Author Archives: FastSlow

…green shinsen and flowers!!!…

…Guy Debord / La Société du Spectacle(56)…

49

  • Le spectacle‘ is money’s other face: an abstract, ubiquitous equivalent of every possible piece of consumer goods. But whereas money, up to this point, has dominated society, as the representation of the essential equivalence of every possible piece of consumer goods – that is to say: the interchangeable and thus exchangeable nature of the so-very-many consumer goods, the usages of which, in practice, remain completely distinct and non-interchangeable – ‘le spectacle‘, on the other hand, is money’s fully developed, latter-day complement, in which the entirety of the consumerist world is simultaneously visible, as the ubiquitous equivalent of all the things that society can be and do. ’Le spectacle‘ is a strange kind of money, that you can only look at… because in it you can already see all of the “usage” that has been exchanged for all of its abstract representation. So ‘le spectacle’ is not only the servant of “pseudo-usage”… it is, in itself, the “pseudo-usage” of our entire lives.

* – * – *

Of course, old fashioned money got to “you-can-only-look-at-the-gold” about a century ago: or even “only-in-your-mind’s-eye:you-can-only-imagine-the-gold!” So we are in this transitional phase where merely watching super-cedes “exchange”… And this is a difficult thing for the compulsion to latch onto… and so we get the desire for transformation, and all these little rebellions…

But, I mean, the history of gold in the world is pretty damn fascinating: the sugar trade… slavery… completely arbitrary things in relation to the actual metal… sugar: the drug that makes you want ever more and more… but a medieval festive cake: so little sugar… just a bright taste, like the presence of the divine… and opening up the Americas creates the possibility of excess – gold, sugar, tobacco even… chocolate, coffee – and our civilization gets hooked on the drive, the self-denial and the organization that allows us to binge everyday on what should be the sacred and the three-times-a-year.

And all these things evolved around trading sugar one-to-one for gold: an ounce of sugar for an ounce of gold… the Spanish Armada, built off sugar…

And then a giant lie: “you can grow sugar out in the Canaries… or some other island… don’t tell anyone…”  Now it’s still worth one-to-one. And now we need people who can live at that latitude, so we’ll just grab them out of their very homes, drag them to the West Indies: they’ll be making sugar.

And when this collapses, rain falls into the ships hauling the sugar to England: and it makes rum. You make the rum trade, and now there’s still more reason to get still more slaves…

It’s a very interesting relationship between symbolic wealth and actual, physical things – – – all driven by human compulsion – – – because no-one, in this, actually – no-one! –  has a better physical life!

And now we live in an age where we binge on video-driven excitement, and constant short-lived wonder (suspense), when we used to attend and be transformed three-times-a-year by a mystery play at some ritual moment in the calendar.

And we would let someone destroy us because we see that they have gold drapes, and an appearance of power based on arbitrary money that probably doesn’t exist. Who goes to our longest-standing enemy for their financing, and tells us right up front: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” And when it becomes clear that actual treason has happened – and the reason treason is illegal is that it puts us all in danger – then everyone imagines that they’re going to BUY safety. With a pattern of electrons, and promises based on a memory of the symbolic which you can never see or physically experience. And all this paradox creates the excitement which is actually our currency today.

And they’re imagining they’re going to buy safety. They believe in the power of the fetish of a former currency.

And viscerally we know this is not true. In time of disaster… “well… I’ve got lots of currency…” Ask the Germans how that went…

But it’s actually its distance from reality that makes the concept and the practice of money attractive to us:  it is entirely our domain, under our control, a story that we can tell ourselves…

And now that our “currency” is actually based on a compulsion to watch stories… on being prone to anger… on being addicted to constant excitement… in time of disaster, how is that going to go…?

* – * – *

Whereas we always return to our basic rooting, our earthly quality, our biological quality.

And before this giant hallucination happened, there was a very rich magic. And people still recognize the magic of the material.

The multiplicity of meanings… when you slow down…

And that’s what thinking like an artist is: where there are multiple meanings, simultaneously, in a physical object. And where the contrasts are simultaneously visible – – – differences are simultaneously visible – – – instead of successively visible: forcing you to binge-watch faster and faster…

So thinking like an artist is a way of getting back to the older ways of thinking.

