Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Gordian Knot.

A lot of people know about the Gordian Knot. Fewer people know that it was Alexander who solved the riddle. Fewer still know the manner in which he solved it and even fewer people know the circumstances under which he solved it; the main players and the conditions of the time. This is the case with just about everything. Some people are more curious than others. Some people are more generally curious and some people are more specifically curious. This accounts for a lot of the professions that people choose. Curiosity isn’t the only reason; disposition, family, environment, opportunity and other things account for what people do and for what people are curious about.

In the Hindu tradition there is the word ‘samskara’. If you go to the internet for a definition; here’s one I grabbed at random, http://en.mimi.hu/yoga/samskara.html you find that the closest and best definition is far down in the list. That would be, ‘veil’. A veil is a covering that partially obscures the vision of the person wearing it. It also obscures the vision of the person observing the person wearing the veil. Veils run the gamut from sheer to opaque. We all have these veils, from sheer to opaque. We see “through a glass darkly”. The age itself can be darker or lighter depending on the amount of people sharing a common blindness. The cause of it is dependant on the degree of materialism impacting upon the human race.

It could be said, when compared to former times; times we have no clear recollection of, that our present age is one of greater darkness, despite the technological state of our culture. As far back as we can see in presently recorded history, the times have been mostly dark, with brief glimmers of greater clarity.

I realize that this essay is in danger of becoming like my preceding essay; dense and difficult to read. In these times we are more likely to want simple and quick discourses, preferably with video and music. We don’t want to have to think too much or concentrate on difficult concepts. It’s rare when someone can take difficult concepts and reduce them to simple understandings. We are more likely to find simple understandings presented as difficult concepts. So...

...let me segue before I lose you entirely.

Everyone has an opinion on why the world is messed up. These opinions are based on the thickness of our veils and the degree of our self interest as it proceeds from how much we can actually see. True vision and utter delusion and all the places in between are based on the idea that there is such a thing as reality. No one sees this perfectly but we all agree that there is such a thing. Common belief has a lot to do with how we shape reality collectively. Does that mean reality can be shaped? Does it stand alone? Once again, this essay is moving out into deeper water and readers are peeling off as it goes. Once more...

...heading toward the terra firma shore.

The idea that all Republicans are hypocritical, deluded assholes is something that could be argued effectively by any number of people. The idea that all Democrats are whining, overly accommodating, jelly fish, can also be argued without much difficulty. Libertarians and Independents, nihilists, ipod-bots and ‘none of the above’ have found a niche in which to maintain their rugged individualism.

Sex and Religion have a major impact on what people choose as their lens for maintaining social order; too much of one, too little of the other, some of this some of that. The serpent force, the primary energy of life, defines itself through the sex force and if you’ve got some kind of regulator attached to the hose; it could be a simple faucet or a much more complicated plumbing apparatus, then some part of that force can express itself in any of the myriad ways that we present and define ourselves. The thing is, it’s going to come out somehow and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link; that goes for plumbing and any technology where force applies.

Commerce comes out of this regulating. Art comes out of this. War comes out of this. Religion comes out of this; everything from Satanism to mystical self annihilation. And so it goes, by degrees... infinite in possibility and all of it judged according to how well it is controlled and stays within the margins, or can hide itself well enough to avoid whatever caprice might be operative as the laws of our time.

Laws; social and cultural constraints, freedom to come and go, freedom to be; all those samskaras that color the way we think it’s supposed to be. The red scarf of the Khmer Rouge is a collective blindfold when the sex can’t find its way to a greater expression. It’s always a part of humanity, just like all the other scarves we use as blindfolds and group identification bands. It’s the grand fellowship of collective blindness. We get to be comfy with our kind.

Here are ten million with a red blindfold and here are ten million with a blue blindfold and here are ten million with a yellow blindfold and all of them want to be more than equal. All of them want to dominate. So many million want to be able to kiss their same sex partners on the sidewalk and suck their cocks in the park the same way that heterosexual couples do. So many million object to this for reasons well defined and according to religion, or some idea of social health. It gets strange when the people objecting turn out to be hiding their own desire to do the same. It gets strange when the biggest critics turn out to be secret practitioners of the things they despise, because they get caught- because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

So many million want to have everything at the expense of others. So many million protest an inequity while using their protest as a means to personal celebrity and advancement. So many million want to drink poison but object to other millions smoking, ingesting and injecting poison. So many million want to make the world a better place but can’t help beating their wife or trying to fuck their wives’ friends, or their friend’s daughters or sons. So many million think Jesus is a baseball bat with nails in the sweet part. So many million think Mohammed is not just a right but a requirement. So many million think there is no God and millions more haven’t got a clue about anything and just want to hold on to the raft.

You can’t fix a system when the system is all about veil removal. You can’t fix a system that is based on another system that almost no one knows about and for which the system in need of fixing is nothing more than a temporary stage set. You can’t do anything about the final result of a process designed to free you from all of the delusions you are laboring under and which, along with your fellows, makes this a grim place to be sometimes.

All the tire patches and welded parts, all the town halls and churches, hospitals and prisons are just stages in a Pilgrim's Progress. You don’t know where you are going and you don’t know why and you don’t know who you are but you are determined to mold the earth some distance closer to the heart’s desire; your heart. The mistakes of others are as clear to you as your own are hidden. Every one of us could do a better job right up to the moment we are given that opportunity and encounter all of those millions with the blindfolds and agendas; all of which agendas conflict with every other agenda.

Before Alexander dealt with the Gordian Knot, many another, would be conqueror of Persia, had been mystified and defeated in the attempt. There’s something to be said for what Alexander did. The complexity of the knot defies ordinary unraveling; the same way you can’t please all of those millions anymore than Solomon could give the same baby to two mothers. The solution to both problems was the same. The outcome was different.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say here because I’m wearing a blindfold too. I’m just gratified that sooner or later it’s going to wear away or fall off according to some natural law or serendipitous grace and I won’t have to wonder about solving your problems or my problems. All of a sudden there won’t be any problems and if I draw my sword it won’t be about you. It will be about some impossible knot and it will all take place in my mind. You won’t even see it happen. Maybe that’s for the best.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Visible, Visible, Visible. I knew you couldn't stay away even though you said you were back for a little while. You amaze me.
Tony

Anonymous said...

Remarkable and unlike anything anywhere else. You've got the gene brother. I've been reading about metaphysics (as you call the arcane) for all of my life and this is as clear as it gets, always with that distinctly human element.

Erin

Anonymous said...

It is said that the mind cannot understand it. Thought cannot get us there, period. Whatever "it" is is only so mysterious and Gordion-knot-like to us because we are trying to
unravel it with thought. My feeling is that whenever we do "arrive", it will have nothing to do with thought but rather the conscious and intentional absence of it. Awareness without thought. Pure consciousness. It seems to me that any real flash of understanding will have to come from that place. But in the meantime I'll continue to look forward to coming here and enjoying these verbal works of art. Thanks for this one...

ben

Anonymous said...

What are veils exactly? Armour? Armour against what exactly?

In any case, if you remove the first *r* from the word armour, you get amour.

Make amour. Not armour. :)

am