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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Part 5 Essays (Ensayos) by Mike Mahoney



Art from Wild Grace's Lapis Lazuli series

El poeta Mike Mahoney continua exponiendo su constelación de ideas escritas en respuesta a La chispa azul libro compuesto por nuestro socio JP Kruse. 

Poet Mike Mahoney continues to expound his constellation of ideas written in response to The Blue Spark by JP Kruse. 

"Changing a way of life means changing a reality, and this is not a minor operation; when imposed forcibly it comes close to the annihilation of an individual or a culture as a whole.” - J.P. Kruse, The Blue Spark

Pure terror is involved here. Nauseating, dizzy, boiling cold & freezing hot terror. Gravity upside-down, blood-chilling terror. For people in prison so long they grow afraid of freedom, I think the word used is ‘institutionalized.’
Perhaps on the larger cultural scale, we've become so incarcerated inside our Pan-repressed terror at the world we've created, that the choice of freedom, suppressed for so long it's petrified in the dream-deep brain sediment & strata of human myth & vague nostalgia, is even more frightening and out of the question than our simultaneously present yet still impending world extinction.
Perhaps we’ve all become institutionalized within the dark prison walls of our capitalist ideas and cultural fears; inside the insultingly tight borders of our story – this fantastically growth-stunting western culture of gizmo-fetish wage-slavery, instant gratification & resource addiction; inside the cancerous catacombs of our inherited linguistic limitations & the gradual disemboweling of our spiritual fortitude.
It feels as if we’re so cut off from life as we knew it for the past two million years that the smell of Earth seems a distant memory. The kindling of fire an ancient lost practice. Lost on our dress shoes and iPads. It’s as though we’re animals who’ve been broken and tamed, humiliated into technology’s house pet, locked inside for so long we’ve become amnesiacs too afraid to go outside because we’ve forgotten there is an outside. Or if we do remember, it’s more we’re looking down at it as a child above the deep end of a swimming pool, scared of imaginary sharks, gripping the diving board with white knuckles too paralyzed with fear to jump. Somewhere deep inside him he remembers this should be fun. Exciting, even.
Without rituals that mark the transition from childhood to adulthood, we spend our culturally-prolonged adolescence erecting walls and motes of behavior around our fears, insecurities, and shames until, by the time we become “mature adults”, we’ve repeated our own & our culture’s lies so much to ourselves we not only believe in them, we identify with them. And in a world as manipulative, cheap and illusory as ours can be, where massive corporations & fictitious markets roam the Earth munching up resources & thriving off of our societies’ lies to itself – the lies endlessly repeated, marketed, advertised, printed & publicized – we all believe we need to believe in something, even if it's believing in nothing. We all need some kind of psychic anchor to feel secure we won’t just drift off into insanity. A psychic mantra to localize us in the fuzzy temporal & dimensional space of ambiguity, abstraction and info-overload swirling all over the world. A psychic shield to protect us from overwhelming grief, anxiety and panic. From manipulative image magic and coercive reality engineering.
These anchors, these identity mantras and nexus points of recognition, these rhythms of refrain and hook, ground & coordinate us in a world where nothing else seems certain. They stake out a conceptual ground upon which we can stand. When this space is threatened, it's defended as if losing it would be worse than death. (And when it comes to moving into a larger reality, most of us would rather be invited than demanded. A smile, an invitation, these are much more persuasive than any demand, declaration or order.)
We hold on with a death grip to our phantom securities and illusory delusions of control in life, & over life. To avoid the nasty feeling of being completely naked, present, vulnerable and intimate with ourselves, with each other and with the surrounding reality, most of us will fight, scratch, kick and claw with tooth and nail to the death when we feel our tough outer shell of a world-view or self-image threatened.
It’s still a fear of death. A fear of the death of the ego if our identity is changed, challenged or threatened – if we lose our job for example, & therefore our confidence because our financial situation has changed, or if we lose our significant other, or a part of ourselves through accident, injury or illness. It’s a fear of death, whether the literal death of our body, or the virtual death of any of the other hundreds of chimeras of self we’ve created – all of our false senses of security, of legacy, of self-image, confidence & ego, of power & privilege, guilt & shame, of invincibility, independence & wealth, etc.. A fear of the death of our knowledge of the way the world works. Or the fear of admitting we’ve had it all completely wrong. The fear of the death of our trust in our world, or the death of our trust in self – (mostly an amalgamation of what the various fears, authority figures, and cultural narratives of our lives shaped us to be, and so probably shouldn’t be trusted anyway.)

