'VOX CLAMANTIS NEL DESERTO'
Luke iii, 4.
21st April 1996: Contemplations on Social Power and Prestige. How certain members of the species manage to obtain great material wealth, comfort and enormous social prestige - e.g. fame. What is fame? In one way, it does not necessarily mean that fame is linked to evolutionary peaks of humanity. Women are famous because of their beauty, their bodies, or their big breasts. They may be as empty as the proverbial tin drum. In contrast, other people are famous because of their contributions to culture, science, religion, e.g. Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, the Buddha. In some cases they were infamous during their lifetimes. recognition in many cases is posthumous.
Power Dressing. Power Breakfasts. Who decides Who Has Power?
We live in a society that is based on the use and abuse of power. Power, as a form, or process of controlled energy, naturally takes many forms.
A shocking indictment of contemporary civilization - and an overwhelming moral bancruptcy that lies at the roots of all our transactions. This is the heritage of capitalism -
What is the difference between co-operation and cannibalism? Co-operative cannibalism?
When a bank of resources are opened to public access - what happens? Individuals plunder these resources for their own personal profit instead of collective gain. Hegemony - everyone and everything is up for grabs.
To open Frans Lategang to plunder. Beuys was a Rose-Cross! The Red Cross!
We must respect the individuals in our society who are solitary workers. The desert fathers, anchorites, recluses, lone meditators, contribute to the welfare of humanity in hidden ways.
Likewise, the individualistic trend in culture, is to be honoured. But no human being should hide their light under a bush. DISPLAY is necessary. Exhibitionism is an archetypal function,as one little girl said: ‘Mommy, Mommy, look what I drawsed.
Mommy must look. Society must see. The critics must have material to rip to pieces...
AND THE LAST WAVE SHALL BE THE FIRST WAVE.
In a culture so dedicated to the repression of the psyche, seeing Peter Wier's film 'The Last Wave' is like having salt packed on open wounds.
26th October 1997
I recently had a visitor in Cape Town who had a twelve year Jesuit education in Spain. He was very interested in things esoteric and spiritual - but the minute I mentioned Jung, he shot back with a very ferocious reaction that "He was not interested in Jung at all". Yet, as time went by, it became very apparent that things were not all well on his various home fronts. In fact, his particular psychological problems became clearly apparent to view - conspiracy theories, ecological destruction, the grief of the suffering of the masses the world over. I did not have the heart to point out to him, that this titanic suffering, as he so graphically described it, was not allieviated by even a single drop, by the sufferings of Jesus Christ on the Cross - an glaring disparity that he was obviously not even slightly conscious of. In fact he was not even slightly conscious at all. In fact, the sufferings on the Cross of his own Unconsciousness, was the site in which these millions were tortured and decimated by the Multinationals of the World. This is not to deny for one second that diabolical plots are afoot on a global scale by the powers of monopoly capitalism. But it is another thing altogether to use the external agony as a screen on which to project flagellated images of one’s own inner deficiencies.
In fact, as facts are gathered, and mulled over as empirically as possible - it seems that even more sufferings have been created in history, by individuals of great power who have projected their neurotic tendencies on an external enemy and thus unleashed genocidal wars.
The Inquisition, from a point of view of Jungian Social Psychology, if such a science exists - could be said to be an institutional paranoia, to extricate the horrors of the unconscious by murdering and burning and banning the exterior enemy. Perhaps this would lead, logically, to the Catholic Church’s implication in the nightmare of heroin industry and the Mafia in the late 20th Century. Where else could Christianity go - except into the darkness regions of Pluto’s Kingdom? And seeing that it has neither the strength nor the will to cleanse the Augean stables - the process will continue, hopefully until complete fossilization occurs, the common lot of religions that refuse to change with the times, and one may add, that of individuals. The social aspects of this process were most brilliantly commented upon by Sir Arnold Toynbee.
From the pratical aspect, I would suggest one has to clarify the above discrepancies, and lay bare the fundamental drives of the individual pain as related to the pain of the great whole. Certainly one feels helpless in the face of the enormity of the situation, the titanic qualities of which, emasculate us, from any action whatsoever.
And that is exactly the point - in that it seems we fill ours days with agonizing over global warming and the destruction of the rain forests, but do nothing about it, because we feel so disempowered. And yet, if you analyse the situation on a micro level - you find that there is still plenty of scope for action which is being completely ignored, of which again, we are completely unconscious. Like the time when I attended a Committee Meeting of a very ego-enflated Ecological Group. To my question as to whether anyone in the group recycled their waste matter into organic and inorganic, there was a stunned silence. And in the density of this silence, we also find the point made by the late Krishnamurti, about how people who protested for World Peace, were not actually speaking to their parents. The Micro and the Macro again.
