Author Archives: Heretic

About Heretic

female knitter bookworm 31 years old bisexual spiritual atheist 420 friendly traveler occasional poet anything else you want to know, take the time to get to know me and ask. concern trolls need not apply.

poem from les nouvelles polyphonies corses’ in paradisu album by patti smith

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[printed in all caps in cd booklet] source

OH BELOVED IT IS SO
THY WRATH, THY WRATH IS SO
THESE FEET, THESE BURNING FEET
MOVE UPON THY WRATH
PRAISE THEE IN THEIR DANCE
WITH OUTSTRETCHED PALMS
THY WRATH IS COME
CONSUMED IN FLAME
OF LIFE OF LOVE
MAY THY ANGER
BE SLOW, BE SWEET
MAY IT DISCIPATE
LIFT NOT THY HOLY HANDS
AGAINST ME
TAKE MY BURNING ARMS
MY TURNING SKIRTS
TO THY TRUTH
TO THY
TRANSPARENT
BREAST

Copyright © Patti Smith 1996

Preface to Monument by Patti Smith

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[preface to Monument by Lynn Davis, Arena Editions, 1999] source

Travel is its own book, its own reward. Our experiences are internalized, woven within memory. The spoils of our journey may include a cherished image amid a spread of Kodaks – our amateur travelogue. But absent is the spiritual wash, a searing light, a breathtaking harshness, a certain sense of things that we are powerless to capture or to express.

The artist, in turn, sacrifices his leisure, the pleasure of being vague, of drifting half-present or merging unconsciously with the terrain. For the artist is driven, is one apart, estranged from all save his one eye. All confidence, vision, marshaled to secure the shot not shot by us. He must comprehend the equation that produces the architecture and landscape we call sacred. He must be aware, dogged, unable to relax. That is how this artist travels. And only after the images emerge, are washed and hung to dry, can she say, “This is good.”

And why is it good? For its own sake. For magnifying the artist’s process. For exalting the principles of nature, the acquired wisdom of man and that to which he aspires – illumination.

Where black is bright as dead. Where all things are another. Where the sea is the desert. Where decay is transformation. Where ice is bone is torso. Stone is the mottled skin of a guardian. The spine of a delicate temple. The organs of a ruin. The shadows of Yemen – the musical ribs of the earth. The vast insufferable curve of a wall.

Where external space leads into inner space. Where the spray of a fall is as dense as the mane of a horse. Where a man disintegrates into rainbow. The artist brings the oneness of these poles into focus. Where one looks through the solid. Where emptiness is charged, clothed in form.

A breath of humanity startles one into the twentieth century. A power line. A young tree. A bit of scaffolding. Restoration. Debris. A beat truck. A telegraph pole—a small, very distant electric crucifix. Eclipsed by the plane of the earth. The clouds of Cambodia. The mounds of Syria. A shaft. A structure. A column. An arch. Perpetuating memory. Fashioned by whim, wind or slave.

The artist attempts to be removed, and yet she is laid bare. Her work embodies heartache, prayer, the physics of the sun, the womb. Solitude. Unflinchingly and beautifully cruel. Unveiling the monument’s soul, so heightened in isolation, so exposed as art.

As one passes through the leaves of this book, where are they traveling?

Within themselves. And what will they find? The waterfall.

The pyramid. The sloping dune. That which is within us all.

A present yet eternal energy. A sameness. An aloneness.

A dignity so crushingly remote that only a god may rival.

Copyright © Patti Smith 1999

Ken Wilber on integrity

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“You have the sense that the person won’t lie to you, because they haven’t lied to themselves. Of course, if you live in the world of the lab technician, the empiricist, the behaviorist, the systems theorist, the cybernetic scurrying, the monological madness – you don’t particularly care about interior truthfulness, because you don’t particularly care about interiors, period – not in their own terms, anyway. You just want monological truth, objective surfaces, empirical behavior, systems networks, and you don’t care about interior depth and sincerity and truthfulness – in fact, there is nothing on the empirical maps even vaguely corresponds with truthfulness! Truth, you see, doesn’t have a simple location, and it is not a merely empirical state of affairs, so it appears on none of the empirical maps. Not on a physicist’s map, not on a biologist’s map, not on a neurologist’s map, not on a systems theory map, not an ecosystem map. If you are alive to depth at all, you will come to know that depth in yourself and in others through truthfulness and sincerity and truthworthiness. The essential point is that the way to depth is blocked by deceit, blocked by deception. And the moment you acknowledge interiors, you must confront the primary roadblock to accessing those interiors: you must confront deception and deceit. The truth alone will not set you free. Truthfulness will set you free.” – Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything (p.110-111)

Winter Solstice

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” The winter solstice, as Crowley explains in The Gospel According to St Bernard Shaw, “was regarded as the Nativity of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning-point in the year.” He cites a “remarkable” ritual from Syria and Egypt where “celebrants retired into certain inner shrines,” from which at midnight they set up a cry: “The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!” The Egyptians then “represented the newborn sun by the image of an infant which on his birthday, the winter solstice, they brought forth and exhibited” in ritual. Since in “the Julian calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned the winter solstice,” Crowley comments with reference to the Christianization of Yuletide that “No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of December was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of Astarte.” Likewise the popular god Mithra “was regularly identified by his worshippers with the Sun — the Unconquered Sun, as they called him — hence his nativity also fell on the twenty-fifth of December.” While the “gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ’s birth (and accordingly the early church did not celebrate it),” a tradition arose among Egyptian and Eastern Christians of observing Christmas on the sixth of January. Gradually the Western church adopted the solstice date as their Christmas, because it “was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity.” (Indeed the “heathen origin of Christmas is plainly hinted at, if not tacitly admitted, by Augustine when he exhorts his Christian brethren not to celebrate that solemn day like the heathen on account of the sun, but on account of him, who made the sun.”) Thus it was “that the Nativity of Christ” came to be “assigned to the winter solstice in December because that was deemed the Nativity of the Sun” (Liber 888, pages 189-92). ”

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Glenn Parton on The False Self

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We have internalized our masters, which is a well-known psychological response to trauma. When faced with overwhelming terror, the human mind splits, with part of itself modeling itself after the oppressor. This is an act of appeasement: “Look,” the mind says in effect, “I am like you, so do not harm me.” As a result of the civilizing process, together with this psychological defense mechanism known as “identification with the aggressor”, we now hear the alien voices of the various representatives of civilization in our heads. Because of these alien ego-identifications we no longer hear our own tribal/primal voice. In order for deep thinking to commence again in the human mind, it is necessary to break down these internal authorities, overcome the resistances, that prevent tribal ideas from coming to consciousness. The modern problem is not simply that we do not listen to primal ideas, but rather that primal ideas are unable to come to consciousness at all, because of the internal counterforces, or ego-alien identifications, that contradict and overpower them.

The Machine in Our Heads