Wednesday, September 26, 2007

White Noise

There seems to be a lot of white noise, every audible frequency available at the same intensity. It’s like white light which also contains every frequency and all of this is going on over an infinite bandwidth. Sometimes it seems to me that this is the source of a great power that might be mined for every human need if we only understood how to do it. I keep coming back to electro-magnetism and the awesome power that might come from serious inquiry into that but we don’t seem to be going that way.

I know there is a lot of research going on in solar and hydrogen and other alternative energy fields but it’s not nearly enough for a couple of reasons. The technological infrastructure is set up around oil and oil is king. It doesn’t take a genius to see the power this energy source exerts on the planet. The present Middle East situation tells the story in the red ink of human blood.

Somehow the landlords and the oil lords set up a system where the majority of the people could be kept too occupied with their basic needs to have time for much else. To me it looks like humanity is so much livestock; poor dumb brutes... natural disasters, political disasters, financial disasters, crime and war. Well, most of the world goes on about its day. Given our normally narrow perspectives we forget that there are billions of people here and more coming. There’s this ongoing press for space up against each other and a fight at the top for control of the resources.

Then there’s this game where they tighten and loosen the flow of money and oil and other things at regular intervals so as to get bonus overflows because they are in control of the system that provides the things that get tightened and loosened. A depression gets created and then a war gets generated and the blood goes into some kind of secret machine that pumps out prosperity.

Las Vegas is getting very short of water and they want to expand. Well, there is this great big aquifer that these cattlemen are using and they want that. Course... that will run out too. Why would someone put an enormous city of fountains and lights in the middle of a dry desert? Because they could? Because if you build it the water will come?

I have seen and heard of a lot of good ideas that went nowhere. I remember reading John Stuart Mills, the Baron Montesquieu and Vicomte de Rochefoucauld. You can find a lot of splendid men and women in the pages of history. Their ideas were the basis of all we are supposed to have today and those ideas are there. They are carved into the fascia of large buildings and quoted in the halls of academe but they don’t actually translate into life. They’re like a bunch of white noise that you can’t make out because of the competition between our higher nature and our appetites.

When the satisfaction of appetite becomes the primary goal of a civilization and when the complexity of choices exceeds any individual’s ability to even grasp the extent of the smorgasbord, much less sample any large amount of it, well... that becomes a kind of white noise too.

People are reproducing at an alarming rate. Mostly they are reproducing where they have little enough to survive on in the first place. It’s a mathematical certainty that push will come to shove and that tragedies on a scale previously unknown will occur. We can’t all head for the Himalayas for the peace of mind gone missing. Then again... there are very few who want to. Shangri-La is a matter of personal interpretation and that brings us back to Las Vegas.

For the bulk of humanity, Shangri-La is a physical high-life indefinitely maintained, regardless of the impossibility of that prospect. Then there’s pie in the sky with a big cartoon Jesus waving the faithful home to Las Vegas in the Sky. I don’t doubt the real Jesus, just the implied location and presentation. To me it’s a state of mind you enter into without having to go anywhere... even if you might do so at some point.

Sometimes it looks to me like one of those intricate Tibetan thankas with huge wheels and people at every part of the circle. Strange creatures are munching on some people and others are being feted at mystical feasts with dakinis hovering all around. I remember one time in the 80’s when I was in New York City. I was on the upper West Side. It was the dining hour and the beautiful people were climbing out of their cabs and passing by, sometimes actually stepping over derelict and discarded humans arrayed on the sidewalk. I was fascinated by this and watched it for a while.

I have come to believe that everything is exactly what it is supposed to be. It doesn’t matter what the splendid men and women in the pages of history said or did. Things are the same way they have always been. Sometimes it’s pastoral for awhile and sometimes it is frenetic. It’s as if different composers are replacing each other for the length of a composition. At the same time there is everything imaginable taking place in some location somewhere.

The essential truth of manifest existence seems to be eternal white noise. It seems like the seasons of the year can be found in the destiny of every country and every life. Thomas Cole did a series of paintings called The Voyage of Life. He did other fine things too. When I think of all the paintings I have seen and the people I have read, I realize that Earth is just the place where certain things happen again and again. Our being here and the things that happen either have a point or there is no point. That there is no point is absurd so there must be a point.

