Our Crazy Talk

General Category => Why Bother? => Topic started by: Silenus on July 18, 2018, 02:38:23 pm

Title: The Body's Bastard Birth
Post by: Silenus on July 18, 2018, 02:38:23 pm
The title of this topic is the title of the fourth chapter of the book "The Gnostics" by Jacques Lacarriere.  More of an interpretation of than a study on the Gnostic sects, he vividly dramatizes the sympathies of those peoples, who like us, feel trapped in a prison of matter (just to note, I do not believe in spirit, soul or the comforting idea that consciousness "goes somewhere" after the flesh-prison's death):

Five fingers. Four limbs. Two eyes. A brain. And a name, too: homo bipedus, sapiens, loquens.  It is easy to describe man with the detachment of an inhabitant of Sirius. But the Gnostics did have this feeling that they came from Sirius, or rather from a world that was even farther away, stranger and still more puzzling, a world beyond Sirius. Perhaps this explains the alien and, above all, contemptuous view they took of our hominiform appearance, our anthropoid conformation, our condition as foetuses dropped prematurely into the deserts of the world, and thereafter crying out unceasingly with the same howl of anguish that announced our arrival on earth.

Beneath the complexity, the tortuousness of the Gnostic myths lies hidden this obvious truth: we are all premature births.

Defecation is a natural evil of the heavy, dense body, the plainest symbol of our wallowing in primordial slime.

And so, our organic portrait is simple: this talking foetus, this rectified worm that is man, cannot survive without destroying the life around him (like a worm gnawing the rotten wood of old beams) and expelling through his anus the corrupted products of this corrupting massacre. He absorbs filth through one end and rejects it in a still more corrupt state through the other.

Title: Re: The Body's Bastard Birth
Post by: Broken Brains on July 18, 2018, 05:53:08 pm
To see our "creaturely predicament" as clearly as possible, I think that it really helps us endure our condition when we are able to view it in these terms in an almost emotionally detached manner.

Great quotes.  I will check out The Gnostics by Jacques Lacarriere (http://libgen.io/search.php?req=Jacques+Lacarriere&lg_topic=libgen&open=0&view=simple&res=25&phrase=1&column=def). 

I have been fascinated by that sect and their interpretations for many years.  I had first stumbled upon the trail at around age 17 or 18 while reading Hermann Hesse's Demian, where one of the characters mentions Abraxas.  In school we were assigned reading Hesse's Siddhartha, and while this tale did fascinate me since I had never been told the story of this Buddha (and had never even heard the name Siddhartha before), I was more drawn to Demian and the Steppenwolf which were not officially assigned to us.  I would have to track those down of my own volition.

Thank you, Silenus.

Like you, I am not inclined to embrace the idea that we are "spiritual beings having a physical experience," but I do see how we might feel imprisoned in our fleshly, creaturely bodies, since we are here for the duration.  Those who experience trauma in childhood may be scarred for life.  It is said that our very birth is a trauma.

What do you think of the koan which asks, "What was the shape of your face before you were born?"


"What is the space between your thoughts?"

Einstürzende Neubauten Sabrina (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnGYaqjW-A)

The above song was from the year 2000, Sabrina, by a band called Einstürzende Neubauten.

I haven't been much of a music connoisseur as of late, so do not consider me a weirdo if this song does not suit your tastes.  I thought it resonated with the theme of the quotes you lifted from "The Gnostics" by Jacques Lacarriere.

 It’s a very tragic song of identity, of what you are versus what you want to be.

This rectified worm that is man, this system of tubes taking food in at one end and pushing the waste out the other end, all the while with a complicated nervous system with so many nerve endings, sensory apparatus interpreting the external "world" to us (and who is this us?). 

We don't know what we look like, not really.

It's no wonder the various cultures of the world create these narratives, these myths to live by.  We think that, throughout the eons, as a time-binding species, we might gain some perspective by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Anyway, I will be experimenting with imagining myself a complex version of a worm.  Maybe life may be more easily endured seeing myself as a rectified worm with four limbs. 
Title: Re: The Body's Bastard Birth
Post by: Broken Brains on July 22, 2018, 10:01:09 am
So, late at night I have been reading through this essay by Jacques Lacarriere suggested by Silenus.

I can see where some of the views are similar to my own.   I notice how much my reading style has transformed over a lifetime.  I appreciate that those who the author describes as "the Gnostics" were against the idea of procreation.   

Still, as I mentioned, my reading-style has changed a great deal since the age of 19 or so.

I find myself almost irritated when there is mention of the true God.   I have no problem with the pointing out that the God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is a demiurge - a "Cosmic Police Force" punishing humanity for simply being born into this slop.    In fact, that kind of heresy and truth telling must have been what made me feel a certain identity as a Gnostic.

As I have aged, I have become less and less patient with mythologies which formed in the Mediterranean.  I almost wish I had never heard of them.  It annoys me that so much is tainted by the influences of that area of the world.   I do appreciate that the author seems very cognizant of the mythological nature of the terminology.  And, yes, I certainly do appreciate our ability to interpret these mythologies in a manner similar to the way the Gnostic sects did.   This is why I mentioned Hermann Hesse's novel, Demian.    The main thing which impressed me while reading that novel as a young man was the radical way the one character would take the liberty of interpreting Hebrew mythology his own way, suggesting that Cain was heroic and that Abel and his descendants were a tribe of authority worshipping conformists who were intimidated by a certain look of intelligence in the eyes of Cain's "type," and so vicious lies were spread against him.

To this day, I still have a certain contempt for the values of the masses, or contempt and disdain about who and what I am supposed to see as evil versus who and what I am supposed to see as Good.

It would appear that Evil and Good are relative terms, that Life itself (including Nature and the ideas of gods created by our species) is Pure Evil.