Someone makes the beautiful pot…

The Japanese teacup, for instance, was captured utilitarian ware… and then it became highly valued, and people began to learn how to make it. And so as they learned, they understood more and more… in other words: ever increasing meaning…

And that’s a different kind of thinking…

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…leaves and sky…

…misogi no jo!!!…

…the kotodama of Shiva!!!…

So, amongst the vowels, A I U are the most used and the most important, because they correspond to the three fundamental energies of Shiva: the energy of transcendent consciousness ‘A’,  that of will-power ‘I’  and that of awakening ‘U’.  To attain salvation the yogi retraces the cosmic process in reverse direction – with the aim of being reabsorbed.

– – –  Métamorphose de la violence par l’Aikido de Sumikiri,  J.-D Cauhépé and A. Kuang,   p. 297

…ushiro-waza!!!…

O’Sensei no kuden: misogi (2)

Without color and without form, the Great Benevolent Spirit, because it is without color and transparent, and embodying the most complete purity, the most complete innocence, the most complete holiness, the most complete beauty, the most complete honesty, the most complete virtue, the most complete and supreme love, is the most important in the divine teachings. And so misogi techniques were created, and so the Way of Aiki was created. And through the marvelous functioning of kotodama, the whole great world is made bright and pure again. And through this the misogi of Heaven and earth, the landscape and humanity is performed.

– – – O’Sensei,  probably audio-recorded by by Masatake Fujita,  transcribed by Sadateru Arikawa Shihan, published in Aiki-Shinzui,  p. 142

…kawa-misogi in the Fall(3)!!!…

…Guy Debord / La Société du Spectacle(55)…

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  • This constant of the capitalist economy: the ongoing tendency for “usage value” to decline, creates a new form of deprivation within our more elevated and more complex version of mere survival… which is in no way an enfranchisement from our former poverty, seeing that it demands the participation of the vast majority of men – and women – as salaried workers, in un-ending pursuit of the efforts it specifies: and seeing that everyone knows that they must submit to this or die. And this is the reality of its blackmailing and extortion: the fact that “usage” in its simplest form (eating, sheltering) does not exist, and cannot be thought of – can no longer be thought of – except trapped and imprisoned inside the illusory riches of this more elevated and more complex version of mere survival… And it is the reality of its blackmailing and extortion which is the real, true basis of our overall, ubiquitous acceptance of this illusion: in the consumption of modern consumer goods. A man or woman, physically consuming something real and physical, becomes a consumer of illusions. Consumer goods are this illusion which in practice is taken for ‘reality’… and ‘le spectacle‘ is its generalized, ubiquitous manifestation.

* – * – *

And in our time, in this Information Age, the spectacle itself – these performances and images – have become the non-physical “consumer goods” that are imbued with this illusion. And everywhere this is a debased, partial modification of ‘the sacred’. Which bars us from contact with the vibration and the energy of the sacred, and of physical reality. But which perpetuates our drive and hunger for that very thing.

And, going back… To a time when probably travelers, with physical goods, were also shamans. And the exchange of the physical goods – with strangers – was just one part of a shamanic exchange. The market, in the churchyard, on the festival day of the patron saint, is the last ubiquitous, society-wide manifestation of this in the English-speaking world. After which it becomes partial – and tendencious. The elevated ‘theatre prices’ of food and beverages – and souvenir programs – that we sell at the performances of plays would be one lingering manifestation of this…

And to find a  g e n e r a l i z e d  equivalent of this… something that can replace bartering… is always to de-sensitize yourself to the vibration of the real, specific object.

So. There was a time, when the material gold was pretty hard to get. There were only certain known sources. And it had a certain quality to it, different from
the other four metals: it did not rust, it was flexible, and it had that yellow-ish glow, similar to a fairly accessible meditative state. So it was special.