Para mas información sobre La chispa azul 
por favor, visiten la página siguiente: http://www.swamplanternbooks.com/books/the-blue-spark

The Blue Spark can be ordered here: http://www.swamplanternbooks.com/books/the-blue-spark

Para información sobre el poeta,  sus libros y discos, 
por favor visiten la página siguiente: www.mikemahoneymusic.bandcamp.com 

For information about the poet, his books and CD's, 
please visit his website: www.mikemahoneymusic.bandcamp.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

IV. Essays (Ensayos) by Mike Mahoney


IMG_3585.jpg

Painting by Wild Grace, from her Wayfarer series.

El poeta Mike Mahoney continua exponiendo su constelación de ideas escritas en respuesta a La chispa azul libro compuesto por nuestro socio JP Kruse. Para mas información sobre La chispa azul por favor, visiten la página siguiente: http://www.swamplanternbooks.com/books/the-blue-spark

Poet Mike Mahoney continues to expound his constellation of ideas written in response to The Blue Spark by JP Kruse. The Blue Spark can be ordered here: http://www.swamplanternbooks.com/books/the-blue-spark

Para información sobre el poeta,  sus libros y discos, por favor visiten la página siguiente: www.mikemahoneymusic.bandcamp.com 
For information about the poet, his books and CD's, please visit his website: www.mikemahoneymusic.bandcamp.com

To overcome the inertia of a given situation, a new perspective has to be embraced with an almost blind faith, in order to rally enough force to break through existing patterns and to sustain itself whilst creating new patterns.” (JP Kruse, The Blue Spark)

And from Joe Chilton Pearce: “An ultimately serious commitment of mind . . . can be the determinate in any issue, overriding randomness and chance.”
No illness is cured by anxiously focusing on and worrying about the illness. Only more illness results from this, from self-amplifying the “problem” through anxious worrying and mental dwelling. Perhaps this is old-hat thinking, a kind of rough, blue-collar ignorance, and perhaps I picked it up from reading a lot of Henry Miller lately, but maybe it stuck because it's true.
If one is depressed, it’s the easiest thing in the world to be depressed about feeling depressed, and then to self-mirror this depression through so many lenses that before long you literally cannot recall a time of life during which you weren’t depressed. (“It’s Always Been That Way.”) The more one behaves and perceives and thinks this way, the more self-fulfilling it becomes. The same applies, however, to its opposite, with positive thinking.
Maybe a major part of any positive change comes more from placing our attention on the positive nexus of notions and actions that the new solutions spin around than in investing it into curing the maladies themselves, or at least in feelings and actions which balance out the dis-eased energies at play in our being. Perhaps a big part of it lies more in trusting that the maladies will diminish and dissolve away as the new growth of positive habits and perceptions bloom through our cognitive gardens, even if only in our imaginations at first. After all, the brain-body circuitry seems to have a rather difficult time differentiating between our dreams and what we call & think of as ordinary reality.
Yes, part of 'the change' is identifying & pinpointing what we want to change from, our problem, as it were, but dwelling on the "problem condition" can itself perpetuate and even strengthen the problem. To dwell means to live in, or reside inside of a place, a space, & to pack your belongings & move into the problem – living in it as if it’s a dilapidated apartment you can barely afford – is maybe not the best way to get out of it, let alone solve it, or move through it. It's perhaps a type of razor's edge, this conundrum, & one I struggle with myself in trying to "figure out" "how" to "let go" of my own fears and anxiety. But of course, there's no physical “fear-thing” to let go of, (outside of my mind), and part of letting go of something means to stop trying to figure out how to let it go. To an indeterminable degree, we seem to sustain the very existence of most our problems by believing they’re something we have to work to be free of.
We must stop our clutching and attachment to our problems, stop feeding them with the holy fire of our very creativity and attention. Yes, we must look long enough to clearly outline & identify them, to examine them, but then it becomes paramount we use our imagination, creativity, and the power of metaphor to transform the obstacles into stepping stones which enable even more positive change then was maybe possible without such ugly & clearly presented difficulties.
A change of story, a widening of story to encompass the old within the new, is necessary. And not just to include the old within the new, but for the new story to not be possible without the old, to grow from inside the shell of the old. To bloom its green leaves through the asphalt & cement cracks in the shell of the old. Nature always seems to build on top of and incorporate the old, after all.
This will take creativity, an inescapable part of overcoming anything, and of course in manifesting the new patterns which take the place of the older, ineffectual habits, whether bound up in our perceptions, our thoughts, our reactions and projections, or our emotional responses and fears. Creativity requires a type of relaxed and divine play with our perspective, our perception, and brings into forms the qualities and aesthetics of Beauty, so necessary and lacking in the world our cultural games have created and our history’s wake has left us bobbing up and down in, treading water for our lives in.
It takes devotion to create and reverence to enjoy beauty,” writes Fritz Eichenberg in his Pendle Hill Pamphlet ‘Art and Faith’, from 1952. “We have sold mind, body and soul to the machine and, like the sorcerer’s apprentice, seem to have forgotten the formula to stop it. The magic of art…. Seems almost to be forgotten. But art is still the magic formula which can stop the robots who seem to run our world.” And later in the same piece he shares a quote from Herbert Read: “Art leads from play to fulfillment, from feeling to drama, from intuition to dance or music, from sensation to design, from thought to craft.”
Creativity is a ruling principle in transcendence, in evolution, in growth and novelty and the manifestation of all things new, all seeds blossoming. I truly think there isn’t a problem or hurdle or misunderstanding on earth or beyond perceivable to the human mind that is not able to be gotten around, gotten over or through, hurdled, surpassed, translated or understood, transformed, or, at the very least, softened & made manageable, by a creative rearrangement of perception, of language and processing. By a metaphoric transformation. A perceptual reframing. It’s all about our intent. Or as Joe Chilton Pearce wrote in his book The Crack In The Cosmic Egg, “Intent precedes both acquisition of knowledge and ability to do.”
Another of my favourite lines from that book, which reiterates what we‘re saying here: “A change of worldview can change the world.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

