The assumptions know no tears. Memories, the dirt of life, the fertilizer of the daily experience, sublimates into pure concepts, the heaven of forms, the perfect world of intelligence. The abstractions of ideas become beautiful, and the more we think of them, the better they relate to each other, till finally, at the end of life, as our passions and organs wilt, as our mind fades, we will slowly atone ourselves to the inner world of experience and prepare finally to die and enter the heaven that our own experience has made out of this world.
Assumptions are structurations, pure forms, utter nirvana of bliss. And yet heaven ultimately serves God, the Wotan of our conscious mind, the ego of awareness. An attack on the ego is the greatest cause of mental illness; the very possibility of a breakdown is a breakdown of ego control, when habits breakdown and the mind can no longer think without great anxiety and depression. All mental disorders resolve to disorders of the passions which the mind can no longer control.
The mental breakdowns of life are perfection’s crack across the brow. Who escapes the brow scars? – and ultimately, who would want to? We speak well of the unbroken strength of will, the cleanliness of mental isolation – intellectual independence is my own central virtue – groups compromise us, we must bury our heart before the friends, we must take on the virtue of hypocrisy to mouth enough moral blather to escape exposing our own evil beauty, and yet the very passions in our heart are already a society. They imitate the politics of our world. In America, our passions are a democracy, and Whitman is our prophet here. Who knows but in the fog of my heart a hundred Daniels express each his own mood. Whitman greeted fruit peddlers as equals, and lusted for all men and women, such was his approval of them, and yet his favorite word was “Great.” In a monarchy, one passion at least would sit upon the throne.
The emotions take on the shape of our external political world, and the ego takes on a metaphorical shape as well. Our unconscious mind imitates the tools we work with. Just about now it is imitating the computer and the internet. At one point it was a complex clockwork. Emotions become tokens of the game of this inner God, the I. Whatever shape your I takes, know how to make a conceptual mirror for it. “The noble soul has reverence for himself” wrote Nietzsche, and again, Aristotle called Pride “the crown of the virtues.” For pride is virtue recursive. “Know yourself” is the recursive heart of philosophy, and is practiced through meditation for the mind and through prayer for the heart.
The conceptual tools we build from our memories are the groundwork for our habits; a sound education is worthy twenty years of childhood, a college education, to give nothing more than a tone of voice. Life on this earth is for self-development, and serving loved ones and the world only as extensions of the self, again for further development. The soul must self-overcome periodically: tragedy is needed. Would that the world had more suffering in it! More heart ache! More anguish! Man would become greater and more perfect.
The conceptual tools of metaphysics are to serve our needs, even if they are scientifically false. It would be best that they had no scientific status at all, neither provable nor disprovable: their full worth is in how they orient us in life. God is a prepositional phrase, Religion a grammar of the eye.
Therefore, I saw that we choose our birth. That moment of conception works in two directions: backwards to allow us to have happened, and forward to prepare a place for us. The stage of life is never an accident and there can be no injustice in it. We kiss the threads of our DNA, the fate of our circumstances.
For we need not innocence, but wisdom: that is the supremacy of Odin’s sacrifice on the world tree, and not as the other, to die in order to wash away men’s experiences (using his close friend Judas and his enemies the Pharisees to egg them on to murder him). My body is Yggsdrasil, the world tree, and my mind Ygg, the God who must die at the end of the world, to be swallowed up back into Need, when mind and needs converge again and I am one.
Fire is sight, the gift of Prometheus is foresight. The innermost self, the needs, is a sun, the poem name of our conception, the very essence of our self. It is a fire which gives sight to the mind, a mind which in itself is empty.
The energy of the needs shoots out like a comet, and the tip of the tail is never cut from the center until the energy fulfills itself in the appropriate object: then the needs becomes pleasure, and the energy becomes growth.
Of course, the light of the inner sun sinks into mud at the dregs of the unconscious ocean. It slowly burps up as through molasses, mingling with the sensual world, and finding shape in the general shape of our memories – especially those stereotyped autobiographical memory forms called “myths.” The heaven of concepts puts the right math over the experience, till it falls into the engines of the habits and finally sees the daylight of the conscious mind.
Life is about finding and creating the perfect self, and we do this by creating. Every man has his medium. Most of creativity happens through the process I have been describing, through the mythic and fantasy space of the memories, through the logical heaven of the assumptions, through the desire field of the mind. This last one, the habits, include our habits of feeling, thinking, saying, and doing, as evoked by Emerson’s poem:
I am owner of the sphere
Of seven stars and the solar year
Of Caesar’s hand and Plato’s brain
Of Lord Christ’s heart and Shakespeare’s Strain.
We all have an affinity to a medium in our creativity. Most people are creative in their work, in their family, in their love life, in their style of speech, in their manners. The artist, who is happier than most humanity when he is creating, and sadder then most of humanity when he is not, wishes to learn to maximize his creativity.
How do to this? Consciously, he must improve his own lexicon. Language is a thin film that coats all those abstractions we’ve made from personal experience. Learn to read and interpret always, to make fat the stomach that eats experience to better nourish the womb that creates. Learn to structurate all you look upon. As a writer, reading an essay or novel a dozen times lets you reduce the terms the author uses, to break everything into sections, to retitle the sections, to refer them all to one basic idea. Us writers haunt the libraries and read the very souls of the authors we worship. They are true brothers and sisters to our solitary hearts.
