PDA

View Full Version : Desire as Dead Affect


scrypt
07-01-2014, 12:40 PM
Often, we conclude that the truly awakened person will react to present time and the life they're offered as did the protag in Arthur Machen's "A Fragment of Life": Knowing that the world is effectively (if not sickeningly) dead, but also realizing that the prospect of being awake might constitute a temporary triumph of intuition.

But what if the world to which we acclimate ourselves by degrees of loathing and tolerance is filled with beings who recognize it for what it is and yet remain superficial and venal? What if insight is a tool that can be accessed by the most selfish among us?

Many have noted the similarity between '70s gurus and Charles Manson. The disillusioning excesses of supposed spiritual masters -- from Swami Muktananda's pedophilic indulgences to Da Free John's cruel manipulation of innocent couples -- are so well documented that one can only wince in commiseration for the lost ones who spent lifetimes indulging the base urges of emotional omnivores who offered their passionate patsies rationed tastes of the opiate of their temporary charisma.

When I think of the disillusioned few I've known -- the ones who seemed to intuit the predatory nature of perception -- I recall not only artists committed to their own gifts, but also the most vacant and parasitic individuals:-- gorgeous bedbugs whose wake is perceived by us as a trail of bodies even though the aftermath is primarily emotional. I think of an acquaintance whose lusterless eyes and slightly repellent beauty marks rendered her appearance as dead as that of any Expressionist/Bellmeresque doll's, but whose conscious eroticism, however deliberately manipulated, was as potent as the most self-realized person's sacrifice.

Frequently, the people who have and are nothing draw us in, but not because of their talent, beauty or honesty. Instead, they fascinate by means of their negative gravitational pull. This is why, when we look back at our catalogs of tragic romance, our lists of pleasure spliced with the tortures of rejection, we often find criminals and either misogynists or misterogynists -- not because the opposite sex (whatever ours might be) is innately vile, but because voids fascinate us so much that famished corpses embody the paradox of our desire.

Then, too, I suspect we are not innocent of vanity. The lifelessness of the object of desire only flatters us, reinforcing as it does our affectations of living intensity.

mark_samuels
07-01-2014, 02:14 PM
I don't know why you've gone to the trouble of turning out a marvellously wrought piece of prose with a core of dark speculation as a mere messageboard posting. Given a plot to support it, the thing would make for a fine weird tale.

Mark S.

DannySkyshifter
05-06-2015, 11:36 AM
Ah, this captures a phenomenon I've been fascinated with lately. The dark/anti guru , as embodied by Manson and the rest ( Severini ! ) , the black, molten power of the Will, negative libido ecetera-cide.

My parents could easily have been drawn into a cult; they were seeker types before settling down into either conservative Catholicism or rational technicism ( Singularity = Ultimate 80s Collegiate Romantic Comedy ) , and my native state certainly had, and still has, many strange outgrowths of belief that scoop up the damage cases that are spit out the maw of local flavors of escapism: no one is more fanatical than an ex speed freak / hippie hedonist with enough brain cells left to sort the robes for the day.

Big Experiences are often sold as a way to lure people into these parasitical power relationships. One reason I've been so obsessed with dark nights of the soul and stages of meditation where suffering is predominant is because many people are attracted to these figures ( some of whom are legitimized by traditions: Zen is especially bad about this in the West, just see the guy who runs the "Big Mind" retreats ) , have a bunch of "WOW" moments, and then are left on the wayside to deal with the repercussions and consequences while the guru scampers away to frolic another day. Its usually not as sexy as you describe though.

All this is reminding me of Richard from MWINYD. Fortunately, destroying souls and bodies doesn't really garner anyone much actual power in any spiritual sense, not from what I've seen and felt. Those with no remorse or compassion, who are pure predators, may get it together to capture prey but when they are alone they tend to fall apart, and lack the ability to truly concentrate or interact with the Current (s). Sure , Vader can kill with a thought, but he still has to get a tray in the cafeteria like everyone else, and on a bad day would probably be brought to his knees by the sight of monstrous mounds of potatoes!

SwansSoilMe/SwansSaveMe
05-06-2015, 11:16 PM
I have not known anything so captivatingly, intelligently expressed as the truths of Da Free John and Thomas Ligotti. A "light" guru, a "dark" one, whatever. It's all an absolute mystery to me.

luciferfell
05-07-2015, 02:24 AM
I'm with Mark.... you should expand on this Scrypt... its an amazing piece of writing and deserves essay length to explore the ideas touched on more.

xylokopos
05-07-2015, 10:06 AM
What an extraordinary post, Scrypt! I agree with those who have already commented, you should mine it or expand on it for fictional composition or for an essay or some other artistic endeavor. I find the way you link disillusionment with lack of compassion and emotional vampirism, fascinating.