III. A THOUGHT ON MINDED ANTS

El poeta Mike Mahoney continua exponiendo su constelación de ideas escritas en respuesta a La chispa azul libro compuesto por nuestro socio JP Kruse. Para mas información sobre La chispa azul por favor, visiten la pagina siguiente: http://www.swamplanternbooks.com/books/the-blue-spark

Poet Mike Mahoney continues to expound his constellation of ideas written in response to The Blue Spark by JP Kruse. The Blue Spark can be ordered here: http://www.swamplanternbooks.com/books/the-blue-spark

As i loaf in my apartment, letting my mind loose to roam and explore the deep annals and chasms of the past, of the planet’s history and of our brief time upon its surface, it strikes me to imagine how our story would look to us if we were to see it projected onto another animal?
If we were to see the entire tale of our monkey species, the evolution of thousands of cultural narratives, tools and abilities, the evolution of our consciousness through a few thousand years of myth and history, put onto another animal on another planet earth without us?
If our whole evolution and history, from the origins of our imagination on to present day, were mainlined through our third eye and played out like a brief movie for us to watch?
How would we perceive it, looking onto a freshly discovered planet, strikingly similar in size and age, in ecosystemic diversity and chemical make-up to our own, if to our astonished gaze, we discovered an ant, a lowly insect, was undergoing all the processes of imagination and self-reflection present in our own species over the past few million years?
And if, looking through our high-powered and digitally-enhanced telescopes across time & space at this Earth-like jewel of a planet, we could perceive in a type of time-lapse reverie the couple-million-years long development of this ant species – from a primitive creature with a hive-minded mentality slowly dabbling with the taming of fire, then more quickly with the discoveries of art, language and the wheel, more intensely with agriculture and numbers, speeding up all the while and all the way up to the construction of a globe-girdling sprawl of electronics and technological cities similar to our own, a grid of virtual realities connected by pollution and ideology – with say a few hundred years passing every 10 seconds – what would we understand then?
How many times watching it through our monitors and computers screens would it take for our minds to light up into starry exclamation points of jubilant comprehension?
What patterns would we see there?
What future would we see?
In watching the first stirrings of ant-mind painting its dreams onto the walls of underground caves and tunnels, would resonance fill our thoughts as we gradually recognized ourselves in this meta-view of projected self-reflection?
And then would shock paint our faces as those newly minded ants quickly spread out over the entire planet, devouring the earth and taming her plant life and forests into agriculture and suburbs?
Taming the fauna into extinction?
Taming their own minds into ant-culture?
Into eastern and western strands of ant-culture with assorted types and dotted tribes of archaic memory-holders of the "Old Ways" spread throughout the dwindling wilderness areas of this alien, ant-sick planet?
Would we watch with horror as the ants exponentially multiplied within a few a generations, (only a minute or two to us watching from our privileged time-lapse point-of-view), into a gross imbalance of overpopulation so dramatic the world buckled under the weight of sustaining them?
What realizations and emotions would bubble up inside us as an enormous amount of energy from the planet’s incredibly wide spectrum of species withdrew from its vast diversity, from the millions of branches of its tree of life, down to just one twig of an insect: the ant?
After hours and hours of watching them live balanced within their world's harmonious and complexly integrated systems of developing life, diversity and health, only to see them turn left into abstract symbolism and its resulting societies and cultures, its inevitable technologies with globe-orbiting satellites and blood-spilling shames of war and ‘religion’ within the span of a few minutes, would we be appalled?
Nauseated?
Terrified?
Would we try and reach out to warn them when we saw the blood of their planet spilling into its oceans and clouding out its skies while fueling their culture?
Try and make them see they're living amidst the 6th great extinction event of their planet?
Would we put the fucking pieces together finally, and see in them a mirror of ourselves?
And if we did, would we change the way we think?
The way we live?
Or even the way we dream?