I am not making any sort of value judgement - but a society that rewards a cow cut in half and preserved in formaldehyde - speaks more about Mad Cow Disease than Art for Arts Sake. Artists ostracized for their political belief’s. Cranach and Luther, The Beham Brothers and the Peasants Revolt. Different to Titian who lived in wealth and moved in Imperial and aristocratic circles - or the Vatican sponsored artists such as Carracci who was painting the Dionysian ecstasies of the Palazzo Farnese at the very moment that Giordano Bruno was being burnt at the stake on Piazza Campo dei Fiori - a few blocks away.
Also, we should not put down artists who "do" flowers in vases, still lifes or pastoral landscapes. Boucher too - was painting his Arcadian fantasies for French Royalty, on the very edge of the French Revolution. He stands poles part from the textures and context of Daumier or the Oruental lust in the dust of Delacroix.
Wildly divergent creative sites co-exist, co-habitate in fertile social soils. And indeed, this should be encouraged.
THE WALT DISNEY DESTRUCTION OF CULTURE.
I recently read the Arabian Nights, (I need to get a copy of the Penguin Classics Edition) and found it a most moving and enrichening experience. At about the same time I also saw the Walt Disney animated version - and thought it was vulgar and agressive in the extreme.
THE VISION OF THE SIXTIES
If we return to the Sixties, I think there was a genuine optimism that arose - now 30 years later, the children of the children of the Sixties, are being born. Many of my friends are grandparents. And yet some of the values have been maintained irrespective of a negative media onslaught.
I know it is totally unfashionable, but I cannot see any way foreward for humanity without some form of socialism. I cannot see how we can base a civilization on anti-socialism.
The bottom line - how to create a social structure, an engineered system. So much damage and rupturing.
TWO points to be researched from an old note:
[Obviously this refers to an even older note.]
The stored up energy/ social transformation. Art? Culture is outside the social form, BUT can be the main transmitter. What did I mean by this? See: Toynbee Vol.9, p. 48.
Do drawings/ variations on Breughel's Death Paintings.
I have often written of
"...the possibility that one of the main seeding grounds of the Vajrayana in the West is through Arts/ Culture - though later, some doubt grew in my mind. "
"But why do you have to see the Vajrayana as solely within the cultural orbit of Tibetan Buddhism in general, and the country Tibet in particular?
"Yes, there has been a shift in emphasis over the years from involvement and dedication to one Transmission Lineage, to a wider awareness that, as the old saying goes, "One never knows when one meets as Angel unawares."
Which is to say...?
"That not all the initiates need necessary appear on Lotus Thrones or brocade robes, or wearing the ash and mud of the sadhu, or UFO’s, or fabulous channeled messages. Now, perhaps, I would say that Art and Culture, though one and the same, are a vehicle through which the Work can proceed, but not necessarily controlled by any one Lineage. "
This was one of the main reasons for founding the Pax Cultura Project - and later Indlovu - beyond reason, the vision was of a seeding ground that is Tantric in its purest form. We have to create new cultural forms, new arts born so to speak, from the glittering jewels of the Divine mother. Or as Tai Situ Rinpoche says:
"Magnificent Images will be Born."
"Our highest duty as human beings is to search out a means whereby beings may be freed from all kinds of unsatisfactory experience and suffering."
H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.
"In the beginners mind there are many possibilities...in the experts there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Roshi.
A great deal of humility is called for when dealing with the Teachings. In a relative sense one can only speak from experience.
My plan is to introduce the 'grammar' of Tantric Art - to gloss over a generalized tour of the material - and then to take one example - Light it as a Highlight - containing within its microscopic structure, enormous areas of information. This example is the SKULL.
BITCH & MOAN DEPARTMENT
…the background cacophany…chaos of static on the Web. One has to extract the data..
I return again and again to the idea of Suares, that "we" are still in a sub-human condition…
Fairly recently, it was illegal to see Sport on a Sunday. Now we see nothing but Sport on all four TV channels, and both main Radio Stations. So much for democracy. The rule of the lowest common denominator.
We are certainly living in extra-ordinary times. With a few clicks of the index finger on a small plastic object called a mouse - we can move across the face of the earth, in cyberspace - and excavate a vast amount of information on a myriad of subjects for as little as R6 per hour. I do not think that the full revolutionary impact of the Internet has been felt by all and sundry, though the speed at which people are getting ‘connected’ is amazing. Yet I am one of those old fashioned types who still enjoy curling up in winter with a magazine.
When I see the tons of paper wasted on advertising, and the millions, if not billions of rands poured into the advertising industry -
This publication is totally illegal, in that
Under the circumstances, with the South African Rand falling to all all time low - it becomes impossible to import books and magazines from abroad,