|Magic Mountain (after Thomas Mann) By Christiaan Tonnis|
Within this essay by the great 20th century writer Thomas Mann, author of the famed Magic Mountain, are masterful insights with which to learn the various modes of self-discovery as espoused in the mythic fires of ritualized, eternalized thought throughout the ages. In the ageless struggle towards self-knowledge, the embattlements are often constructed in defence of the outer world, or the world, and in offence from the inner world, or the self. In the midst of those embattlements, lies a field. As Rumi says, "Between right doing, and wrong doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
To explore self-knowledge with regard to knowing one's place and vocation is to embark on an inward journey. Only by recognizing the bare truths of our life in the present moment, and proclaiming them as such, and in turn, making them an integral part of the conscious, and waking, mind, can we understand that the truth about myth.
Myth addresses and reveals the ultimate needs of the human psyche. Myth speaks of the search for meaning in the life of humankind. The final lesson of myth is that the ultimate question for life in the modern world, as with all times, is not, "what is my place in the world?" The essential question remains, "what is the place of the world in me?" Every one is the ONE. You are the world.
The world is of our own making. We are all co-creators in the aftermath of reason. Work is play, and play is work. Play is the life of the universe at work, also understood as LILA in Hindu thought.
I walk past a prison in southern California. The air is humid. I can smell salt and chlorine. Why am I barefoot? I bend to look through stone latticework. I see peers, young men and women my age, cleaning a concrete prison campground. A dismal gymnasium? A barren bathing area? They wear radioactive protection, in orange suits and gas-masked.
|Lady in Prison by Raja Ravi Varma|
I dart across the road. Barefoot, my feet sink unaware into the freezing water runoff from the prison cleanup. My feet are numb as I walk over a grassy knoll on my way to a gas station. The clear sky is warming. There are gas stations everywhere, and I can't seem to get anywhere close to one. My torso is overheating, and my feet are so frozen I can barely stand.
At rest between Celtic shores, distressed by multi-lingual borders and rocky soil, and a northern jail for the barbaric tongues who gouge panicked eyes from the skulls of New World kinds
An orgy of ruthless becoming
Among the equestrian speed, famed by pre-teen daughters of class and medieval French dreams, who cast off the Muslim humidity from Spain’s bound whores, and lust after a secretive world of music in the drum talk of yesteryear’s snoring traditionalism
Yet woken alive
Through non-ordinary literary thought and perpetual action, to finally inundate the worldly risks bedding with our species at once in an archaic passion, straying from the lofty
First World throats of progress
excerpt from "Mad artistry"