Every once and forever ago, like most of the readers who end up here accidently through data mining searches, I have to do a system scan of my operating system. No, not the technical origami I am interfacing with as I type but the one system I see when I tear myself away from the motherboard and have a tete a tete with the man in the mirror. The conversation that ensues is along the lines of Wilhelm Reich’s imprecations in “Listen, Little Man.” Sometimes, when left to ovulate, fester and grow, the little man inside has an unassailable ego that cannot be broken down through the traditional detoxification ritual. And the strange thing for me is that the little man with his newfound bravado is not moved by honey-combed words or appeals to his valor and probity.
I’ve heard it said, most noticeably in the Matrix film, that mankind is a virus and that meme has metastasized in the stagnant pools of the so-called green, sustainability and progressive movements. Based on a cursory reading of history which is the uniform one granted to us in our noble education centers, I can see how many people could put their finger on the pulse of events in the last century or two and even a few millennia before that and arrive at that temperature reading. Don’t get me wrong, I am in collusion with many of the green movement’s ideas and strive to be mindful, not of my carbon footprint, but another footprint that I find much more dharmic (or karmic) than how much C02 I’m releasing into the atmosphere. But I digress. This is not about the questionable Weltanschauung of that particular movement. I use that as a reference point.
The reference point is how easy it is to be persuaded by the spirit of rebellion and revolution and finding that instead of alleviating the problem in question, it is discovered that the problem is exacerbated through fight and resistance. Again, this not an indictment against any who pursue this path because I myself am tempted always to ingratiate myself with the most “radical” anti-this or that movement or wonder lugubriously about how the political systems that surround me are far off the path of my own worldview. Not the consensus or the prevailing opinion but my worldview, hopefully one I arrive at not in one livelong consummation but through coming back again and checking, re-checking and holding my current ontological profile up to the x-ray machine or beneath the jeweler’s microscopic appraisal.
There are many prescient folks that I follow that believe that we are at a nodal point in the process of time. This incision in the timewave brings with it not just a ubiquitous awakening whether many respond to it or not, but a great revealing. Depending on one’s place on the spectrum, some of the tremors might be noticeable consequences of this effect and to others they might just be a scatological rendezvous that is apart of the normal pig feed that the men with the slough bucket chuck from over the walls of their fortified palaces day after day. If we’ve become too accustomed to eating someone else’s leftover excrement the shift in the greater exposure may go over without a flinch or a moment of reflection for some. Like the person who bargains away their own integrity to become the lackey for the charlatans in the White House or on Madison Avenue, it soon comes that integrity is indispenable to humanity and selfhood. For others, and I’d include myself in that category, whether any one person’s apocalyptic scenarios are realized or whether the systems we live in settles into novelty again, there seems to be a William Butler Yeats “widening gyre” where:
“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.”
That seems to be the case but I am only one seeker and I cannot speak for anyone outside of my limited line of sight. But there are the sentiments in the venues I drop into from to time to sample the minds and revelations of others beyond my own reality tunnel. If you are one of the relentlessly curious ones, you’ve probably punched holes through the Styrofoam wall sometime ago and realized that the reality constructed about you and I was not the only one in existence. This can pertain to the reality that’s registered by its measure of density or lightness but it pertains also to the reality constructed through someone else’s words which is really what the Styrofoam walls are retrofitted with. Sometimes the words are the linguistic materials of others and sometimes we draw them from our own inner lexicon because digging any deeper than the public pool level waters might be too suffocating.
I’ve noticed that with the progressive movements of my times and I’ve noticed that when I survey my own lexicon arsenal. Most progressive movements assume a moral high road though they have no more claim to that road than the very people they lambast for their social failings. This is not to vindicate anyone who may be contributing to the pervasiveness of our current world misery because many of us, no matter what side of the dialectic we fall on, have sewn discord into the world though our footprint may be small and with too little scent to draw the hound dogs from the media kettle. Some have their Margaret Sangers, Edward Mandel Houses and Henry Kissingers. One side might have their Leo Strauss, Michael Chertoffs and George Bushes. There are many names that could be named and retracing the trajectory of many names to their origins provides insights that would be a blessing to a small town detective investigating a murder but become cultural taboo to the laymen who attempts to apply that science of inquiry to the overlords.
