Archive for the Dream Creates Reality Category

angel

Posted in Dreams on January 30, 2012 by Phantasme

ephemera (via La La Luv U)

Posted in Dream Creates Reality with tags on July 13, 2011 by Phantasme

Poetry by the lovely Alea

ephemera Will send you some shots of me ~and poetry because you see I can be here in this moment and forget the past let all the ugly breathe it's last Take a long, long time to admire — the future us, will sigh at the plumpness in our skin -I take a thousand moments to look for the fleeting is fast so quickly we are frail and thin ever is the wage of sin where once we had forever all we have is ticking time only ever in the now can you can be mine but n … Read More

via La La Luv U

How should I conduct myself among them?

Posted in Dream Creates Reality, Dreams on June 24, 2011 by Phantasme

It’s all extremely old-fashioned. There’s a sphere made of rock beings, mostly dramatically speciated. Three primary groups… though there are the rather interesting free-martins (if you will) and the hybrid offshoots; however, to return to the essential point, there are the rock-beings: red, the grey, and the yellow.
I should say immediately that though I worked very closely with the red for many thousands of years and of course there are some truly excellent people among them, I like the yellow ones the best.

So now you understand me on that subject.

The yellow ones had a very short lifespan, is the thing, but they were the only ones with a truly communicative way of preserving information. Their interstitial sociobiological, perhaps eugenic morphology yielded quite colorful results once they had absorbed thoughts, and became very human-like, if I could be permitted the observation. Father, mother, daughter, daughter, son, so on like that. Pets, sometimes. All appropriately sized. Only lasted about a fifth of a second each but we all had special viewers, you see, and interpreters, as well. Mine was a very tall man, blue-furred, well-dressed, well taken care of. Very well trained, all of them.

…but this must all be terribly opaque to you. I’m so sorry. I’ll try to be more succinct.

This was how your planet, the Earth, came into being – the yellow people, the red people, and all around them the grey people, formed concentric quilts of living humanoid stone in various phases. It was really splendid and they all did a truly beautiful job with it. Picture one of those things by Escher, MC Escher, you know, made out of stone-people and plasma-people, but rough-hewn. Big-boned, you could say, though none of them had any sort of differentiated internal structures.
You know what it is? It’s the gravity. It really does cause me to become so scattered. Or! It’s not the gravity, but all the many things you people are constantly thinking of, around here. It’s very much like gravity.
______

