
___________
“A full expression of Love in mind, heart and wisdom”

“Will the new being have music in Their veins?”

“If marriage of shared blood, the perfect union of musical harmony and universal rhythm will mark the forehead and line the bones of the little one to be”

Raised on the pressure of finger to string
And palm to drum

excerpt from "Spreading Easy Freedom"

Friday, 18 January 2013

I Am A Desert Stranger: Reflections on The Little Prince

Little Prince by Milan Cupka
“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Last night, I took to reading the entire book, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I have been reading a lot into the similarities between Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist and Jewish-Algerian folklore, particularly the tale of The Sabbath Lion. With The Little Prince I have now found a third counterpart to the incredible comparative mythology and collective archetypal resonance which these narratives offer to a keen mind. I could of course go on and on about the engaging metaphorical richness solely within The Little Prince, however I will stick to a fundamental theme within three of these works. 

The desert is an iconic symbol for the immense solitude that opens before a life lived for oneself, or as Coelho writes, for one's Personal Legend. The desert is the ultimate symbol of regenerative emptiness that provides the ground on which the traveler sets out before ending a journey of the soul. The Little Prince itself, closes with a simple drawing of an imaginative desert landscape. That "single event" as de Saint-Exupéry says above, is the recognition that ahead of us lies an expanse of desert. And on seeing the desert open, our dreaming emerges. As de Saint-Exupéry says, "a stranger totally unknown to us" and as Jung says, "that there is someone else in my house". American expatriate writer Paul Bowles also illuminated the desert similarly in his book, The Sheltering Sky

See my related post: Desert Wanderings: Reflection on "The Sheltering Sky"
__________
There is talk of a global calamity. The sky opens our eyes to the inimitable beyond. The solstice night tempts our minds away into the cold dogmas of apocalyptic paranoia. And then, a shift. The star light bends in a waking instant. I see through the unmoving universe, to an orbital flux in the atmosphere itself. Our planet has moved off course! 

Planet Earth 2 by Lena Luss Luyken
I feel as the only one, risen up to unparalleled sight. As a shifty character in The Little Prince, I inhabit my own planet as a sole entity, unable to move from its narrowing horizon. But my planet moves, and now the cold begins to gather as our sun becomes more and more distant. I traverse the edge of the darkening atmosphere. 

Evening Prayer in the Sahara by Gustave Guillaumet
I see into the Sahara night. Young boys play soccer among the ancient ruins. An old man enters the edge of the desert from a ruined city street. Both ancient and modern meet at the edge of the desert, and lament the last orbit around a dying sun.  
____________
Second call missing
Unctuous pull from the umbilical poor,

My unending desire for a madness
Inherent within revolutionary culture and the curtain’s aftermath

Beyond ironic civil warlords and the innate lust for earthen ore,
Lore and gore,

Multitudes fornicating over oceanic test-tube breasts,
Blessing the fatherland journey past the mother’s nest
...

Out of time
Whereupon sits the cosmic being,
Presidential yet aware of universal law
“To correct the broken backbone of history
Civilization looted in the ashtray night!”
...

To calm social panic
And sweep our American blushing under the oriental rug of timeless intoxication

For a new sky,
Fine-tipped,
Seeded and reading to be…

excerpts from "Reading to be..."



Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Eye of The Other Tiger: Borges and the Dreamer Within

Triptych for Borges' poem "El Otro Tigre" by Elza Norma Gonzalez
“The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream.” 
Jorge Luis Borges, from “The Circular Ruins” in Collected Fictions, trans. Andrew Hurley (a source)
All may read the entire English translation of Borges' text, "The Circular Ruins." This piece of intensely magical literature breathes a truth rarely spoken. Life is not simply a dream, but a dream within a dream. As one may chance on an ancient temple, or its ruins, there is a parallel labyrinth quality of sacred architecture and geometry in life and consciousness. As we dig deeper into the internal realities of our lives, we find that to dream is more resonant with the truths of our ephemeral existence. More and more, as I live a life of conscious dreaming, I confront the ultimate truth that I am impermanent, and was not made to last. To dream within the dream of life is the beginning of truth-seeking in the creative arts, and in the drama of everyday voice and action. The dream within the dream is the resonant core of our foundation; the heart of our mind. And finally, we are led into the holy of holies, the central chamber of the temple ruins, where we see through the eyes of a Dreamer who is not us, and yet who dreams our lives. Or, as Borges writes in El Otro Tigre (translated by Alastair Reid), "Let us look for a third tiger. This one will be a form in my dream like all the others..."

