Friday, 2 December 2022

View of Semur

 


By Emile Bernard, c. 1906-1908.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Twitter, Children, Hollywood Icons

 Elon Musk within one month of owning Twitter had apparently reduced child porn on the platform by 75 per cent after it had something like free rein under the social justice brigade who used run it. And people are upset about the new direction of Twitter - like Jim Carey. They just don’t like this new ideological  direction the formerly child-porn friendly Twitter is going down. It’s just so wrong. Where’s the tolerance? The inclusiveness?



Abstraction, Banality, Huxley, the Personal Self

I find it almost astonishing how banal and uninteresting the work of most exalted figures of abstract art is, particularly American figures within the parameters of Abstract Expressionism, but very much abstraction as a whole, including people like Mondrian, Kandinsky, etc. This was dealt with in an off the cuff piece here: https://wwwinabstentia-andrewk.blogspot.com/2022/11/rothko.html.

Regarding all this though, something that came to mind is a passage from Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception, about his first experience of the psychedelic drug mescaline. In it, the principal effect he experiences is the transfiguration of the visual external world, where “the doors of perception are cleansed”, and the infinite or divine is revealed in ever more miraculous depths. At some stage Huxley closes his eyes, also expecting the transfiguration of this internal world into the mystical realm, but instead he was very sorely disappointed as what changes there were were not particularly beautiful or interesting. Huxley’s view of things was essentially that with the external world, or world of nature, he was in a sense independent of what he was seeing, he was being granted entrance, in some much deeper sense than normal, into the glory of God. However when he closed his eyes, he was forced to see that he was now back in his own untransfigured personal self, and its mediocrity. He experienced it as a painful but helpfully humbling experience! This isn’t to say the inner world can’t be also transformed, but generally the ordinary personal self and its psychological dimensions is a far less interesting phenomenon than the realm of nature. Were nature the outpouring of the human personal self it would be a very banal phenomenon!

With abstract art, the artist separates themselves from the natural world, and is left with their personal world and its outpourings. There may be elevated notions of the spiritual floating around at the start of the movement, as there was with artists like Kandinsky, but the reality very quickly asserts itself that the personal self is left with little but itself, and cut off from its greatest resource, the external world, it descends into repetitive sterility. But of course there is the vanity connected need to believe in and exalt both the personal self and the surrounding culture, and so vast sums of money may be paid for banal works of abstract expressionism, supposing to prove to all participants involved their mutual exaltation. This was touched on in the earlier linked piece.

All He Wants

Bill Gates has embarked on a musical career with the release into the human environment of his debut song, All I Want for Christmas is to Ban All Hate Speech. Gates, who admits to “not getting music”, expects the song to unite everyone this upcoming holiday season.
When asked isn’t hate speech the kind of very nebulous term that can typically be exploited for authoritarian intent, Mr Gates responded that nebulous is a big word.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

village

 


Not finished but anyway as it is of now.

Monday, 28 November 2022

Opportunely Positioned

An opportunely positioned musical insider has revealed that fledgling new industry outfit Toxic Blandness have just recorded a new song, titled What Good is a Brain if You Can’t Switch It Off (You Can Be the One to Switch it Off). The song is expected to be life changing for some.

Sunday, 27 November 2022

Just

Just because you swim in the sea doesn’t mean you are the sea.

Saturday, 26 November 2022

city, water, whatever

 


Another piece I’ll hopefully manage to, amidst or in spite of all its tumult, I’ll get it to a finished state.

feminine

 


It’s not finished, and maybe it never will be, but here it is anyway for now.

by the sea


 

Friday, 25 November 2022

Water, Dye

Imagine if water was conscious of its own being, and so here is a bowl of water, translucent. Now imagine some drops of dye of whatever colour, say dark blue, are poured into the water. Now the water is no longer conscious of itself in its true translucent state, but instead is conscious of itself as somewhat blue in tint. The more sin or delusion is repeatedly added to the bowl, the darker the water becomes, and so the more forgetful of its true self. This dye can be at the individual level because of the energies allowed our into our spirit, but of course also at societal levels, especially if united by things like mainstream media and entertainments. So in terms of someone being a successful propaganda victim, indoctrinated at so many subliminal levels, the reason it is both so subtle and yet so pervasive is in the sense of self, it is not a matter of water with a few bits of propagandist, ideological details floating on top, but instead the inner state is dyed, and not in a translucent state. 