And that’s where I find myself, and maybe someone else has hitched his or her raft to that boat a time or two, when like the moral authorities among us I refuse to retrace the trajectories of my own path, to follow the line with the same sure hand that moves this flashing pointer to an icon on the computer. To check and consider its content, its uses, my veracity, to see what has been stored and forgotten in the shadow world of my unconscious carnivale where the tourist drifting through my life or my lines could not intuit by a quick scan. I don’t think I am a virus in the world and neither do I believe that humanity is a virus though I’ve entertained those ideas because of my association with certain movements. But if I’ve failed to reflect for months or maybe longer because my attention has been drawn to the protean waves on the surface of the high seas of political theatre or the latest obscenities, there are viruses that build up beneath foaming titillation. Forgotten sores and cuts and the blood from the unaided malady draws the sharks and other wild sea species. Lack of attention to my own spores and I find myself projecting into the world admonitions against the spores of those “others.” Seems right to some or maybe to those I can gather into a movement to increase the sound of our collective distain. But the more out that I go, the further in is the return path to myself when my own clarion call comes that a virus has breeched my own unguarded compound while I tried the Master Cleanse diet on the “others.”
I have my Wilhelm Reich moment:
“You’ve inherited a terrible past. Your heritage is a burning diamond in your hand. That’s what I have to tell you.”
“A doctor, a shoemaker, mechanic, or educator has to know his shortcomings if he is to do his work and earn his living. For several decades now you have been taking over, throughout the world. The future of the human race depends on your thoughts and actions. But your teachers and masters don’t tell you how you really think and what you really are; no one dares to confront you with the one truth that might make you the unswerving master of your fate. You are “free” in only one respect: free from the self-criticism that might help you to govern your own life.”
“I’ve never heard you complain: “You exalt me as the future master of myself and my world. But you don’t tell me how a man becomes a master of himself, and you don’t tell me what’s wrong with me, what’s wrong with what I think and do.”
“You let the powerful demand power “for the little man.” But you yourself are silent. You provide powerful men with more power or choose weak, malignant men to represent you. And you discover too late that you are always the dupe.”
The etymology of the word “represent” is an interesting study in the power of the Linguistic Penitentiary. Without even looking up the word, I could divide it and maybe you would get the message. Re-present. Whether it’s a re-presentation, a re-production, or any other “re”, we are mostly dealing with the act of creating an “image” or a “likeness” of a thing but not the actual thing or person (“person” itself meaning mask or persona but I think it fitting now that I think of it because there is no one layer to bore through). For me, when I’ve allowed my “little man” to usurp the position where my holistic self should very well be, I’m more inclined to go about looking for people, trendy words or catchphrases, authority figures, organizations, religious or new wave spiritual movements, trinkets and such, etc to re-present me. Who I become is a farrago of things picked up from others. But usually those things start to fill the room and life is a drag and I am immobile and stuck circling a wagon of worldly ills while the ones I’ve collected weigh at the knapsack around my waist.
This counterfeit Pax Americana is enough to give anyone with a shameful and checkered background a chance at redeeming him or herself through comparing their own indiscretions with those of this murderous agency. Again, this is not to make light of the fruit or non-fruit produced by those “others” but I find it unbearable to cower over the tedious record of their crimes when the smallness of my own become huge when I refuse to accept the truth of my own self, abandoning to the flow, surrendering and finding new life in climbing upwards towards the execution place of my own little man. Realizing, once and again, as the gyre widens, that a scepter and sword in the hands of a “little man” can make me feel significant for a moment, especially when the obnoxious rant of my “little man” disappears into the symphony of millions of other “little men” and ‘little women” who forget themselves at our concierta to summon the bands of hell to dispose of the “others” whose crimes we smell like vultures over the decaying carcass though our own is covered in the grand revelry.
Notice how the more attention paid to things allows them growth potential. Object lessons are the war on drugs, the war on cancer, the war on AIDS, the war on terror, the war on poverty and many other types of wars that have been declared, many of them decades ago, that have gotten no better though billions upon billons of dollars have been siphoned through the network of interlocking trusts, foundations, think tanks, and banks that push these agendas. Notice. Consider. My “little man” likes to commend me when I am speaking out and he is more content when the empire is gathering power rather than when it is losing it because I could be tricked into squandering more energy in hopes that my voice along with the millions of others can topple it. Because the empire’s very mission has been to appeal to my little man, as it leaves crumbs of its activities behind it, knowing that my little man will follow them even if he bump his head into the same conclusion, that my little man will obsess over the crimes of the open conpsiracy and entrain himself to the frequency of the Uniformity League. My little man finds an insatiable Schadenfreude in doing so. Fortunately, I see my little man and I do not wish to sublimate my dharma to him any longer. So listen up, little man. Follow me to the guillotine.