See my related posts: Borges On Volcanic Riddles of the Unconscious & Borges and The Ancestral Mirror of World Literacy
_________
 She shares with me her dream by being, and I become hers.

Enter Her Image by RK
She Above the Soft Night by RK
Full Moon Pines by RK
Inner City Arboreal Heart Transplant by RK
Face of the Dreamer by RK
____________
...napping between contiguous web-threshed freedoms to a forgotten deafening…and thickening the low-coasted noon of the heat wave forecast…my mind becomes sullen with blank remorse and a violent emptiness fills me…bearing down on memory like a catastrophic angel of the white light…pitch black featureless dusk of interpersonal reason in the long endless fight to be good and seek happiness in the joyful cries of others…

Bingeing on the unnecessary billions…whose lives anger at the human mold in a resounding attempt to save a bit of that home…that once was stolen from the earth’s own sun-dried hands…still cool with the dank earth and her womb of littered seeds

And the rains pour angelic wisdom over the arisen anguish…to craze for the source and defy the powers that be in an unanswered mind of free rationality...

Dreaming of berries in season and wild-crafting the maze of Her swollen lust…turning on the locomotion of boom bang music over the café loudspeaker…three hours into space in the beyond of our lost anxious sound...

“Each to their own” writes back the lazy teacher…beginning with Zen and ending with architecture…bending for no one except the jungle fire steaming behind the glassed promenade…glowering sickly in the mud of visionary astonishment…shaken in a thud…the mortified martyrs’ brought cinematic drip dry skin…to toast their muscular direction to the lunar fist...

excerpts from "Random Parkade of Fences"


Monday, 14 January 2013

The Voice of Youth: Stories from Idle No More


It was a Friday afternoon. I listened to the video above the morning of my phone interview with Rob Stewart. I had read that Idle No More was quickly becoming a global movement to follow Occupy with equal weight. It was time to dispel my own pipe dreams. I needed to see what may be the greatest current change movement for myself. 

It happened to be one of the coldest days yet in the brutal Calgary winter season when I began to ride my rickety bike south from the downtown core. Not only was it especially cold, but there was record snowfall the day prior. I tread forward, over the blinding snow, into the untended parkland trails ahead. Three hours later, I made it to my previously unknown destination: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency. As soon as I saw the demonstrators, I was immediately shocked with disappointment. I stared, from my bike, over to the sparse crowd, filled with boredom and teeming with weakness. There were only a handful of people. The only time I attended  a demonstration previously, was when George W. Bush came to Calgary after his term as president. That was an incredible showing, one of the most emotionally exuberant and lively demonstrations I have known in Canada. I left, curiously pondering with a comic bent, "Do Canadians only protest in numbers when the issue is to oppose the States?" 

In the United States, where I'm from, I was a frontline demonstrator in anti-war marches to the Pentagon, "No War" rallies in Boston, and magnificent protests in support of Latin American resistance in New York City. A public demonstration is a place where the old and the young meet, to exchange hearts on a platform of free speech and free assembly with the naked flesh of human freedom. I stayed outside Harper's constituency only for a few moments, to place myself in the crowd, and continue on my way to a Metis friend's house to buy him coffee. The next day, my wife attended the more crucial demonstration. I've posted her brilliant story on Media Co-op.  

_________
The true war is now officially being fought in our backyard.

Things are lookin' up by (Kjarvik)
Before it is dark a light will shine through the clouds (Kjarvik)

May All Youth Live Free on Earth (Kjarvik)
There's nothing in your way (Kjarvik)
Heaven on Earth (Kjarvik)
__________
"Matter disguised as her unfolding paradise,
A genital incision, without

Brewed spawn all quaking and facing heart failure
With thick-rimmed glasses and a paranoiac daze,
A thin glimmer of repose
...