“So, you’re an alien, trying to acclimatize yourself to the human world.” Frank wasn’t skeptical, as such, but he needed some clarification.
“Yeah.” Gary stretched his legs out, then pulled his boots off and sighed. It had been a hard day.
“And it’s not uncommon,” Frank coaxed. Gary assumed the same amused defensive posture he always did when he and Frank had a conversation that required him to divulge facts about himself, chuckled, and took off his jacket and hat before responding.
“Not in human terms, no – probably around 100,000 have landed in your lifetime alone, I’d imagine.”
“Well, what are you if you’re not a primate?”
“I’m not so much an organic body as a grouping of informational tendencies. People of my world evolved beyond discrete physical location, per se. That’s our trick for interstellar travel, our medicine, our architecture, so to speak, right there – as well as the basis of most of the forms of culture that people of my sort entertain themselves with.” Gary tossed his wallet onto the large empty spool he used as a table. He cracked his toes and leaned back on the car seat he’d bolted to the floor next to his couch (the back seat from the same dismantled automobile). “I’m different from most of my kind, though – ”
“Which is why you wanted to come here?” Frank interjected his question pretty smoothly.
“-yes. So to speak.” Gary was satisfied, so far, with Frank’s read of the facts at hand, and let out another, longer sigh to get rid of some of the crappy tension he’d accumulated over the day, dished out by the asshole that served as his and Frank’s immediate supervisor in the monitor assembly factory that employed them. Visiconcept Systems Int’l. Inc. wasn’t a leader in terms of production technology, efficient systems, or work environment quality. Its bids for contracts were competitive.
Frank thought it over. Then he asked, “can you just leave anytime you want?”
“Fuck, no!” Gary seemed horrified by the idea. “I figured I’d probably meet my end here, in some way or other, when I made the decision, and I’ll certainly die here – ‘Gary’ will, I mean. One thing, though: I wasn’t born here.”
“Hm.” Frank thought it over some more. “You say that as if it’s a point of pride.”
“Hell yeah it is. Hell yeah it is. It’s the whole point: this is a long way from my planet of birth, man, and I’m not even from a big population center, there, either. I’m a fucking rebel, dude, and I take pride in being wild and free.” Gary spotted a wad of damp thread rolled up and wedged between the last two toes of his left foot and swabbed it out with his index finger. He made a squinting, serious grimace as he did so.
Frank watched him with matter-of-fact but tranquil interest.
After a while, he chuckled. He heaved up and walked lugubriously to the freezer, nobly communicating the ancient evening weariness of the eternal worker. He opened it, and palmed a beer to check its temperature. He grabbed two and tossed one to Gary. “So, you’ll meet your end here, and die here?”
Gary nodded and popped the beer with all-encomapssing gratitude.
They drank. Frank waited for a while, then prompted, “So, would you mind expounding on that a little?” Gary stared at the table and nodded twice, distracted but focusing, attentive; he didn’t answer, though. He seemed a bit confused, as if he had been thinking of something else entirely and had forgotten what they were talking about. He took the draining tug on his beer and got up to fetch two fresh. Frank was used to Gary’s weird defensive tactics, though; he prodded him as he reached for his beer. “Or, perhaps your alien consciousness fails to comprehend the ambiguity of that pair of statements?”
Gary laughed; “I had to make this body pretty much from scratch, man.”
Frank was going to throw something at Gary if he tried to get away with that bullshit posing as some kind of exposition.
Gary glanced out of the corner of his eye and made a placating gesture as he continued. “Society being what it is, I had to make it a pubescent body, right? To be able to, like, get by, get in the system, you know. I didn’t want to waste my time in a fucking orphanage for whatever fucking eighteen years. Because of the locationality of Earth and its animals, I had to do all that from my birthplace, cell by freaking cell, all the way across all of space. But, once I was here, I was here, and that’s that. When this body wears out – it doesn’t happen as ridiculously quickly as it does with the rest of you poor bastards, but it does happen eventually – when this wears out and dies, there will be millions of informational attractor patterns left over, no matter how dead I am. Those, which are me, collectively, will be from here, though, and there aren’t any bodies that I know of to be able to make anywhere else. This -” Gary slammed his fist down illustratively on the spool-table, “is unique in all the universe, as far as I know. This is here.” He brought his fist down a second time.
“Huh.” Frank made a contemplative face which was thoroughly colored with good-natured annoyance at this lengthy yet utterly absurd answer.
A beer later Frank spoke again, mainly in order that this asshole be given to understand that it was not, as he seemed to assume, a settled matter. “So, let’s pretend I understand some portion of whatever the hell you’re talking about. Why would any intelligent… intelligence, from an advanced utopian culture of space traveling information-geniuses made of smart particles, decide to kill itself by elective confinement in this pain-wracked existence of despair and privation?”
“I know, right?! Ha ha ha!” Gary raised his beer and cheered, “Woo hoo!”
Frank was a grim stone against which Gary’s jubilant humor beat pointlessly against. The stone remained still, posing Gary with a nonplussed and flatly imperative smirk of disdain.
“Yeah; I’ll die and leave a fucking ghost. That’s what people where I’m from do here – die as ghosts. That’s really what we are, too, because the attractor patterns last about a thousand times as long as even the best bodies do.”
______

Here is an interesting thing about human cognition:
it happens in time.

Understanding this makes it plain why so few of our talks ever seem to merit the difficulty of it all, to me, but are so damnably significant and mysterious, for you.