I don't know if it is a form of vanity or what you describe as 'negative gravitational pull' that attracts us to exceptionally empty objects of desire. Perhaps we see the vacuity at the heart of the desired as the empty screen where we project all the necessary delusions of love, companionship, and mutual understanding, all the notions that allow us to live without drinking ourselves to death or painting the city streets blood red. Perhaps it is not ourselves we see reflected in our grasping lust, but a form without content, a human that is not a person, a glistening surface with blackness beneath, something that we can claim like conquistadors planting flags on sandy shores in the name of a higher authority that will never show us affection or respect.

I'd like to take the opportunity to also thank you for the morbid classical music thread, which I consider not only a gift, since it led me to discover such composers as Schnittke and Ligeti, but one of the most generous, inspiring and imaginative threads I have ever read, anywhere.

PS. I am pretty certain that the equivalent to 'misogynist' is 'misandrist'. But you might be alluding to some context or making some other reference I ignore by writing 'misterogynist'. Etymologically, it makes zero sense.

Druidic
05-07-2015, 12:10 PM
Personally, i think scrypt is describing necrophiliac attraction.

Barbie Dolls do nothing for me. I need symmetry of features and a hint of intelligence.

Reminds me of the old story of the woman who wrote into Ann Landers (true) complaining that her husband insisted on her taking an ice cold bath before sex and then moving as little as possible.

Ann enlightened her.

scrypt
10-18-2015, 12:00 PM
I find the way you link disillusionment with lack of compassion and emotional vampirism, fascinating.

I don't know if it is a form of vanity or what you describe as 'negative gravitational pull' that attracts us to exceptionally empty objects of desire. Perhaps we see the vacuity at the heart of the desired as the empty screen where we project all the necessary delusions of love, companionship, and mutual understanding, all the notions that allow us to live without drinking ourselves to death or painting the city streets blood red. Perhaps it is not ourselves we see reflected in our grasping lust, but a form without content, a human that is not a person, a glistening surface with blackness beneath, something that we can claim like conquistadors planting flags on sandy shores in the name of a higher authority that will never show us affection or respect [emphasis added].

I'd like to take the opportunity to also thank you for the morbid classical music thread, which I consider not only a gift, since it led me to discover such composers as Schnittke and Ligeti, but one of the most generous, inspiring and imaginative threads I have ever read, anywhere.

PS. I am pretty certain that the equivalent to 'misogynist' is 'misandrist'. But you might be alluding to some context or making some other reference I ignore by writing 'misterogynist'. Etymologically, it makes zero sense.

Xylokopos:

Thanks so much for the kind words, and for the pithy description of our pointless malevolence.

Yes, misandry is the correct and accepted equivalent of misogyny. I sometimes use misterogyny instead because that neologism amuses me even though it's an awful pun (Miss Ogyny, therefore Mister Ogyny). Perhaps using it in the context of this particular piece violates the tone; I'll take that under advisement.

DoktorH
10-18-2015, 01:28 PM
I think these parasitic types who have and are nothing fascinate others because of their consistency. nothing truly disrupts or bothers them because there's nothing to be bothered, and some may envy that stillness.

it may also work like a blank canvas that others can project their own feeligns and assumptions upon, seeing what they want to see in that empty space. they may want to a see a mystery and assume there is actually something there underneath the emptiness. i suspect these people get pretty hurt when they discover it is emptiness all the way down,

Calenture
10-18-2015, 03:08 PM
Reading some of the posts above reminded me of this passage:

"Netta Longdon thought of everything in a curiously dull, brutish way, and for the most part acted upon instinct. She was completely, indeed sinisterly, devoid of all those qualities which her face and body externally proclaimed her to have - pensiveness, grace, warmth, agility, beauty. Externally this Earl's Court sleeper-on, this frequenter of film agents' offices was of the type depicted by the poet Byron.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes...

One shade the more, one ray the less
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

Her thoughts, however, resembled those of a fish - something seen floating in a tank, brooding, self-absorbed, frigid, moving solemnly forward to its object or veering slowly sideways without fully conscious motivation. She had been born, apparently, without any natural predilection towards thought or action, and the circumstances of her early life had seemed to render both unnecessary. 'Spoiled' from the earliest days because of her physical beauty: made a fuss of, given in to, beset with favours, the fulfillment of her desires going ahead at roughly the same rate as their conception, she had become totally impassive: thought and action were atrophied. Having no inherent generosity (as George perceived), having no instinct to 'spoil' or make a loss of anything in return, she had become like a fish."

Patrick Hamilton: Hangover Square

Of course George is hardly the most mature of men, as Hamilton makes clear; and there are times I wished Netta Longdon had brained him with his own golf club. But that wouldn't have made such a good story, would it?