Useless triviality
In the maze of Puritanical property and stubborn consensual heavens
Drowned in blue time
...

Oceanward,
Where the thumb and nose meet at the spun wheeling whys,
Whose greed lurched from above the lily swamp and naked,
Pressed their white head to the diamond name"

excerpts from "Pulp Massage"



Saturday, 12 January 2013

A Battle For Wits: Ray Bradbury and The Illiterate Fires of Modernity

Philosophy and Christian Art by Daniel Huntington
 "I've got to read, I've got to catch up with the remembrance of the past!" Fahrenheit 451 (film)

The principal character, Montag, in the 1966 film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, by Francois Truffaut, says these lines before he dreams a nightmare. After breaking up a sterile grouping of house guests, who on being exposed to literature become fraught with the anxiety of original thought and complex emotions, his work as a book burner turns into a twisted night haunt. Ray Bradbury, author of the book, may have been alluding to much more than a simple prediction of a neo-Fascist regime burning books as did the Nazis, and other demented social movements throughout history. Note the Ancient Library of Alexandria. How much of our conscious memory collective was turned to cinder and dust. With the influx of new media, we are losing our grip on the greater part of human contact, that with the historical mind, descending with the literature of the ages into the fires of mass ignorance.  
_____________
Waking proof stirs the realms of the collective-creative imagination with inner-brewing mystery. 
Fahrenheit 451 Resurgence by Rusty Kjarvik 
Fire at the End of the Tunnel by Rusty Kjarvik 
Sail into the Flames by Rusty Kjarvik 
The Last House on Earth by Rusty Kjarvik
Broken Chinatown Lamp by Rusty Kjarvik
____________
Kneaded breathless
Behind television predilections

Guessing at the racy night
Caught in a frozen web-tied lesson

To shoot pyrotechnic tides over the urban mind
Digging into a buttressed yurt, cold

excerpt from "One Ambitious Species"


CHECK my latest Sketches of Style publication with Randomly-Accessed-Poetics 


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Metaphors in the Art of Goya: A Theory of Unconscious Development

The Dream (preparatory drawing) by Francisco de Goya
The Dream (print) by Francisco de Goya
"The dream of reason produces monsters." Francisco de Goya (source)
The purpose for exhibiting the creative process of a master painter as Francisco de Goya, showing his initial sketch, and final print, runs parallel to a theory I have in relation to the role of the unconscious, and its impacts on the life of both the sleeper and the awake. 

Firstly, my theory is founded on lived experience. The foundation is as follows: If a person follows their natural sleep-awake patterns, without conscious intervention, the body cycles through an internal clock more expansive than the twenty-four hour day. Incrementally, each day one wakes later, sleeps later, and eventually earlier. In the course of over a year of practicing this experiment of consciousness, I have found the twenty-four hour clock to be limiting and a mere fixed point around which my sleep and waking cycles orbit, as a celestial body around its true source of gravity. 

Is this an effect of seasonal, environmental, or psychological pressures? The theoretical part now kicks in. With the exhibition of Goya's creative process in visual representing the night of Man, he is accosted by a host of demons, and in turn, upon waking, those demons become monsters of reason. So, if we allow the regenerative natural patterns of sleeping and waking to unfold, with complete abandon and in lieu of the normative twenty-four hour clock, we give way to a natural creative energy sourced deep within our unconscious, that nourishes our very life-breath with the heartbeat of self-knowledge. 

With this, the world of dream is merely a doorway, as is a metaphor or a myth, towards a more holistic regenerative consciousness of self-awakening. 

See related post: In Defence of Sleep: Regenerative Sleep Cycles of Archaic Man
__________
After hours downtown mall. Winter night. Midwestern city. The street is dim, and I stand, as to wait for a companion, or a bus home. Alone, my eyes scan the glass exit doors with a longing nostalgia for company. As I consider my absolute solitude, two prostitutes brush up against me. They closed in out of nowhere. After a moment of disdain, I begin to hear an inner curiosity.