So anyway, our natural desire should be to be pure, and not dyed! Though it takes a lot more dedication and effort than simply stating its desirability, and as if from this pure state! “Here I am, talking of everyone else being dyed, while statically pure myself.” That’s something like the essence of the self-righteous, guru temptation. The person may have had some pure experience or taste of the pure, but now is invested in pretending to be that purity in their perpetual state, which is a temptation of pride.

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Tapies

 


I don’t know its title, but anyway a painting by Antoni Tapies.

Ioan Ianoilde

The powerful story of Ioan Ianolide, a Romanian, who spent 23 years in brutal Communist prisons for refusing to bow down to the cancel culture and let his spirit succumb to being “re-educated” in their soulless image. It’s in 3 parts, but in total not especially long. 

https://orthochristian.com/149415.html

https://orthochristian.com/149418.html

https://orthochristian.com/149458.html


Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Spring

 


By Catalan artist Joaquin Mir Trinxet from 1910.

Monday, 21 November 2022

Thoughts, Temptations, the Sealed Self

We live in a world whose underlying ideology is one of materialism, and this is to such a depth and pervasiveness that it is not a matter so much of overt propaganda pushing this materialism, but rather the given base on which everything else rests and proceeds. So it is a matter of this materialism being the blank canvas rather than the painting on top of the canvas. By contrast, with the traditional notion of propaganda the propaganda is rather the painting on top of the canvas, directly seeking to influence the mind of the viewer. Now rather we are in terms of the west so far down the pathway of ideological movements which conclude in atheistic materialism, that the overt propaganda work is considered largely done, and so there isn’t even a sense of things being up for debate; instead as said we grow up in a world where this materialism is the actual “blank” canvas on which we now paint, rather than a theory painted on a canvas that is an open sense of reality.

And what I want to look at in relation to all this is our selves and our thoughts. So within this world or society, we tend to have the notion of the inner self as a kind of sealed, autonomous environment, and so the idea of particularly private thoughts being open to invisible, external psychic influence, as in divine or more obviously demonic, is very difficult for us to initially digest. For one thing, the spiritual is not considered to exist, and secondly even if it does exist, we tend to consider our souls or spiritual selves should be sealed from particularly harmful influence. We shouldn’t be porous in this sense, with harmful entities having access to ourselves.

However it may be helpful to simply consider the nature of things as relates to existence in the material sense. There is nothing remotely like an autonomous self removed from an external environment, shocking as this may initially sound. With all the senses, we continually receive stimulation from “outside” our inner selves, with sight, sound, touch, etc. There is no sealed self apart from this, and thus external stimuli include intellectual thoughts from outside, be it from talking to someone, to listening to the radio, watching the news and so on. So there is continual information or thoughts, not originating from our inner selves, bombarding us from beyond ourselves, and particularly when it comes to things like news, from sources about whose nature we may be painfully  misguided and ignorant.

So on this basic material front, thoughts are continually coming at us from outside, and if our sense of autonomy and self-awareness and self-protection are not healthily active, then our immune system is hopelessly porous, letting all kinds of things have easy, unchecked access to our inner self. 

So in terms of spirituality, we are in the same position. Just because a thought arises in consciousness doesn’t mean it is “our” thought, or has a necessarily benevolent source - in Christian Orthodoxy there is emphasised great importance in not accepting such thoughts uncritically - there may be huge self-gratification for instance in believing oneself to be receiving direct communication from God, which seems a much more common phenomenon than one might expect. Every conman attempts to appear “as an angel of light”, and the same obviously would apply here.

So hopefully this shows how the solidly sealed inner self doesn’t really measure up to ordinary life, and so then how this openness to external, particularly temptation, may continue into the spiritual realm - and which isn’t sealed off hermetically from ordinary life. To add, regardless of one’s belief or not in the spiritual, the same necessity of a self protected from thought applies - for example the thoughts of an anorexic are harming them, wherever their source, simply their psychological core affected by their pathway through life, or malevolent forces exploiting their impaired intellectual immune system to attack them with thoughts designed to ruin them.