I was trying to explain a procedural and technological conundrum to you, but, as is often my way, I was stumbling over the concept, using too many words – it is my way. When I said,
“…consider the way a primitive and an educated primitive would each regard your Q-phone, after you’d shown them each a typewriter.”
you were confounded. Your mind didn’t even begin to grasp the analogies I alluded to. However, your species is aware of the whole of time, its origins and its ultimate, ineluctable conclusion, its terrible ignominious and meaningless end. How is it possible? One imagines that, as your consciousnesses require time in order to compute or collate at all, that it would take precisely the whole of time in order for even one of you to have fathomed it. And yet, you apes all come out seeming to know a great deal about how it works and so forth, and all are capable of the most profound utterances concerning its nature and parsimony. It’s really quite impressive.
So it shouldn’t have been quite so much of a surprise, and yet I do understand why the people who don’t know me, personally, all ran around shouting – I’m sure it was very exciting to see that much change happen all at once; though, really, one imagines at least a few of them, at least you, perhaps, might have been even a tiny bit grateful, as you all seem to go around saying and thinking that you wish wish wish something just like that would happen.
When it does, it seems to require a great deal of processing and tearful conversations to get everything all straightened out. The relationships that human beings have with material objects is pretty sexual, if I may say so. In weird ways.

______

It can be very annoying and disappointing to deal with human beings. I told him, just as we were meeting, the very first time and several times since: “Here is the fundamental concept that you should understand about me, the thing that makes sense of all the other things I do and say,” et cetera, and then five years later he still gapes at me and bellows “whaaat” every time the basic truth of that bit of self revelation is made apparent.
I see all time in one instant, as all things are one thing and all events are the shape of reality in time, which is, to me, fully so, simultaneous.
I understand that it is not that way for human beings, and yet; I can’t help but wonder why it mightn’t be one of those things they could model in the brain. With that imagination of theirs. But apparently it’s only useful for sticking parts of one animal onto another animal and worshipping the product, off in a cave or gazebo, somewhere.
______

“If you have to have someone explain everything that the yellow people are supposedly saying,” Frank was definitely not implicating that he had granted anything of the kind, but was driving to make a point and so willing to table that particular part of the discussion for the time being; “and you could only see them with the special viewers in the first place, how can I know if they aren’t just some entertaining hallucination cooked up by your peoples’ fabulists?”
Frank said ‘your people’ with persistent emphasis as it was still, to his drunken mind, and important matter not to concede to Gary’s essential claim, and he believed that he could find an inconsistency in the tale at some level that would allow him to destroy the entire construct, unravel it all in one great incision of all-powerful physicalist rationale. He was committed; he was aware of no irony.
“They did unpredictable things, and, it was possible to leave messages for them, to which they would respond, once they learned to decipher them.”
Frank twisted the lid of his grinder thoughtfully, pursing his lips and furrowing his brows. He emptied out the middle chamber onto a small leaf of paper paper on the spool-table in front of him and thoughtfully prepared his materials.
“Uh huh.”
“That was eventually how we were able to reach the moon, eventually, as a matter of fact, and how I was able to get downstream in time to a point at which the years would occur more or less in order.” Gary gazed off into his own thoughts.
“Go on;” prompted Frank. “Go ahead and explain that last bit, please.”
“Oh right; sorry – we taught sciences to the cthonics. Well, the red and the yellow. The grey couldn’t learn anything. They couldn’t even really be conditioned, but their behavioral paradigms and reproductive math could be be exploited.”
“Cthonics?” Frank rolled a joint.
“That’s what I call them. Earth-beings, old ones, cthonics. Nice people, really, though savage and violent like all of Earth’s creatures. They weren’t the first, but they are often among the first of any of the life forms on any planet in this cosmos.”
Frank decided to let ‘this cosmos’ slide, for the time being.
“The symbiotes all went off in various collectives, made their own cities. There are a few underground – we could could go there. I’m very highly regarded, there. I helped design the technology on which much of it is based, though it’s probably advanced many orders of complexity and undergone a few paradigm shifts since those days.
“Symbiotes?” Frank had lit the joint, so the word came out as a barely restrained wheezing whisper-shout.
“The technology we devised for the cthonics involved dinosaurs and teamwork.”
Frank waited.
“Time was operating at a bizarre differential between our enclave and the world of the cthonics and terrestrials. Look; it’s just a really long and complicated story; you’ll have to accept that and either resign yourself to not knowing or making the best of the bits and pieces I’m able to verbalize. I warn you, as I warm to the topic I’m just going to get more pedantic and abstruse. It’s just the way these things work.”
Frank put the boot down and adopted an appropriately chastened and newly deferential expression. He grinned and Gary continued.
______