And there’s a place, Lydia, which is mostly mountains… and their city, Sardis, was one of the few sources of gold: and they had naturally occurring electrum – gold mixed with silver, that looks like gold but is harder. So they could stamp two magical images, a bull and a lion – fertility and ferocity – onto nuggets of apparent gold, but these nuggets, magically, were more durable. And they used these to pay soldiers from the surrounding peoples – mercenaries – and mark them as theirs. And using this special, apparent gold from their mountains, they created a mystique – an aura of exceptionalism – in the neighboring high plateau: which in this way became part of the Lydian Empire. And this was the first coinage.

And remember: the nature of geography is such that the traveling shaman, who also brings physical goods, would always come from over the mountains, or from the sea.

And what the Lydians were saying was: “Here’s the immutable. And here’s our state, our country, our identity. And they’ve been coupled together.” Because gold is this very unusual object, back then… especially unusual in comparison with other things: it did not decay.

And so suddenly gold was no longer just this material, it was the state, also, their state. Persia conquered Lydia, and started issuing electrum coinage, and the other nations, in this case Greece, as we understand it, saw this and started stamping symbols on  t h e i r  gold. And then you have Minoan ingots in the shape of a cow-hide: and right there you have the sense of an abstract, uniform sense of value that is not “usage value”.  And, of course, you have something that is a completely different vibration from an actual cow-hide.

So you have an abstract sense of “the state”. And institutions in general. And the abstract sense of “exchange value”.

Which has nothing to do with a group of mountain men, gathered together to defend their mountain village, Sardis. Which is the actual foundation of the Lydian ‘state’.

Whereas Phoenician coinage was generally copper – which was needed for making bronze. You could go to Cornwall – by their sea-trading routes – with a cow-hide of copper and get a cow-hide of tin and you put them together and you’ve got bronze. From which you could make the weaponry which would be held by the group of mountain men, gathered together to defend their mountain village. So the vibrational energy of the copper “cow-hide” is related to the vibrational energy of this village. Which the vibrational energy of electrum is not.

And for many villages at this time, as you moved your cattle around with the seasons, it appears that these were not privately owned cattle: and so the theft of these cattle became a symbolic act, between villages. More than simply “I need cows”. So this was the begin of merging a material that had “usage value” with a symbolic materialism. So roasting and eating a stolen cow became a hugely symbolic act. As did roasting and eating your cow that you had successfully protected against theft.

And, similarly, if they captured your coinage, they’d melt it down and stamp their own symbols on it. And yet they didn’t actually get to eat a cow – which would be so much more satisfying, at a vibrational level. And this evolved into copper coinage and bronze coinage: all these things where now the ‘state’ is the value, not the physical object.

So now we live in this very odd structure, in which symbolic objects things take on huge symbolic wealth and meaning… an iPhone takes on a meaning beyond what it is.

And now we have even gotten to this place where the video that you watch on the iPhone has taken on the transcendent meaning. And it’s not about the physical energy of what you see in the video – the physical energy that you would sense if you were actually there. The transcendent meaning is about the possibility of watching at a distance. And taking a place in a structure of technology. And so it actually assigns a high value to NOT being able to feel the vibration of the thing itself.

And, unlike a physical item of consumer goods, there is no fraction of this that is “usage value”,  actually getting to enjoy the vibration of the thing itself.  Not an iota.  Zip. This vibration is inaccessible through the electronic network.

So this is a hugely unstable situation, which over a few decades,  at the most,  will surely work itself out. Because we still have people around who will remind us that eating a cow is hugely more satisfying than stamping a symbol into a piece of copper.  Or, after the bubble bursts, more satisfying than keying the contract directly into the currency.

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Jolene is facilitating a Sing for Joy event…

...with Lisa G. Littlebird,  Friday-Sunday December 8-10… …at the Muse Yoga Studio, 1317 W Jefferson St, Boise, ID 83702.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a singing group which is non-performance based, getting together to simply enjoy singing together. Our focus will be on joyful, uplifting songs and devotional chants.

Any experience level is OK, or no experience is fine too! Come and find your voice, get filled with Joy and Grace, and discover how singing can heal your soul.

“I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.” ~ Rumi

Mailing address: 
Sing for Joy
2800 E. Boise Avenue
Boise, ID, 83706