Creativity

Creativity brings the true self to the surface. It evokes the true self. I think that might be the symbology of the Al-addin’s magical genie. Not only is he stuck in a bottle for some thousand years, but then the bottle is in a deep underground cave. I need to go back and read it again, but it would be interesting to see what in Aladdin’s character evoked the adventure itself, and what about his character itself we could learn from to bring at least metaphorically speaking that same kind of magic into our own lives.
I remember Aladdin being pretty obstreperous but not in a greedy entitled kind of way. He had enough innocence and curiosity in him to let the adventure happen, to let it unfold. One can have too much cunning (and maybe that’s simply called cynicism) where you just don’t trust anyone enough, especially a stranger, to ever let any adventure happen. On the other hand, you can be such a fool that anything you attract out of the ordinary is at best going to be simply more foolishness. “The adventure you get is the one of that you are ready for,” Joseph Campbell. And that readiness has to do with your psychological character, a character made it seems of this perfect balance of “striving for” and “acceptance with.” Every hero seems to have that little magical balance in their character.

The Message of Myth

The message of myth is this:
You as you know yourself are not the final term of your own being. 

The great way has no gate.
There are a thousand pathways to it.
He who crosses the threshold
walks the universe alone. 

Wu Wei

Art frees the spirit, but imprisons the psyche. Philosophy frees the psyche, but imprisons the spirit. 

What you want seems to come from a complete acceptance of what you don’t want. The story of “Gawain and Dame Ragnell” seems to exemplify that point to the utter bone. Gawain goes further than anyone would and then even a step further with no expectation and then it’s that utter, utter, utter acceptance, which I don’t how any human being can evoke in himself at will, that completely unlocks the door of bliss.

Attempting an Explication of the Second Coming by W.B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity.



Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   

The darkness drops again; but now I know   

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Some rough beast, a gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun is slouching towards Bethlehem to be born. Maybe the biggest question of this poem is why is the thing slouching? It’s a huge monster with a lion body. We think of lion bodies as being fierce, muscular, solar king-like, even devine in their beautiful symmetry (“What immortal hand or eye/ dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”) not slouchy! Lions are proud. People who slouch are ashamed and or dejected with being. For someone about to become Jesus 2.0, the next savior of the world, he’s not too excited about taking the job, that’s for sure!

And why go back to the original place? London, Paris, or New York would seem a more appropriate place for a new savior of this day and age to be born. With going back to the Levant, I sense its a metaphor that the ideals of the pagan West, namely that of the ideal of the individual, which is what the sense of the Grail romances, the pagan myths and fairy-tales, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment are all about, have now been thoroughly overthrown, for the ideals of the Levant which are that of the group. If you’ve ever experienced a mob mentality break out, you definitely have seen gazes that are blank, pitiless, and soulless. That’s the equivalent of falling to all three temptations of the Buddha (Lust, Fear, Social Duty) in one fell swoop.

But why use “the Sun” as a simile? That definitely catches your attention. The sun is usually a metaphor and simile used for bright and hopeful sentiments. But not if your walking across the desert, right? Also, if you think of the sun only in its scientific definition, if you leave out the romance, mythological dimension of life, and only understand it as a function of physics, groveling as it were before shear fact, then the sun is indeed dead, a ruthless fireball fusing hydrogen into helium, that cares not a wit about life.

Some part of us knows something is wrong, but….

We are vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle.

Say what? Here’s my shot: A “rocking” cradle suggests instability, an unknowingness in an instinctual way, of whose side the MOTHER is on. Is she Athena or Circe? Does she want to kill us or for us to be the savior of the universe? Or in a way, as only Greek Mythology can intimate, be both? Or in another sense, the ground of our own being, of life’s being. Is it an inherently good thing, evil thing, or indifferent? I.e. “Something that should not have been,” as Schopenhauer suggests. Is nature, this thing that our consciousness rests on, inherently nasty, disgusting, and evil? If one has that sense, you will certainly be vexed to nightmare all the way back to birth.

This is when it gets exciting, the adventure. Because this is the entire sense of the burning point what is uniquely you that wants, that must be expressed, that has never been expressed before. Becoming imminent, and yet in a gesture to the East, most likely spontaneously, as the eminence of transcendence, completely without ego.

The Mythology of the West

America is now the Wasteland that T.S. Elliott wrote so famously about in 1925. At that point he was talking about Europe (He had no sense that America even had a chance). Elliot thought, and had good reason, with folk like Picasso, Yeats, and Pound, that the INDIVIDUAL….

would reassert himself as the hero. The key contribution of the West, which is written in the DNA of the pagan religions of Europe, is that the individual (a metaphor for creativity) and not the group is the hero.

In the East the individual is less than nothing. In the Levant, the same. The Group is the hero. The “People” as they say in the Leviticus. In Pre-Christian Europe a far different animal emerges. It’s the cult of the individual. The cult of the Hero.

But I suspect even in America the soul is currently being and will have been taken out of the individual and in its place due to inability to resist the six temptations (Buddha: Pleasure, Pain, Duty…Christ: Wealth, Power, and Fame)….

And some rough beast a gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun is slouching toward Bethlehem to be born. And probably in the wake of the industrial age already is. We’re underwater and don’t even know it. We can’t breath and don’t even know it. Some part of us knows something’s wrong…

But we are vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle.

The Secret Voice

The screen is up and
Borough Boy is
being euthanized
exactly as I write this
5:18pm on Labor Day, 6:18 where
it's happening in Saratoga, New York.
The last race of the last day
of the iconic meet.
No one knows
what is and what
is not.
History is still
and could break both ways
in superposition.
People don't know if they
are themselves or someone else.
They believe its up to the mystery
of another forgotten consciousness
who has control for some unknown reason
because its unfathomable that
someone else has control.

Changing My Mind About Publishing in Today’s Media Landscape

I pulled into Kroger’s tonight, and what I felt was a good poetic line seemed to flash into me —like so many do that don’t necessarily have a direct meaning consciously, but feel like they came from another place and I am just the receiver and feel like they are pointing towards something that is deep and true.

Normally I’d put the line in Notes like I’ve done hundreds if not thousands of times before and that’d be the last I’d see of it. Today I said, “Screw it, let’s post it.” And there from my car, from my Chrome browser on my iPhone 7+ I opened up my WordPress, created a new post and typed in the line. After I hit save, another line came to me that I added, and while I was in the store a third.

We’ll see how this experiment goes, but my point is, something keeps calling me toward this way of doing things in “real time” as the phrase goes.

Here’s another example with music. A few months ago, I had a somber tune (sweet sad) come to my head on a Saturday night about like this one, and right here in front of this iMac I propped my iPhone, opened up Garageband and recorded it, knowing it would be my next single.

But then a case of the “perfections” came in, and I still haven’t published it. I feel now like I should have gotten it out there, if not that night, for sure within the next week, even if it had a bracket of (Demo) beside it on Spotify. Now so many months later, the tune has sort of lost its “spark” inside of me, and even if I could lay down a technically better performance from taking my time, it would have lost its emotional spark that getting it at the moment or close to the moment would give.

Of course ten years ago, much less twenty or thirty, this would have been a ludicrous approach, but as an example, I was just listening to Rick Beato talking about the B-Side Police single “Murder by Numbers” and as much as I love Synchronicity. I would just absolutely love as much a sort of “B-Side” album of the band recording the whole album live in the same mode of “Murder by Numbers” — mistakes and all.

The great Carver Mead said “Listen to the Technology.” My gut is telling me that the technology, offering itself like this with its focus on immediacy, is telling us to publish, even in the formal arts of poetry and music, with the same immediacy that social media does.