Frank was around six and a half feet tall. He had very long hair which he dyed black. To hide his growing baldness, he wore a fisherman’s toke cap, a signature one-of-a-kind knit for him by his aunt Larraine. He had a very large chain which he kept clipped to his heavy leather belt; some of his friends used these for securing their wallets, but Frank used his to beat a man mercilessly on the legs and ribs while he screamed and wept. The victim was in his thirties, with a bright yellow bandanna tied around his head and a sporty looking tee shirt.
Frank went about the beating in a very businesslike manner. He counted off strokes in his head, and sighed as he stopped, ready to continue or quit, staring at his task with mute boredom. Tom whispered, “holy fuck!”
Tom, hilariously enough, was the only one among them that actually smoked cannabis. The rest of them were either “straight edge” (you may feel free to puzzle out what that means, for yourself) or alcoholics of the old school. The main thing is that the guy had ripped one of them off, though, and Frank – in old school fashion – had felt it necessary to establish dominance in this way.
“Don’ ever try that shit again,” said Frank in a quiet voice, “or id’ll be a lot worse, man. If you got to do that shit man, you do that shit at the bus station and take your chances with the police and the fucking soldiers, all right? Cause they follow rules, man. I don’ follow those rules.”
The dealer dragged himself across the floor, crying as quietly as he could, gripping his legs under the knees with one hand and clawing at the carpet before him with the other. Frank noted that he had probably not broken any bones on him.
“Fuckin’ey!” whipsered Tom. “Jesus Frances; that is some serious shit, brother! Ha, ha!” He nodded in approval as the man, a virtual stranger, who had ripped him off for eighty dollars, who had been easily tracked down by one of his clade’s boys, whose possessions and cash were stacked neatly on a table made out of a barstool with a plywood disc riveted onto it, tried to make his way to the doorway.
“It might be a minute before he can walk again, after that, Frances,” offered Matt Westerley.
“Yeah;” Frank rubbed his chin, “why don’chu give him a ride downtown or to a fucking Marta stop or something.”
There were sixty four hits of acid in with the guy’s wad.
______

The cubensoid was a mutant of considerable prestige, fitted to a cluster of seventy three otherwise unremarkable partners. Her roles related to problem solving and memory, and she had developed an excellent command of pheremonals, language, lyricism, social interaction, and intuitive instructive visualization. She learned quasitemporal meditational techniques rather early in her development, and it was hoped that this was a trait that could be genetically encoded into clones of herself.

Her saurian claws found endless variety of purchase on the structures of the city built from the living hide of her parents, red and grey, in all ways awake and dreaming of science each moment, reading the words left in endless vaults by the Creating Gods. She imagined the restless minds of the gods, trapped in their marble room with only their clever box, each other, and a trick of happenstance with which to take part in the adventures of life.
The cubensoid had never seen the box, or any of its avatars, nor even its golems, though she had read its compositions with great relish and had made a special point of reading textbooks it wrote itself, even ones about subjects in which she had little or no interest.
Its books were always very cleverly constructed, usually consisting of a pair of tubes full of drink that one was to swallow as an admixture, or perhaps a lump of white gel that would emit glowing displays when coaxed. The box had created a rulebook for the game of ry’ti that itself consisted of a series of problems of ry’ti expressed as interlocking pieces of metal-girded and cloth-adorned wood slats. It was truly a thing of baroque beauty as well as a brilliant way of letting each reader discover her or his own solution to such wry lessons as Opening the Book and Finding the Index.

______

This was called ‘rasting’; it was necessary in order to traverse some classes of nonphysical barriers. Non-locational distances could be crossed with rasts. Stalkers, dowsers, and other types of diviners had attempted to codify a method for rasting into aleatoric and psionic spaces, but before true rasting, there was nothing reliable.

______

She was able to climb sixty stories or plummet suddenly and without fear. The city was constructed as if to cause her endless perfect freedom of movement and delightful exercise of powers. Her eyes were always either engaged or relieved, as needed, and her claws always found the perfect hold.
She sang about this and licks of ylemic face flickered about her, smiling indulgently and knowingly, nodding. No alterations were really undertaken, though – everything here was perfect, though, as a matter of form, the possibility for extra footholds or perches for saurians was discussed at a yellow family roundtable.

