Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mythic Reality in Action: Living Mythically Pt. III

Still recovering from Hurricane Sandy state wide, and the great presidential election has come and gone, with  a much less caricatured candidate winning. I consider that a win for the nation, though it clearly does not solve all of our problems. That is left to the doing of things by those elected.


Give me just one moment. You know how I strongly recommend everyone live mythically, yes? Good. This is how living Mythically plays out on the ground. It does get super political and ultra lefty liberal.

Let me 'splain. Every nation, every family, every person, has its own mythology. Things that may or may not be factual, but are none the less true. That is the positive side of mythological thinking. It hooks you into something greater than yourself. Something transphysical, but still manifest in the world that you can draw strength  support and power from by the use of your mind and ritual action. This happens in the politics of nations always. Always? Yes. Always.

The neoconservitive movement has constructed a mythic framework. One not based in reality, but they made one. This mythical framework was made in direct reaction to 1960's radicalism. Liberalism was blamed as the source of race riots, drop outs, and the decay of the moral fabric of the nation. It's true, Liberalism did do that. Sadly, the moral fabric was colored arsenic green. It was toxic.

We all know the pre sixties laundry list of sins: Homosexuality was a disease. People of color were teeeechnically equal, but denied the right to vote, denied access to education, and denied employment by the intentional districting of things like gun and liquor stores into neighborhoods of color and out of the traditionally white suburbs. Asian women were exotic flowers, while Asian men were expected to always have a braid and a rice hat. Women were to do as they were told and remain loyal to men who beat them, cheated on them, and were discouraged from working or having any money, power, or agency of their own.

So yes, there were riots, and lootings, and chaos. The harder society clamped down on the freedoms of the people, the worse those things got. Liberalism opened the door to Chaos, because Order was choking the life out of the majority of Americans. Liberalism opened the door to Chaos, because those who keep you from having your basic human rights; those who keep you from actually being treated as a human being, equal to all others in sovereign dignity will not give you your rights if you ask politely and fill out the correct forms.

The sixties were radical because, en mass, a generation chose to think differently. They chose to see, acknowledge and try to change a broken, repressive, top heavy, racist, sexist, elitist system. A generation demanded nothing less than an equal share of their own sovereign humanity.

All those peace and love, flower power, hippies were shoulder to shoulder with black panthers, psychonaughts, mystics, feminists, free thinkers against the fire hose, the billy club, the gun, and the noose. Many died. Many more carried scars and injuries that they would bare for life. Some were incarcerated, and spent the rest of their lives in a world of concrete gray, till death found them through disease, old age, or the tip of a make shift knife.

The neoconservitive movement made a decision, based on Straussian philosophy. They would make a Mythic America. One where we were the ultimate power of Goodness and Freedom, even if all evidence to the contrary said otherwise.

An excerpt from the documentary "The Power of Nightmares" :

Professor HARVEY MANSFIELD, Straussian Philosopher, Harvard University: He didn't give interviews, or write political essays, or appear on the radio—there wasn't TV yet—or things like that. But he did want to get a school of students to see what he had seen: that Western liberalism led to nihilism, and had undergone a development at the end of which it could no longer define itself or defend itself. A development which took everything praiseworthy and admirable out of human beings, and made us into dwarf animals. Made us into herd animals—sick little dwarves, satisfied with a dangerous life in which nothing is true and everything is permitted.

VO: Strauss believed that the liberal idea of individual freedom led people to question everything—all values, all moral truths. Instead, people were led by their own selfish desires. And this threatened to tear apart the shared values which held society together. But there was a way to stop this, Strauss believed. It was for politicians to assert powerful and inspiring myths that everyone could believe in. They might not be true, but they were necessary illusions. One of these was religion; the other was the myth of the nation. And in America, that was the idea that the country had a unique destiny to battle the forces of evil throughout the world. This myth was epitomized, Strauss told his students, in his favorite television program: Gunsmoke.

The Myth is still being perpetuated. It swims in a small, but strong circular loop based on a prefabricated ideal American society.

1. We are the Just and Right protectors of Liberty and Democracy.
2. We must do what is necessary to safeguard Liberty and Democracy.
3. Any excesses can by excused, and validated because we are Right and Just.

