Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

Rigorous Dishonesty

Posted by vlorbik on August 17, 2009

lies of the program

things too horrible to consider
must nevertheless be *processed*
in some way. you can’t get through
the day without a rationalization
(as the mad one has it).

(1) there are dark places in our souls.

now. it seems to me i can count on
a pretty universal *agreement* here.

and this is at least a little puzzling
already. obviously (1) isn’t meant
as *literally true*… indeed, for
many readers, the word “soul”
simply *won’t have* a literal meaning
at all. and a good thing too.
anyhow, even if a given reader
thinks of souls as well-defined
parts of universe (ht: bucky),
it’s unlikely that, whatever
they may think a soul “is”,
it won’t be some geographical entity
where “places” can have its
commonsense ordinary meaning.

never. theless. everybody *knows*:
there *are* dark places in our souls.
to continue the geographic metaphor,
we “orient” ourselves in soulspace
with polarities like light/dark,
good/evil, happy/sad… what have you.

and even “the map is not the territory”
is well-known. the tao we speak of
is *never* the true tao; this too
is about as famous a spiritual axiom
as one is likely to encounter.
these are but shadows on the wall of the cave.
then we forget again.

and it’s altogether fitting and proper
that we do so: a lot of places that
are kept dark out here on the material plane
are kept dark for *good reasons*
and this shall be a sign onto us.

“always store beer in a dark place.”
there’s so much god-damn wisdom here
that the obvious right thing to do
will have been post it and attribute it
and pass on in silence. but then
i’d still have to ramble on about
*something* and anyhow maybe this
generation doesn’t know how to read signs.

anyhow. whenever we want or need
*not* to think of some true thing,
we’ll call it, not exactly out of its name but,
by some metaphorical name that we then,
as it were, “pretend” to take literally.

why conversations about religion and politics
are generally doomed from the start: we refuse
to consider the “other side” of some
lightside/darkside metaphor we’re reifying…
something we refuse to see…

the *other* guy is confused because he can’t see how
*this* follows inescapably from *that*,
where *that* is something i and the other guy
only *appear* to agree on because we’re using,
let’s say, the same *word* for different *things*.

lock ’em up; throw away the key.
unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs.


4 Responses to “Rigorous Dishonesty”

  1. Mike B) said

    What’s dark and what’s a soul?

    I think the ‘darkness’ is found in the social dynamics of dominance and submission to power.
    As for the ‘soul’, I’m a firm believer in death after life.

  2. vlorbik said

    dark is unlit and “soul”
    is not a technical term.
    who feels it knows it i guess
    but in particular i sure don’t
    intend to draw any maps here
    by splitting hairs between ill
    defined notions of selfhood
    or personhood or spirit or soul
    or the-i-and-the-me or whatnot.
    looks like a fool’s errand but
    what do i know. i’m a strict
    amateur in philosophy.

    one death to every life
    certainly appears to be
    the case; i take no stand.
    “many lives in a life i think”
    one of my exes wrote me
    somewhere along the line.
    i think of the “reincarnation”
    doctrine of eastern religion
    as expressing this truth.
    our lives aren’t as “continuous”
    as they appear to our
    denial-bound ordinary thought;
    “i” have come and gone many
    times over the years just as
    “this” body has new skin
    (and other parts) for the
    old ceremonies when “i”
    come around to perform ’em.

    jennifer has spoken to xero
    about “lizard brain” in all of us.
    i take this to mean, not the
    “dark places” of this post
    but rather the “denial bound
    ordinary thought” of our
    “lower selves”: our bodies…
    and social selves… when
    we *aren’t* doing the
    “soul” stuff of be-here-now.

    “dominance and submission”…
    right. and other taboos too i
    suppose but this is central
    for me. because anyway from
    this point of view what *is*
    a taboo but *fighting words*.

    who hits who and “how hard” and when
    and “how is the license maintained”…
    the basis for society. in infancy one
    is totally helpless and the question
    of “dominate or submit” doesn’t
    even arise. but by the time we can
    *talk* about it there’ll be things
    we know but *know better than
    to say* lest we invoke violent reactions.

    in usa for example one learns not to
    speak lightly to strangers of… what
    everybody knows though… the extent
    to which our every economic transaction
    contributes to the oppressions of empire
    and the extent to which empire has
    relegated us to the status of just another
    conquered colony to be used up and
    turned over to local bullies. pisses people
    off. how about them buckeyes.

    for that matter: there is no afterlife.
    right, of course not. contradictory
    on its face like any other miracle.

    but people readily learn to dismiss
    us with questions like this. their
    trusted source… who will have given
    ’em real and useful instruction
    about “spiritual” matters, stuff
    they’ve used in their own lives
    to their betterment and they know it…
    somehow finds this “life after life”
    thing to be a useful way of speaking.

    very likely if the teacher is at all
    enlightened they know it’s all
    “metaphors” whenever we speak
    *at all* and that *the teacher*
    uses “life after life” to show up
    some “spiritual principle” or
    something that actually helps
    their metaphor-limited flock
    to lead in-some-sense-better
    lives (at certain moments, say).

    anyhow, we’re back into a
    “fighting words” situation.
    “whell! denying-the-spirit
    is the *unforgivable sin*…
    and this means if you don’t
    say jesus-jesus-jesus all the
    time, you suffer hellfire eternally.”

    when all *i* want to know
    is what are *we* gonna do
    about… some common problem
    of ours. it’ll turn out that our
    common enemy doesn’t care
    about what names we put
    on our gods (as long as it
    isn’t “my personal freedom”…
    everybody seems to hate
    *that* one if it includes
    “freedom to defy *your* god”…)

    “god” hates whoever we hate
    because *real power* likes
    it that way. kill ’em all;
    let “god” sort ’em out.

    meanwhile, can’t we all just get along.
    of course not. but it’ll sometimes be a lot
    *easier* if reincarnation doesn’t come up.

    good to hear from you. yours in the struggle.

  3. Mike B) said

    Reincarnation is wishful thinking. It’s nice to have wishes. It’s good to have hope. It’s foolish to postpone life until death takes over. We struggle for freedom because we know that it can happen; t’is possible because the workers have created the means by which we can free ourselves of spending so much of our time at necessary work. Ah, but the unecessary work…who demands that of us? It’s that layer of parasites we support; the ones who use us to keep their books and push their paper and make plastic toys and dig their coal to sell to the developing bosses so that the world can choke in a fossil-fueled furnace. Put everyone to work for a couple of hours doing what needs doing and we’ve got it made in the shade, Bro, made in the shade.

  4. vlorbik said

    so far so good

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