©mmxi

INTENSE

Posted in Dream Creates Reality, Dreams on May 2, 2011 by Phantasme

I absolutely demand to wring every drop, every drop, though. Explosions of pain make my eye not work. Wake up, unable to recall why, what the pain is, why it is there, or who I am, for several minutes, where she is, what has happened. Pushing my face against this phantom blade edge is more than a habit now; I get surges from it, cartoon electricity, and once again I can put my fists up to the sky and fucking threaten it. It’s been twenty years since I was allowed to feel. It’s the first time I’ve ever been this. I can’t apologize for the thing I am doing because it’s already thunderously right. It’s already been right, forever, as hot as the blood is and the way it pushes against my head, forcing it to beat in time with the surges. My smile splits in two and opens outward, which is the only way it can express itself anymore, and though there is blood and now eight more sets of teeth it is an honest wrenching slash of unfiltered ecstasy, finally, even if only for that flash of an instant. All around me are people, some are blood filled clocks. Some get nervous and I want to dash at them, catch them and press them against the blood that’s pounding against the inside of my chest, where my arms hold it back, and the heat makes everything turn to paper. Everyone sweats and tries feebly to escape, except me, because I’ve pushed my face into quadrants that retain the body’s energy, and there I am able to control it, and to push my fists against the sky, and fucking threaten it, while I grip everything underneath me with my thighs and scream “NO”

Human Beings are Terrible People in Science Fiction Stories

Posted in Dream Creates Reality on March 29, 2011 by Phantasme



excerpt from Weird Al Camus’ “L’Homme révolté”:

The first mythologies describe Prometheus as an eternal martyr, chained to a pillar, at the ends of the earth, condemned forever because he refuses to ask forgiveness. AEschylus adds still further to his stature, endows him with lucidity (“no misfortune can fall upon me that I have not myself already foreseen”), makes him cry out his hatred of all the gods, and, plunging him into “a stormy sea of mortal despair,” finally abandons him to thunder and lightning: “Ah! see the injustice I endure!”

It cannot be said, therefore, that the ancients were unaware of metaphysical rebellion. Long before Satan, they created a touching and noble image of the Rebel and gave us the most perfect myth of the intelligence in revolt. The inexhaustible genius of the Greeks, which gave such a prominent place to myths of unity and simplicity, was still able to formulate the concept of insurrection. Beyond a doubt, certain characteristics of the Promethean myth still survive in the history of rebellion as we are living it: the fight against death (“I have delivered men from being obsessed by death”), Messianism (“I have instilled blind hopes into men’s minds”), philanthropy (“Enemy of Zeus … for having loved mankind too much”).

But we must not forget thatPrometheus the Fire-bringer, the last drama of AEschylus’ trilogy, proclaimed the reign of the pardoned rebel. The Greeks are never vindictive. In their most audacious flights they always remain faithful to the idea of moderation, a concept they deified. Their rebel does not range himself against all creation, but against Zeus, who is never anything more than one god among many and who himself was mortal. Prometheus himself is a demigod. It is a question of settling a particular account, of a dispute about what is good, and not of a universal struggle between good and evil.

The ancients, even though they believed in destiny, believed primarily in nature, in which they participated wholeheartedly. To rebel against nature amounted to rebelling against oneself. It was butting one’s head against a wall. Therefore the only coherent act of rebellion was to commit suicide. Destiny, for the Greeks, was a blind force to which one submitted, just as one submitted to the forces of nature. The acme of excess to the Greek mind was to beat the sea with rods—an act of insanity worthy only of barbarians. Of course, the Greeks described excess, since it exists, but they gave it its proper place and, by doing so, also defined its limits. Achilles’ defiance after the death of Patroclus, the imprecations of the Greek tragic heroes cursing their fate, do not imply complete condemnation. CEdipus knows that he is not innocent. He is guilty in spite of himself; he is also part of destiny. He complains, but he says nothing irreparable. Antigone rebels, but she does so in the name of tradition, in order that her brothers may find rest in the tomb and that the appropriate rites may be observed. In her case, rebellion is, in one sense, reactionary. The Greek mind has two aspects and in its meditations almost always re-echoes, as counterpoint to its most tragic melodies, the eternal words of CEdipus, who, blind and desperate, recognizes that all is for the best. Affirmation counterbalances negation. Even when Plato anticipates, with Callicles, the most common type of Nietzschean, even when the latter exclaims: “But when a man appears who has the necessary character . . . he will escape, he will trample on our formulas, our magic spells, our incantations, and the laws, which are all, without exception, contrary to nature. Our slave has rebelled and has shown himself to be the master”—even then, though he rejects law, he speaks in the name of nature.