One thing I don't like is the total Anthropomorphic view of the universe, that the entire cosmos is somehow a reflection of man, and that man is a reflection of the cosmos.   I am suspicious of any "philosophy of everything," any worldview that attempts to explain everything in absolute terms.

I am at a point where I much more prefer a kind of thinking suggested by these words (of Holden, the thorn in the side of Northern India), "We have only confused and fragmentary knowledge of ourselves, of our own bodies and of outside bodies. There is no personal immortality."

I'm still reading through it, but, as I said, only very late at night, after midnight that is.  For whatever reasons, I devote my days and most of the evening to studying mathematics.  I know it must be quite a bore to read me state this again and again.

It has something to do with my desire to stay focused on a specific discipline of the mind, a discipline devoted to gnosis, to Scientia perhaps, something I have referred to as TechGnosis in my diaries.  I have been compelled to "start over", and I have gotten a few years into my 10-year plan. 

So I have become more attracted to technical explanations and most enjoy the process of slowing down to a snail's pace, slow enough to gain some understanding about something very specific; that is, "technical" - hence, TechGnosis.

On the other hand, I have grown to dislike the "ultra-intellectual" academics who are so very impressed with their ability to explain Heidegger, even if they would be challenged by some basic problems in Trigonometry.

I have a secret side of me which is very mean-spirited and hateful.  Supposedly this is the part that ought to be encouraged to write, since it transcends the politeness of the False Self, that image of who we think we are in order to avoid facing how we really feel.   The mean-spiritedness is directed against certain others who may feel "very educated" in, say "Theology", or certain scriptures.  They feel compelled to preach about Revelations and what not.  I have come to realize that individuals are permitted to think they have it all figured out, and I can do nothing to persuade them that they might exist in the moment more honestly and genuinely if they nurtured doubt about their most cherished beliefs.   But alas, to each his or her own, I suppose, and we are each condemned to getting through each day as best we can.

I rebel against all those who have propped themselves up as significant by ignoring them, by focusing on "School Mathematics".   It's quite liberating, actually, to consider the possibility that the world is overflowing with bullsShit, lies, self-deception, and ILLUSION.

I just wanted to acknowledge that I am reading through the essay you mentioned at the start of this thread (in its entirety); but, as I have explained, such reading is limited to the twilight hours, and so even a short book may take some time.   From early morning, and however much time throughout the day and throughout the evening, I really am committed to far more tedious and non-poetic studies.  This kind of "study project" is so time consuming that it really is a benefit that I don't fit into the work force society.  There's no way I could devote the necessary time and attention to my personal self-education if I had a "normal structured life with many *responsibilities*.

Needless to say, I am an extremely frustrated man, and so I may go out of my way to be kind to others knowing that each must be similarly frustrated by the discrepancies between what we would like to understand versus the raw brute fact of our creaturely existence.  I can't help but feel like one of the monstrosities on the Island of Dr. Moreau, one of the Beast People who might be inclined to worship that which it does not fully understand.  Do I think there is going to be some sudden or even gradual transformation of my understanding?   Holden has suggested the possibility that the idea of "making progress" may be a great disappointment.  There is such a thing as "degrees of mathematical maturity," but I am beginning to doubt such maturity occurs in leaps and bounds.  Maybe there is a definite limit to how mathematically mature any one of us will become in our lifetime.  So I am trying to fill in many gaps so that at least I know, when I feel I have reached my particular limit, to stop, and to stick to a certain level.  I proceed in this manner because I hate the idea of self-deception or being deluded into thinking I understand more than I actually do.

Perhaps institutions of higher learning are in the business of selling false confidence, and it takes the solitary pursuit of knowledge to practice a high degree of intellectual honesty (with oneself).

I sympathize with the torments experienced by adolescents.  In fact, what I am involved in, this "Ten Year Plan" is a total rebellion against the whole "Learn Such-and-Such in 24 Days" phenomenon in the book marketplace.

I'm not a happy camper, that's for sure.

And so I lock myself in a room and suspect so many others of being full of sShit.

Both Raul and Holden appear to be very patient with my honesty, and I would ask that, when reading my responses, you try to get a feel for what I am trying to express, and not take offense should I come off as someone on the verge of a temper tantrum.

It is not you.  As I say, I am continually frustrated by my mere existence.
Title: Re: The Body's Bastard Birth
Post by: Silenus on July 23, 2018, 02:56:53 pm
Thank you for the music video Hentrich; very relatable indeed. 

The problem with my philosophical brooding/rumination is that I certainly focus on the anthropocentric way of viewing things.  I suppose I am more existential with my pessimism than I'd like to admit- which is why I deeply admire Thacker's cosmic pessimism.

I'm at a three-pronged road between coping with the disease of consciousness in an all-too-personal way, admitting to myself that I and the species as a whole knows practically nothing, and the knowledge that I am a speck of dust in this Indifferent Nature.  I admit to being selfish and egotistical, and above all an emotional shipwreck.  Hence my being too wrapped up in myself. 

I think I'd be able to find more quietude in recognizing our insignificance.  I would be a liar if I said I won't be afraid of dying upon the very moment of cessation, yet I have come to terms with temporality and "fleetingness."

Yes, I will strive towards a more cosmic approach to my temperamental philosophy. 

Thanks for taking a look at this piece of literature.  Beyond the G-word, beyond the spiritual, beyond the human-centeredness, I find them to be insightful and honest about this Bastard body, the wicked nature of copulation, the prison-wings of institutions.

And I think my best contribution to life could be summed up in a quote found later in the text: "'They spend their time doing nothing and sleeping'. - Timothy, On the Messalians."  :)

Fear-and-Loathing-in-New-York-State, signing out.