Friday, October 30, 2009

Zarathustra, meet Angels of Islam

O my friends! Let it never be said that there is nothing to write about! One might as well say there is nothing to talk about. (And while the fact is undeniable, that we are surrounded by stunned couples at coffee shops, surrounded by old women talking about the weather, surrounded by babblers who talk as smoke screen--while all this is undeniable, we are not them.) Not yet. We still respond, our heart-muscles tensed, to the exhortations of impossible, dismembered Zarathustra. We still guide our gaze into the general vicinity or the Angelic orders. If there were such things--Angels and Zoroasters--they would take special notice of us. Of course, truth is spoken when we say these are but hypostases; these are but idealizations drawn from the hypertrophied functioning of imagination. It is image-making run rampant; idealizations with nothing to check them; idealizations and abstractions--perhaps the only way we can think now, after all that education, after all that sensitization to the music of the spheres, however we conceive them. But what direction is there to this fluxion of ours not for our hypostases? (Nihilism stands at the door. Whence this most unwelcome of guests?) Oh, we know we can’t live like that. Once, long ago, we thought we might, but realized at some point--perhaps through a predetermined developmental milestone--that it was a kind of benumbed nihilism. Nihilism can coexist with no responsibility, no power, and a limited horizon. But now we take something into our hands. We are forced to make plans, however vague, and in this lies the death of cozy, cerebral, contemplative nihilism. We need Zarathustra to move on, perhaps not day-to-day, but week-to-week or month-to-month. And the Angel? Here, I am simply too young to know. There are intimations that things count for more than we think, but that train of thought is an unlit path. The Angel’s cries echo; they echo wholeness beyond life and death; beyond polarities and horizons. And yet... it would be terrifying to have no horizons, to have no mystery, to have no ultimate reprieve, no sleep at the end of our long sunlight. The angel is the affliction of St. Petersburg’s white nights, a slow, creeping, enervating madness. Zarathustra scoffs at intimations of immortality. He bursts with life. They both agree that the wild places of the earth are better suited to catastrophic destruction than creeping incursion of the markets of comfort. Both the figures stand over and above humanity in slightly different ways, and I hope that their counterpoint has been fruitful. I hope, because there are heaps of broken images here, wandering in the scrublands of my inner landscape, and it is possible, in fact the most probable explanation, that this irruption into speech was a series of random run-ins with the characters of my psychodrama. I wonder if John Calvin felt this way. I bet he did.

Let me not be misunderstood. Fuck Angel therapy. Fuck smug mysticism. Mysticism, by its very nature, is terrifying--and humble and silent. It is inexpicable. It feels like losing your mind. Feels that way. And yet... it's a touch of that which grounds our reverence for naturalism.

Consider: "Mystical explanations are considered deep; the truth is, they are not even shallow."