And so there is huge emphasis on the wakefulness to thoughts as they arise, and of course obviously ones particularly of the nature of temptation. That is the critical moment to ward them off, as once indulged, things get far more complicated. It’s much better not to ingest a poison than ingesting it and then trying to get it and its effects out of one’s system! And that is also why in Orthodoxy, so much importance is laid in The Jesus Prayer, which is simply “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”, and this is something repeated again and again. The nature of the intellect is that two intellectual thoughts don’t simultaneously occupy its space. So if a temptation comes into one’s inner space - for a gambling addict the thought of gambling, whilst they have genuinely been trying to overcome this passion, well that temptation is in the form of a thought, if they have the awareness, desire and discipline to immediately resort to the Jesus Prayer as described, then the tempting thought is repelled as it now has no place to dwell within that person. Spiritually also a far greater force is being invoked to ward off the malevolent invading force, but even for an unbeliever whilst the prayer would be repeated, just in terms of the spatial nature of thought occupying inner space, this wards off the attack. These attacks, whether considered internal or external, do have the specific form of being focused attacks within short periods; the temptation isn’t just on and on, just as for the gambler an add for gambling he sees on tv is “short and sweet.” But unless we allow the thought in and indulge it, then it is powerless to do anything but briefly appear.

At the Core of the Passions

The passions are the different temptations which become embedded through regular succumbing into the various powerful addictions - drink, drugs, gambling, it could be playing video games, which can be taken to very destructive levels, and today obviously the real global pandemic of porn (and which the world, by comparison with another “pandemic”,  rather than frantically trying to shut down, essentially actively fosters), and so on. And what is the common effect on the person in the midst of his or her addiction that unites all these destructive passions? Selfishness. While in its grip, the addiction completely encloses the person within it, shuts out everyone and everything else as irrelevant, so this is the spiritual core or inner essence of the passions. So a world dominated by passions would be a world of mutual isolation, of people united by their spiritual isolation from each other! Maybe everyone would be wearing headphones.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Accuser

“Why is the devil known as the accuser?”
“Because he accuses us before God, and he accuses God before us.”
“What an asshole.”

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Abstract

 What I mean by abstract art below and in general is the attempt at total non-representation of living forms. Picasso for instance was not ever an abstract artist, however removed from straight realism he may have been. 

“Why does abstract art ultimately and maybe even pretty quickly become so unsatisfying?”
“Because we’re incarnated creatures, we’re not abstract creatures.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

St Thalassios, Egypt

Do not neglect the practice of the virtues; if you do, your spiritual knowledge will decrease, and when famine occurs you will go down to Egypt. … The Egypt of the spirit is the darkness of the passions; no one goes down to Egypt unless he is overtaken by famine.

From the Orthodox Christian collection of texts, The Philokalia. The insight and understanding of such people can be so amazing and original to me. In the Bible account, the Jews in time of famine went to Egypt where Joseph had become under Pharaoh basically the governor of the country. Then, after initially prospering, they became slaves to the Egyptians, and I think after 400 years of oppression, after the various afflictions sent by God on the Egyptians, and staggeringly stubborn resistance, finally Moses leads his people out of the country, the Dead Sea is parted, and so on. 

Such people within Orthodoxy, such as here, Thalassios, view this as living spiritual parable, that is as presumably historically true, but simultaneously true on the deepest spiritual plane. And so the wandering in the wilderness before after much ups and downs, tests, tribulations and purging, is the path towards or away from the Promised Land in the spiritual sense, beyond simply the factual sense. 

And so if we fail to safeguard with discipline ourselves spiritually, we will in the subsequent famine of this inner sense, go down into Egypt, which is to fall into the world of the body, and simply sensual plane. After an initial seeming prospering there, in this “Egypt”, we then become enslaved by the passions and sensuality into which we have delivered ourselves. Release from this enslavement then involves all kinds of ordeals, and the self ensconced in this realm doesn’t even wish for release easily, never mind attain that release, and the attempt to gain release is an awful lot harder than accept the lot of remaining “in Egypt.” But of course there is no Promised Land but deepening enslavement otherwise. And this Egypt is self-love in general, and this goes so deep into the reality of our condition that it took and takes the completely self-sacrificing incarnation of the divine into the earth to open real freedom from it; otherwise we keep, however subtly this might be effected, being enslaved and lost in this mess of self-love and all its subsequent debasements; think for instance of the massive openings for vanity and delusion and all kinds of psychological squalor within the world of the gurus; or similarly the mess of our all-too human selves attempting to direct ourselves towards goals of “egolessness”. Even here we are exalted. Our ego attains egolessness! Hooray!

And so Thalassios writes, “Spiritual freedom is release from the passions; without Christ’s mercy you cannot attain it.” 

