Monday, April 12, 2010

Pretty Suicide Machine: Fragment on sacredness

I spent most of today dealing with some errands - amazed at how physically exhausted I became moving a small fraction of what I have to move this month (I have gotten so out of shape!) - talking on the phone with a wonderful muse and friend, loving my bunny, and generally trying to take a break to let some more gestation occur. That has been the way with The Immanence of Myth, which is why I refuse to set solid deadlines for this one, as I so often do with other projects. There must be thousands of stops and starts, periods of reflection, of expulsion, of feverish writing, and gestation in between. I am writing this out of a deep desire to contribute something that will - I pray - help inspire many others to realize just how much change the can create with their words, music, films, etc etc.


Here is a little fragment from today when I had an idea that felt too important to let sit: 
It is easy to draw a distinction between myths that participate more in what we might consider the sacred, and those that do not. This is a crisis that I hinted at in Is Myth Dead? Although I avoided confronting it directly for a reason. We cannot so easily separate myths from the sacred, nor can we extricate either of them from the biases of a specific culture, least of all the ones we are immersed in. Artistic movements such as the Surrealists did move in this direction; there was a general desire to rediscover, reconnect with some primal, sacred source. Consider this quote from Bataille's essay The Surrealist Religion, "Everything Breton has put forward - whether it concerns the quest for the sacred, the concern with myths, or rediscovering rituals similar to those of primitives - represents the exploration of the possibility we again discover, possibility in another sense; this time it is simply a question of exploring all that can be explored by man, it is a question of reconsituting all that was fundamental to man before human nature had been enslaved by the necessity for technical work." (pg. 75 The Absence of Myth.) It is easy to make this distinction, and feel a need to somehow return to a state of sacredness, real or imagined, which seems to have been stripped from or lives, from our very psychological beings, by the realities of global industrialization. Let's resist the urge to see it as such a clear dialectic, and instead move forward under the supposition that we are exploring an ideological history through the unfolding of a select few of the legion of mythic ideas that differentiate the world now from the world four thousand years ago. A multiplicity of myths, not clear, opposed opposites. If new myths are born, re-tethered to something sacred, they must be new, brutal, possessing unavoidable gravity, poignant, fragile, they must be anything but contrived, planned, and developed with the intention of bringing us the sacred. She does not come to us on a platter. More likely, the platter will have your beating heart on it. 

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