Cocotte on the Road by E.L. Kirchner
"How much?" I ask, imploringly. "500 dollars" she says with a soft smirk. "I don't have that much." I respond, with dry humour, having never intended to act on my curious insides. Surprisingly, my wife steps through the hall behind us and into the background. She sets up her instrument and begins to play. I drift, flying towards the awake. Her unconscious body, her subtle spirit had called me forth, from the fantastic night of isolation.
___________
What of human sound,
The frequent lust to prepare noise in strength of intellectual wonder
and produce unfathomable beauty
            of the entire body
                        descending to and from the ear’s tragic centering
In our musical society, and what to compare “human music” to the grandiose law of nature, expressed in the mere calls of bird and beast revolving their unchallenged voices around the veil of a gross acoustic hall,
            whose rendering dreams an unforgiving welcome to the Earth’s living
            hall,
                        led to a thoughtless demeanor
                                    yet within the mind of man
...

to find a source,
                                                not necessarily of communication
                                                            between human, bird and god,
                                                but a direct connection
                                                            that spells mystery
                                                                        from an inspired gift to all
her sound.

excerpts from "Of human sound"


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Thinker Who Thinks For One Self: A Reflection on Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer caricatured by Wilhelm Busch
"...the greatest amount of erudition, if it has not been elaborated by one's own thought, is worth much less than a far smaller amount that has been well thought over.

...much reading deprives the mind of all elasticity, as a weight continually pressing upon it does a spring, and the most certain means of never having any original thoughts is to take a book in hand at once, at every spare moment. This practice is the reason why scholarship makes most men more unintelligent and stupid than they are by nature.

...he, that is, who thinks for himself, thinks of free will, thinks correctly he has the compass to find out the right way.

...the intellectual acquirement of the self-thinker is like a fine painting, which stands out life-like with accurate light and shade, well-balanced tone, and complete harmony of colour. The intellectual acquirement of the mere scholar, on the contrary, resembles a large palette full of bright colours, systematically arranged indeed, but without harmony, cohesion, and significance.

For the perpetual, the real, in its originality and power, is the natural object of the thinking mind, and is able most easily to move it deeply...In the realm of reality, however beautiful, happy, and cheerful it may happen to be, we move ourselves continuously under the influence of an oppression, which has ceaselessly to be overcome ; while in the realm of thought we are incorporeal spirits...

...how great and how near us is the problem of existence, of this ambiguous, tormented, fleeting, dream-like existence ; so great and so near, that as soon as one is aware of it, all other problems and purposes are overshadowed and hidden by it..." Schopenhauer, On Thinking For Oneself

During the course of writing this blog, from its inception, until tonight, I have been exploring a world of my own making. I have sacrificed a worldly career-seeking existence for a deep exploration into the development of self-motivation, self-learning of thinking for oneself. That being said, while I have risked the mental balance that all face when they dwell profoundly and thoroughly into themselves, I have begun to a feel a feeling of being in the presence of the trackless way, or "the pathless" as Jiddhu Krishnamurti said. To trust the language of dream is a daily struggle to remember the most obscure part of ourselves that the world tells us to deny, forget and leave far behind in the realm of sleep and fantasy. When dreaming begins to encroach on our reality, we become fearful, and as modern people, defensive. The breach of unreason is an affront to all we have been taught. It is the history of our own soul. When the words of great thinkers like Schopenhauer begin to make crucial sense and gain a new sense of pragmatism outside of the allures of becoming privy to an enigmatic philosophic tract, the inner world of one's own making begins with an awakening, illumined by the midnight sun.

See related post: Schopenhauer and the Unconscious Fate of Recurrent Thought
__________
Apocalypse! Apocalypse! We are at bay! The grocery stores are emptying, the streets are empty of cars and the sidewalks are full of an insane humanity. After days of hiding out, I finally emerge from my apartment, bewildered by the blaring sky. A man shouts prophecies from the nearby grocery store entranceway. A crowd of onlookers listen with eager intent. 