Metaphysical rebellion presupposes a simplified view of creation—which was inconceivable to the Greeks. In their minds, there were not gods on one side and men on the other, but a series of stages leading from one to the other. The idea of innocence opposed to guilt, the concept of all of history summed up in the struggle between good and evil, was foreign to them. In their universe there were more mistakes than crimes, and the only definitive crime was excess. In a world entirely dominated by history, which ours threatens to become, there are no longer any mistakes, but only crimes, of which the greatest is moderation. This explains the curious mixture of ferocity and forbearance which we find in Greek mythology. The Greeks never made the human mind into an armed camp, and in this respect we are inferior to them. Rebellion, after all, can only be imagined in terms of opposition to someone. The only thing that gives meaning to human protest is the idea of a personal god who has created, and is therefore responsible for, everything. And so we can say, without being paradoxical, that in the Western World the history of rebellion is inseparable from the history of Christianity. We have to wait, in fact, until the very last moments of Greek thought to see rebellion begin to find expression among transitional thinkers— nowhere more profoundly than in the works of Epicurus and Lucretius.

The appalling sadness of Epicurus already strikes a new note. It has its roots, no doubt, in the fear of death, with which the Greek mind was not unfamiliar. But the pathos with which this fear is expressed is very revealing. “We can take precautions against all sorts of things; but so far as death is concerned, we all of us live like the inhabitants of a defenseless citadel.” Lucretius is more explicit: “The substance of this vast world is condemned to death and ruin.” Therefore why postpone enjoyment? “We spend our lives,” writes Epicurus, “in waiting, and we are all condemned to die.” Therefore we must all enjoy ourselves. But what a strange form of enjoyment! It consists in sealing up the walls of the citadel, of making sure of a supply of bread and water and of living in darkness and silence. Death hovers over us, therefore we must prove that death is of no importance. Like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, Epicurus banishes death from human existence.

“Death has no meaning for us, for what is indefinable is incapable of feeling, and what is incapable of feeling has no meaning for us.” Is this the equivalent of nothingness? No, for everything in this particular universe is matter, and death only means a return to one’s element. Existence is epitomized in a stone. The strange sensual pleasure of which Epicurus speaks consists, above all, in an absence of pain; it is the pleasure of a stone. By an admirable maneuver—which we shall find again in the great French classicists—Epicurus, in order to escape from destiny, destroys sensibility, having first destroyed its primary manifestation: hope. What this Greek philosopher says about the gods cannot be interpreted otherwise. All the unhap-piness of human beings springs from the hope that tempts them from the silence of the citadel and exposes them on the ramparts in expectation of salvation. Unreasonable aspirations have no other effect than to reopen carefully bandaged wounds. That is why Epicurus does not deny the gods; he banishes them, and so precipitately that man has no alternative but to retreat once more into the citadel.

“The happy and immortal being has no preoccupations of his own and no concern with the affairs of others.”

Lucretius goes even farther: “It is incontestable that the gods, by their very nature, enjoy their immortality in perfect peace, completely unaware of our affairs, from which they are utterly detached.” Therefore let us forget the gods, let us never even think about them, and “neither your thoughts during the day nor your dreams at night will ever be troubled.”