Incest

 


Oh look, it’s members of the cabal, sorry, I mean members of the two opposing parties in US politics from the glorious  pre-Trump era. They are so opposed to each other it’s almost frightening.

Monday, 14 November 2022

If … a thousand

“If you were given a thousand years to live but they all had to be shit, what would you do?”
“What the hell kind of question is that?!”
“I don’t know, I just thought of it.”
“Well try to think of something else next time.”

Annunciation

 


By Domenico Beccafumi, an Italian artist from Siena, painted in 1545.

Sunday, 13 November 2022

By Extension


 (I won’t bother linking to the story above where a man called Brian Nguyen won a Miss America beauty contest somewhere or other; I think the picture tells the heartwarming story of how being an overweight man needn’t stop you from fulfilling your dreams, even if those dreams involve winning a beauty contest for women.)

“Did you see where that big man won the beauty contest in America?”
“I did yeah. The women seemed to be really genuinely delighted for him.”
“Just to ask a kind of random question - how much trust do you think you’d have in the elections of a country where people were successfully having heavy men win beauty contests for women? Like how much dedication to reality do you think such people and forces would have?”
“I’m not sure. If I allowed myself to ponder it for more than say 1.2 seconds, then I’d probably wonder what kind of degenerate lunatic asylum is this place - but because that mightn’t make me feel comfortable and relaxed about things, I’d probably make sure not to ponder it for more than maybe 0.0 seconds.
So anyway, I thought Brian looked gorgeous.”

To add to the above dialogue, accidentally overheard earlier whilst “out and about”, a while ago, and not a very long while ago, if there actually was a psychiatric hospital where the unfortunate inmates held a beauty contest, and the judging panel of inmates chose Brian as the victor, it would naturally be viewed by more or less everyone as a sad if touching display of their madness. But the wheels of Progress have been in motion - Progress can’t stand still, otherwise by definition it’s not progressing - and so things have progressed, in some kind of direction anyway. Obviously, within the belief system of Progress where everything is progressing isn’t what’s important; what’s important is simply the fact that it is progressing.

And a final point: why are those who could be termed progressives (or perhaps liberals or leftists) so servile to the pushed trends of the times, including things like “vaccines”? The answer is that they are in a state of obedience to the ethos of the age, which is progressivism. They have signed up in their core to this religion of the present. And so out of this general state of servility to that ethos, they will be servile in the various details that come along: men winning Miss America contests or bowing down to corrupt politicians and drug companies or whatever.


Thursday, 10 November 2022

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Not Consumed

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire but the bush was not consumed.

Just reading this from Exodus from the Old Testament, I had the feeling that here is the divine, the flame of fire, but rather than the individual self simply dissolving into the great Oneness, the Void, etc when meeting the divine, as is a very common spiritual of sense of things, here now by contrast the individual self maintains his existence within the earthly life, where matter and spirit co-dwell, rather than simply dissolving, being consumed by the divine. There is more now to life than simply seeking “the dissolving of the illusory ego”, or such sensibilities as within Eastern religious philosophy - and which is a general sense of the New Age movement also, where the individual life is something to dissolve, preferably painlessly, into the present, and individual self, summarised as the ego, is whitewashed out of existence. The bush is consumed, we’re back to a divine bliss, and the mess of earthly life and all its difficulties is removed from the equation. Here matter, or the life of physical being, are a sensed enemy of the spirit, a felt contradiction to the desired pure spiritual reality.

But just to repeat the point, here with the burning bush, by contrast, the divine can be experienced, but no, earthly life and the individual self are not consumed. There’s great meaning and depth in the individual life, the co-dwelling of spirit and matter. Obviously it could be said I’m reading far too much into that one line, but that’s the immediate sense I had from reading it a while ago.

painting


Sunday, 6 November 2022

What a Moment!


 Looks like something was spoken loud and clear here.

A Hut

There was a hut, a house rather, though either way a home, made of wood, and around it, a body of water which, whether by accident or design, amounted to a moat, protecting this home from unwanted visitors, enemies we’ll say, however likely those enemies might come upon this building out in the wild. 

But it turned out that somehow or other, rather than danger from without, it seems some kind of danger befell them from within and, however it came about, the building went on fire. So what good was their moat then? Rather than from without, the calamity came from within. Well, actually, it was plenty good, as they quickly rushed with buckets again and again to the water, and managed, with this water and without too much damage, to put out the fire.

