Sunday, October 7, 2012

World And Sprit Sublimate

A theme throughout the works of Hermann Hesse is the opposed conditions of the spiritual life within pondering penitents in monasteries and the worldly life among politicians and soldiers and peasant wood carvers and club footed children. I will give you a passage from the glass bead game where Joseph reflects on his friendship with another student...

"The antithesis: world and spirit--or rather, the antithesis: Plinio and Joseph - had sublimated itself before my eyes into an harmony out of the struggle between two irreconcilable principles."


Where do I stand in the war between Night and the Arctic Wolf's sovereignty? Poncho says I have now lost and he's right for the wrong reasons. I lost long ago...say when mankind discovered fire and it was taken away and Prometheus stole it back and now we use it to burn our own homes down to stay warm. But I refuse to admit defeat and so the battle continues in a futile mockery of madness that delights and angers those who know me. I should at once "Remain true to my code" which is a joke and actually a crime in America today, but I should also be "Realistic" and cultivate skills that have value among men. These contradict each other obviously.

Reading the Climate Progress website or global warming editorials was enough to give me some idea of the cause and effect and synthetic devices we rely on but without first hand experience then I remained a monk in the high tower studying old manuscripts that were edited by blind scholars. My analogy would be to a Baptist in Las Vegas during the Silver rush of 1890. It's now called Sin City for a reason but there are also Baptist churches there. So who won? The silver merchants and deadwood saloon/brothel owners or the white collared minister? Labrador City is a company town devoted to Iron Ore mining. My wolf quest was the equivalent of a broken pencil tip in the glove box of one of the janitors who has sex with one of the mine employees. And it splintered my financial situation and utterly taxed all my resources and mental acuity, leading to a 18 month decline in health and weight and direction until I actually was evicted by the police from a parking lot in NH and could not find work and was destitute and deranged processing Nova Scotia lobsters all December in order to fund my escape.

I do not regret the quest that actually was designed in September 2009 but took every single penny I had in addition to pennies I have yet to earn and was completed in September 2011 and involved more suffering and self denial and hitchhiking and trips to Missouri and this and that. You need only read the posts from 11/09-11/11 to see what I'm talking about. I was evicted from Canada once, rolled backwards down an icy hill one night in Maine, Spent 3 months making a mosaic fleur de lis, then drove 3000 miles in a loop around the NE tip of North America and at one time actually drove over some of the oceanic crust that did not subduct under the continent 100 million years ago, but formed Gros Morne national park instead...The fruit of that trip was my residence at Battle Harbour Island and the people I met along the way. None of it was possible without Halliburton energy and the Arctic Wolf might not be imperiled without Haliburton. Who knows? But the contradiction is not lost on me and while the voyage itself was spawned in reflection and concern for the wolf's future, it was funded by resource exploitation and the scales have not yet balanced out. The moral algebra equation remains to be solved for X. 

The $20 million church restoration in Austin entailed 10 hour days moving 100 pound masonite boards up 4 flights of broken stairs into an attic that was like a blast furnace. The IRS forms I processed in Missouri covered brothels in New Jersey and money laundering mobsters in New York and Investment bankers who crippled the entire economy with their pitiful currency trading schemes. I fixed leaking mobile homes and raked lawns for old age communities. I repaired a gold wing motorcycle and probably destroyed a shitty Pontiac Firebird.
I know that the two realms of spirit and world are rarely united. Either a Trappist Monastery in Iowa is my destiny or an Electrical engineering firm in Texas. They can never be sublimated without complete mental breakdown. Purity is a young man's pursuit and I hoped that by pursuing it then I could remain young but the gray in my beard doesn't wash out and my eyes are sometimes blurry and my neck flaps sag in rank despair. My shrunken penis mocks my callused palm. Pursuit of Purity does not a young man make...and old men look like fools in Bermuda shorts.
My problem in the past has been thinking that a short term commitment is long term contradiction and equivocation. But by turning down jobs like the chemical warfare testing gig in Santa Monica that paid $80K a year on moral principles actually led me to do something quite similar with guitar effects pedals for $30K a year with no future and not much skill involved. But I got to play guitar and write so I paid $50K a year to contemplate writing screenplays and learn some blues licks. That's a shitty investment and morally I don't think there was much difference...and practically speaking there was zero difference. The chemical warfare folks found someone else to do their job. A ripple in a large lake doesn't mean a frog is pissing somewhere.

For the past week I've almost been thinking like a normal person. Maybe my chemicals are aligned with Jupiter's retrograde flight through the heavens. Maybe the end of 2012 and the end of the Mayan era mean my stars are aligned and what is nonsense will be recognized as such. Maybe I'm like Bob Dylan who just when everyone wants and expects him to become a folk hero with his harmonica he buys an electric guitar and says, "Turn it up Real loud". You want Churros in Tijuana and I give you the peak of a natural gas well. Maybe the performance art piece that is my life has evolved into a new kind of skit. I wanted a change and this blog is about organic change for the sake of spontaneity. It's not about appeasing my predictable fans.

The Spirit world had dominated only my spiritual half while my body had basically just been leading a conventional life like a homeless drunk except not drunk. But spiritually I was in a four wheel monastery. SO I was in the world but resisting it and running from it without the resources to hide completely. I can say that's the worst condition and the list of my allies grew shorter and shorter by the day. I knew that I would either collapse or flee blindly with no fuel, carrying a guitar and a bible to Mexico and then Guatemala or else repair motorcycles in zen harmony. But the other mechanics smoked like chimneys and I was dying there...and had nothing. It really was the end for me. I had absolutely no options...no money...no direction...the van could not run...no allies....poisoned air everywhere...winter coming....ethics and idle platitudes intermingled and I could not sleep with the silver legged west nile carrying mosquitoes biting me all day on the neck and hands. Truly a ridiculous and pathetic end with grease and oil under my nails, naked pissing in the moonlight, 10 stray dogs baying at me and chasing my moped...a fucking coal trail waking me up at 5:30 am with my tinnitus growing worse every day with smoke in the air of my futility. My next door neighbor was a meat packing plant. The only other person I knew in Corpus was a multiple personality gypsy. On and on.

This is destiny...or God's guiding hand...opening a door when all were closed. I prayed and there was no other answer. Closer Walk With Thee so my spirit may find peace in this world and not a Disney fantasy I manufacture from works of pagan literature. None but Thee my burden shares...and probably not even thee.


Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.