Later we shall rediscover this eternal theme of rebellion, but with important modifications. A god who does not reward or punish, a god who turns a deaf ear, is the rebel’s only religious conception. But while Vigny will curse the silence of his divinity, Epicurus considers that, as death is inevitable, silence on the part of man is a better preparation for this fate than divine words. This strange mind wears itself out in a sustained attempt to build ramparts around mankind, to fortify the citadel and to stifle the irrepressible cry of human hope. Only when this strategic retreat has been accomplished does Epicurus, like a god among men, celebrate his victory with a song that clearly denotes the defensive aspect of his rebellion. “I have escaped your ambush, O destiny, I have closed all paths by which you might assail me. We shall not be conquered either by you or by any other evil power. And when the inevitable hour of departure strikes, our scorn for those who vainly cling to existence will burst forth in this proud song: ‘Ah, with what dignity we have lived.’ ”

Alone among his contemporaries Lucretius carries this logic much farther and finally brings it to the central problem of modern philosophy. He adds nothing fundamental to Epicurus. He, too, refuses to accept any explanatory principle that cannot be tested by the senses. The atom is only a last refuge where man, reduced to his primary elements, pursues a kind of blind and deaf immortality—an immortal death—which for Lucretius represents, as it does for Epicurus, the only possible form of happiness. He has to admit, however, that atoms do not aggregate of their own accord, and rather than believe in a superior law and, finally, in the destiny he wishes to deny, he accepts the concept of a purely fortuitous mutation, the clinamen, in which the atoms meet and group themselves together.

Already, as we can see, the great problem of modern times arises: the discovery that to rescue man from destiny is to deliver him to chance. That is why the contemporary mind is trying so desperately hard to restore destiny to man—a historical destiny this time. Lucretius has not reached this point. His hatred of destiny and death is assuaged by this blind universe where atoms accidentally form human beings and where human beings accidentally return to atoms. But his vocabulary bears witness to a new kind of sensibility. The walled citadel becomes an armed camp.Maenia mundi,the ramparts of the world, is one of the key expressions of Lucretius’ rhetoric. The main preoccupation in this armed camp is, of course, to silence hope. But Epicurus’ methodical renunciation is transformed into a quivering asceticism, which is sometimes crowned with execrations. Piety, for Lucretius, undoubtedly consists in “being able to contemplate everything with an untroubled mind.” But, nevertheless, his mind reels at the injustices done to man. Spurred on by indignation, he weaves new concepts of crime, innocence, culpability, and punishment into his great poem on the nature of things. In it he speaks of “religion’s first crime,” Iphigenia’s martyred innocence, and of the tendency of the divinity to “often ignore the guilty and to mete out undeserved punishment by slaughtering the innocent.” If Lucretius scoffs at the fear of punishment in the next world, it is not as a gesture of defensive rebellion in the manner of Epicurus, but as a process of aggressive reasoning: why should evil be punished when we can easily see, here on earth, that goodness is not rewarded?

In Lucretius’ epic poem, Epicurus himself becomes the proud rebel he never actually was. “When in the eyes of all mankind humanity was leading an abject existence on earth, crushed beneath the weight of a religion whose hideous aspect peered down from the heights of the celestial regions, the first to dare, a Greek, a man, raised his mortal eyes and challenged the gods. … In this way religion, in its turn, was overthrown and trampled underfoot, and this victory elevates us to the heavens.” Here we can sense the difference between this new type of blasphemy and the ancient malediction. The Greek heroes could aspire to become gods, but simultaneously with the gods who already existed. At that time it was simply a matter of promotion. Lucretius’ hero, on the other hand, embarks on a revolution. By repudiating the unworthy and criminal gods, he takes their place himself. He sallies forth from the armed camp and opens the first attack on divinity in the name of human suffering. In the ancient world, murder is both inexplicable and inexpiable. Already with Lucretius, murder by man is only an answer to murder by the gods. It is not pure coincidence that Lucretius’ poem ends with a prodigious image of the sanctuaries of the gods swollen with the accusing corpses of plague victims.

This new language is incomprehensible without the concept of a personal god, which is slowly beginning to form in the minds of Lucretius’ and Epicurus’ contemporaries. Only a personal god can be asked by the rebel for a personal accounting.

Blue

Posted in Dream Creates Reality on January 12, 2011 by Phantasme

}:(

Posted in Dream Creates Reality on June 5, 2010 by Phantasme

not that anyone looks here