Saturday, 5 November 2022

Racist

“You know what I think is really racist?”
“What?”
“Giving a Woman of the Year award to a woman, rather than to a man saying he’s a woman.”
“You said it.”

Friday, 4 November 2022

Thursday, 3 November 2022

image


 

Confusing

“You know what confuses me?”
“What?”
“It turns out the people who seemed to be the biggest believers in the vaccines are the ones most likely to be still wearing those bloody masks.” 
“You’re right. It doesn’t look like their faith in the vaccines went very deep.”
“But at the same time they’ll probably keep taking them.”
“The vaccines?”
“Yeah.”
“Probably.”
“I wonder why that is.”
“Maybe just a lack of imagination. It’s the best they can come up with in the circumstances.”

Rothko

 “Why do you think Mark Rothko’s art sells for so much?”
“I don’t know. Maybe cos it’s so boring.”
“Why would that get it to sell for so much?!”
“There’s probably a lot of really boring people out there, and some of them have an awful lot of money. And so these people really resonate with boring art, and are willing to pay for all the resonance. Just a theory off the top of my head.”
“Bit of a harsh theory maybe.”
“Maybe so. I don’t have much invested in it though, so I don’t really care either way. Another theory though while we’re at it: people, particularly “successful” people want to believe the society and culture within which they’re having this success is, say, culturally significant, which of course exalts further their success. And so there’s a desire to believe in this society having great artists as a natural outpouring of itself, and the more money paid for the work of these supposedly great artists, the more apparently convincing the proof of their greatness; and on again to the significance of the culture and those successful within it. The same then obviously applies to artists like Damien Hirst in Britain. The huge prices paid serves to prove the significance of the society producing such apparently significant artists, and so in turn magnifying the achievement of those achieving material success within that society. So there’s all kinds of vanity and insecurities involved.
Again though, that’s all just off the top of my head.”

Tour

Exciting music news just in that Deep State Cabal are hitting the road with their “The ‘We Are Not Satanic Totalitarian Scum’ World Tour.” “We are calling it that, “ explained lead singer Klaus SSchwab, “because some people seem to think we are satanic, totalitarian scum. Such people should be eliminated from the atmosphere.”

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Wages

A quick look at a very famous line from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: “For the wages of sin is death.” The wages are the payment, the wages of work is cash which then opens up the doors to food, somewhere decent to live, then onto pleasures such as eating out, holidays, etc. So here the wages are the harvest of the work, and in this case an expansion of the available spectrum of life to the worker. The last thing one would want is the dimishing of this spectrum, rather than its expansion.This would be a very poor form of payment! - but of course would be the reality within for example the 20th century slave camps of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. The payment of one’s labour would be the exhausting of the body, it not being replenished even in the way of food for its efforts. So the wages here of this slave labour, if pushed to its ultimate outcome, as it often was, is physical death.

Unfortunately I see I’ve failed to keep this reined in, and it’s expanding beyond the quick, short point I’d hoped to make . . . Anyway, trying to get back to “the wages of sin is death.” From delving somewhat into the Orthodox Christian world, one sees that the spiritual path intrinsically involves “spiritual warfare”, not focused primarily on the external world, but internally, and the most obvious manifestation of this is the world of “the passions”, which is vice at a very powerful carnal level. Thus, putting it very obviously, someone who is in the grip of dreadful alcoholism, cannot simultaneously be a deeply spiritual person, as otherwise this spirituality is just some meaningless abstraction pm and in reality he is a slave to his alcoholism, this passion or sin is master of him. And what are the wages of this sin? Ruination at all levels from emotional, physical, one’s family life, etc. So this is the pay off here of sin, or the passions. Rather than the expansion of possibilities, such as in the healthy wages/work dynamic, the wages here is, if pushed to its logical conclusion, death of everything. This can of course be very similarly extended into other areas of the passions; for example, the wages of a gambling addiction, if pushed to its conclusion, is economic ruination, but also all the other damage surrounding that, including black shame and despair. So these are the wages! The wages are death, not a happy land of rainbows and teddy bears.

Even for an ordinary person who isn’t an alcoholic, think of the wages at a physical level of getting heavily drunk.  Getting drunk is the “work”, one’s physical being had been literally poisoned, and now the wages is the hangover. If the drunken state was pushed to the extremity, the wages would actually be death on the very same night. So whilst one is physically alive, these “hangovers” - depending on the passion or vice - are a foretaste of the ultimate wages of sin or the passions. It isn’t a punishment, it’s the harvest.