Frescoes in the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assisi, southern transept, scene: Apocalypse, Detail by Cimabue
"Fuck you!" I scream at the man. At once, an elderly lady screams back at me, "Fuck you!". I stare at a blinding yellow ring on her finger, absolutely dumbstruck with comic bewilderment. I return to the street side under my apartment building. To sit with a homeless man on his bed of burning fabric. I stare out, deadened by the silence of a lifeless futility creeping into the human domain from the belligerent rage of Earth; her the final hour.
__________
To obviate from this bland mural,
Its strict pull underlies, as a lightning tremor

In the cooled dust collecting raw answers
From the autochthonous matrimony with foreign alliance,

Over the scarred mud-caked plains
Whose agricultural fertility gave way to chemical strife

In the selfish human pandemic,
Lining the hostess and her following with possibility

In the strong-voiced dirge calling back thousands’
Endless anonymity from the last day that rested with holy failure
...
Embracing the nervous mouth of the whole city in one dire expression
To last

excerpts from "Obviation from the BLAND"  


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Theft of the Stallion: Pantheist Wisdom of California Poet Robinson Jeffers

A Wild Stallion by Albert Bierstadt

"She endured, and to hasten the act she feigned desire; she had not
for long, except in dream, felt it.
Yesterday's drunkenness made him sluggish and exacting; she
saw, turning her head sadly,
The windows were bright gray with dawn; he embraced her still,
stopping to talk about the stallion.
...
The nerves and the flesh go by shadowlike, the limbs and the lives
shadowlike, these shadows remain, these shadows
To whom temples, to whom churches, to whom labors and wars,
visions and dreams are dedicate...
...
The child Christine waked when her mother left her
And lay half dreaming, in the half-waking dream she saw the
ocean come up out of the west
And cover the world, she looked up through clear water at the
tops of the redwoods." (Roan Stallion by Robinson Jeffers)

I had first become aware of the brilliant illuminations of Robinson Jeffers while listening to the Joseph Campbell lecture, Origins of Man and Myth. Where the poetry of Jeffers is invoked to describe that which makes us human, the affinity for "a divinely superfluous beauty." I also like his Natural Music. Some poetry enthusiasts consider Jeffers' work to be pantheist. In this regard, when I read Jeffers, I indulge in the right road to my relationship with the world, as with that of my mother. Every natural phenomenon calls to a supernatural truth, a divine magic, personified in the ambient face of seasonal change, the drastic force of the weather, or the inner passions ignited. A theme that started this blog currently recurs in my life, that being a recognition of the wayward allure of exceeding exposure to the night so often accompanying life in the northern climes. Yet, after reading such poetic masters as Robinson Jeffers, I can't help think that in the opaque cold of infinite nothingness, there is a mythopoeic field of space, love and silence; the kiss of a goddess in recline.   

More intellectual blogging on Jeffers & Dream
___________
I am a child amid the street market tianguis of Mexico, the grand bazaars of Egypt, and I brush past the singing troubadours of Italy. The air is wild, and my light coat loose. As I glide in and out of various merchants and their wares. I grab a handful of corn, pocket a cookie, and steal away with a sandwich wrap, to enjoy under a youthful sun.

A pretty fair woman by Ferdinand Wagner 
The subtle gate of theft and its freedoms beckon a cause bursting and boiling over within me. I am full with need. The essence of life is stolen away to the fair of justice and the game of life. Still, I scarf down my winnings in jubilee, and return for more. 
_________
A threshed sweat leaf, singled out over the billowing masses,
A high, overstated nocturne

Dreaming in workaholic shivering screams
That transform lightly into breath of song with male weeping

And her deserted lips struggle to purse
Over the citrus flesh of an Iberian mother

Calling for heart chains to unlock
Yet distressed and of unruly mind

She dresses timelessly with prophetic sophistry
Beyond the rasped vocal bead of the Roman elite

Prideful with elegant cheeses to smother their appetite
For lower slavery below the belt of animal sanity

excerpt from "Natural Pleasure"