And yet all listening is reading, and all talking is a story. Memories aren’t even memories until we have told them to friends a few times. Stories convert experience into style. Memories become healthy the more they are integrated into our life-myth, until the tell again the same story of our personal ascension.
Be telling stories again, we whittle away nonessentials, like the myths that, though created by great geniuses, we finally whittled through centuries of oratl traditions, until pure gold remained. Thus a philosopher, after enough commentary on myth, will have a neat little liste of concepts to control his world. William James was great at reducing complex topics to a short list of topics. Be the same. Look for essentials. Once you have made your purpose in this life, you will better be able to see everything in life as relevant or irrelevant to it.
Make an alphabet of your experience. Work over them so well that they become a language of their own, a set of runes to render your destiny. Meditate often, therefore, kiss the dishes you wash for giving you time to think. The meditation of zero mind is fine, the mind is in its nature a nothing with shape, but it won’t save you. The creative power of the mind is the purpose of the mind, not its emptying out. The mind must render habits that will turn our tongues to the angelic language of pure poetry. Our actions and words must be ultraprofound – in this way we become eternal and worthy of it.
Slave morality is serving the external – God, lovers, money, society, state. Master morality is serving yourself at all costs. Though your work be humble – as a philosopher or poet, mystic or hero it must be – your soul is noble. Higher work requires too many compromises. The slave is not he who does humble work, it is he who works for others instead of himself.
Therefore, know your friends, those who keep you to your task and inspire you to love it. We are drawn ever together by secret magnets. This person is mine because she recognizes me and loves me. In my romantic madness I would kiss every stranger, but when I sober up, there are few I cling to.
Square of focus, Laser heart
Icons of your goal decorating your home
Bud your flower into brooding fruit
Plug the electric sword into the triangle sea.
The ideas must be born many times, gestation goes on for years. The idea goes in and out, falls into the mind, is a lingering part of the problem memory, those memories which keep pestering us our life.
Each creative growth is the reformation of memory and assumptions, a self-overcoming, a light shown back into the needs, and out into the world. Be creating alone can the centermost grow. We need the conceptual mirror to shine the sun back to herself.
The structures of experience are held as assumptions. All structural forms speak to each other, kiss and breed; they stand for each other. The metaphor mind, that demonic habit between feelings and thinking, knows how to sound out each structure, and let one stand for another. Buildings, novels, persons, schedules, all hold structures, much richer and thick then we ever know. The master sees the essens of structure, and he is no longer an amatuer when he can reflect art back on itself.
Our daily life requires ideas: the four habits of feeling, thinking, saying, and doing require a conceptual blueprint, the inspiration of heaven, to animate. Feelings correspond to memories, thoughts to assumption, words to mind, and actions to the body, and yet all of them have a skeleton of ideas from the assumptions. It is concepts alone that allow habits to empower the mind. The substance of the mind is idea. We must make the ideas that reflect life back on itself.
The needs are the self-impregnating sun. The only way the centermost grows is through creating, and the idea of that creativity alone can shine the light back inwards. Pride is necessary, self-knowledge is necessary. The poetic justice of life is that we must live with who we chose to become – live with that forever, and no God can forgive your very self away.
The innermost contradiction, the scar of perfection on our brow, the puncture in the inner innocence, cycles redundantly larger, until the peccadillo is a crisis. The internal contradiction can be resolved into a dynamo. Everything will be saved, all things will be great, only you must master and subordinate them to your self.
Structures are in all experience. Structures are invisible, as assumptions are invisible, and yet we sense them. We must map them sensually to see them. The are categorical, metaphorical, emotional resonant. The metaphorical mind and poetic sense sees the love of all things for all things, the interpenetration of existence.
The unconscious memories and assumptions must be fed a wide variety of structures, crunched up question marks that point to structural problem. Since great art conceals itself, since structure is invisible to the casual glance, indeed since it is only ugliness that reminds us of structure as structure, as in a computer program that crashes and dumps lines of code on the screen (or as in postmodern art), it require a desire to see the ugliness of truth before it can be remade first strange, and finally beautiful.
All actions correspond to the base instincts, and yet they are microscopically nuanced, these gross urges, so that fine taste lets them be fulfills better, intellectualizations let them be known exactly, and the profound simple maxim as the apotheosis shines a new perfection from them. Simplicity is the beginning and the end. The sexual desire may appear gross in stupid people, but in refined, virtuous, intelligent people, sex is spiritual art.
A theory of reflexivity must be assumed in order to make a habit of insight. A verbal mirror, a means of making a thing aware of itself alone will complicate and confound it and force it to grow monstrously complex, overly-wise, and exhaust its power until it self-overcomes into a new form. Only a literary criticism of novels can allow the apotheosis of novels to dawn. “Know thyself” “Prides is the crown of the virtues.” Odin finally makes way for the Baldr the God of light when the gods mistakes become self-reflexive. Getting a structure to speak its own structure reflexively, through clever quotations, is a means to make art recursive. Structures must learn to speak to each other in their angelic form as assumptions, in the angelic language of pure metaphor.
The gross and silly actions of the child are repeated verbatim in the man continually throughout his life, in every one of his dispensations, and as the spiral of his eternal existence expands back over this life, next time as a God looking over this life, then as a universe overlooking that god, still that same primordial child acts again and again, but more subtle more masked, sophisticated and yet the same. The only bold turn comes when the centermost holds the conceptual mirror and impregnates itself with its own sunlight.