This point can’t be entirely what one person or any other person has determined or defined. No matter what anyone says, things are what they are and... everybody has some take on what that is. When they all start talking at once, that’s white noise too; all the raging water over rocks that are the flashpoints of humanity in confusion, amount to nothing because the thing just goes on. It just goes on.

It seems that though there might be an absolute truth, the same way that life has a point of origin that it doesn’t do people much good in any practical way. But how practical is life that begins to end the moment it begins? What would real practicality amount to in respect of that?

We continue to draw an endless parade of new compositions out of the white noise. We build and destroy and those conditions are continuously interacting here for as long as the episode lasts. There is some correct position within it all. There is some hidden kingdom in the midst which is hidden from the clamor and the glamour of the brothels and the battlefields. There is an inviolable truth and a way that moves without effort or strife through all of the play of light and darkness, both real and metaphorical.

I can’t say what that is. I’ve seen it at work now and again but when it disappears I can’t remember what it was. It seems to come and go according to some mysterious process and there doesn’t seem to be any infallible ritual that calls it up out of the noise. Every time I find it, or it finds me, I hope that it will never go away again but it always does. I guess I should just be happy that so far, it’s always come back. I don’t know how to make it stay. I wish I did.

Visible sings: Songwriter by Les Visible♫ Everlasting Love ♫
'Everlasting Love' is track no. 2 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)

Songwriter by Les Visible


Anonymous said...

hello everyone, although i have been reading and collecting all of your wonderful writings,i have yet to comment or share ideas with you and others on your posts and i don't know why. maybe i cant help but soak everything in once i get to this point. i come here empty waiting to be filled. "nothing but a blank page waiting for the ink". i can not express in words how much i love you les and the caravan of people that come here to wonder, think and discuss the myriad of possibilities in this visible/invisible world. just last night i was thinking of the awful machine. the white men and woman with pitch black hearts feeding the machine with the blood of women,children, the old and sick, the helpless and hopeless. how it provides so many other willing, wanton practitioners of this "consumer culture on the skids" with so many irrelevant items designed to overwhelm your senses and chain you and your thoughts to the physical/ material world. while i was getting lost in these thoughts, this etheral place, filled with ideas and the wonderful minds that give birth to these ideas crept in and a calm i often long for came over me. i thank all of you for that. this place is a flashlight in the darkness. i thank you again les for all you do and i love you all, mark.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean in that last paragraph. I can relate.

Might be getting a chance to see Roy in a few weeks. We'll be up in that area for a week in October and hopefully can pop in for a visit.

Thanks for the essay.

Mark - Welcome, and thanks for chiming in.


Anonymous said...

I think if God were around and interested in us today He'd be doing a Sodom and Gomorrah on the United States of America as of right... about... now.

Anonymous said...

Tony -

I'm pretty sure we're in the process of Sodom and Gomorra-ing ourselves right now. But instead of fire and brimstone it's cholesterol and credit card debt.


Visible said...

New Essay here-

Visible said...

Hi Mark;

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I miss a lot of things being more busy than I probably should be. Thank you so much for the kind words, they really touched my heart and made my day. I just wanted you to know that.

Anonymous said...

But how practical is life that begins to end the moment it begins? What would real practicality amount to in respect of that?

Its the very essence of practicality. Its a continuous recycling of matter. White noise sounds like digestion, conception and rebirth from animate to inanimate, to cells regrouping as animate, again and again. It never stops. The whole joint is jumping all the time.

Anonymous said...

In a little box on a back page of a little very conservative W. Texas paper today catching my eye:
"...A writer's achievement is... largely measured by the expertise with which he or she depicts the layers of time and passage of it... Cultures also distinguish themselves by how they handle it, and the U.S. is dealing with it very poorly because the headlong nature of the society gets more pronounced each year...
Things are done differently in Africa, where people still stand and talk for hours if you want and make themselves late somewhere else to avoid the appearance of rudeness...
In America... cavalierly foregoing the consideration of others...[r]elentlessly promoting nastiness and selfishness as not only acceptable but "fun" produces behavior that spoils the social... environment.
Understanding the nature of time and managing time to our advantage may often be what separates a felicitous outcome from an unfortunate one."



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