Now, the Straussian neo-cons are a pale shadow of the Nazi propaganda machine, but for their time in the 60's and beyond they were on par with the Soviet propaganda machine.

The problem is when excesses and abuses are excused, and the dehumanization of entire populations is writ in as the cost of doing business. It is the same mindset of  Manifest Destiny. It is the same mindset of the Inquisition. It is pure archonic hubris. We will conquer and civilize. We have all the answers. We will remake the world in our image. Progress and Dominion at any cost.

This is relevant. Politically  this is why the election swung the way it did. The heavy handed use of propagandized Myth building, when the Myth has no basis in actual, manifest reality. Mittens did win the election. He was elected by his peers. Other conservative,  white, moneyed men came out in droves to support him, and did their best to bully their subordinates to do the same. Because paying for health care won't cut into the profit margin, but it will cut into YOUR job, wage slave.

Fortunately, though, there are more folks who are NOT his peers, than there are those who are.

Mythology rises naturally. We are Myth making beings. Myth is the context of our minds. Shared Myths make culture. Culture is your operating system. Part of the consolidation of power is the co-opting of Myth through a geo-cultural location. If you get the Mind, you can get the Will. If you get the Will, then you get the Body. The first Sovereign Emperor of China did it by destroying the Hundred Schools of Thought, as well as forbidding languages, religions, and cultural practices. Not to mention burning history books, burying scholars alive, and maintaining strict censorship over his own Mythology.

We as individuals and societies are always setting a Mythic course. Science gives us facts. Myth lets us extrapolate meaning. Myths must be broad to be effective. I know I have done a lot of conservative bashing in this post, but here is the praise cookie at the end. They did it. They made a Myth! The Myth of global justice, and security, and ever expanding prosperity for all citizens. The problem was it was both too fractious, and too specific. The wave form rose, broke, and collapsed. It will happen again.

The Myth cycle of the Neo-cons was, and is, one of Utopia  as well as one of a Golden Age. The trick to that cycle is that the Utopia collapses, and the Golden Age ends. Every. Single. Time. I've heard two origins for the word Utopia, both from the Greek. One meaning "Good Place", and the other meaning "No Place". Both are accurate.

The tragic flaw of the Utopian ideal is that of a people set apart. The proverbial "City on a Hill". Utopia is set apart from other people, other cultures, other nations, and from nature itself. It raises the human concern above that of the biosphere. The Utopian myth cycle happens over and over in every civilization. Much like all cycles, it is an Alchemy. It refines its materia, in this case society. If you add in new thoughts and ideas, and peoples willy nilly then you pollute the materia and have to start all over again. The same cycle of Destruction, Chaos, Order, Flourishing, Corruption, Decay, Destruction.

To be honest, I think the Utopian Myth cycle will always be doomed to fail, by virtue of being so exclusionary. There is always someone "outside the walls". Even if all humans were really, honestly, included, it would fail, because it would promote human interest above that of Life as it flourishes. It will always happen so long as we see ourselves as apart from the world rather than a part of it.

Wrapping up, what the hell does all of this depressing, Mythic mess mean for you? You are constantly living in an overlapping Mythoscape. Differing codes seeking to program reality. Different languages singing the now. Be aware of it. Beware of it. Because, if you are not aware, you will get sucked in to someone elses trip. A bit part where you should be the Hero.

Make YOUR Magick. Sing YOUR songs. Learn from traditions, but do not limit your mind to them alone. The moment you hit a wall, and things start to get really uncomfortable, it just means you've grown too big for the place you are currently in. You have two choices, leave your bonds behind, and have your own shape, or stay inside, and take the shape of your bonds, which is totally fine and good if that i the shape you want to be.

Our Myths shape us, but we shape them by participating in them. In shaping them, we shape the world. In shaping the world, we can either become the next Archons, remaking the world in our image, or we can allow Life to truly flourish, in our societies, in our Minds, in our Magick, and follow the Path laid out by Nature. Our Myths are laid out by Her. We extrapolate. We interpret.  We spin fact and conjecture. The Patterns are Hers. She is the Great Weaver. We are just trying to see the sailboat.

1 comment:

Simon Tomasi said...

As The Economist asks the question: Is Obama willing to sing with those whose myths are quite different to his own?

Governing well, like conducting choirs, is about singing in harmony with many contrasting voices. Let's see how he does over the next two years.