Sunday, November 13, 2011

Apocalypse: Seeing With New Eyes

We speak of apocalypse rather commonly these days, it seems to be a part of the zeitgeist of this age. Yet many seem to have only a cursory or rather simplistic idea of what the reality (and the concepts we use to encapsulate that reality), entail.

The idea of apocalypse has factored rather centrally into many of the projects I've helped create over the years.

Let me spell this way out by way of example:

As I've discussed elsewhere, there was a hint of cultural apocalypse sensed in my adolescence, an echo in reverse of what is now present to us all in America. This became a theme in Join My Cult!.
The idea as presented in the symbols of Babalon and Lilith was the center around which many of the songs we wrote for Babalon orbited.
subQtaneous touched on this idea, in looking back at the theme of the apocalypse that isn't resolved, that long spiritual dryness of waiting for revelation.
Fallen Nation: Party At The World's End tackles it headlong in its more explosive version, in the moments when the moorings actually come loose, but before the mask has slipped and we can see the face underneath.
Citizen Y was a look at the metaphorical time after the rupture.
And, of course, our upcoming anthology The Apocalyptic Imaginary is named after this theme because it is an idea central to much of what we have explored here over the past year of 2011. 
I could go on. Do you see the chronology here? The span of this decade of creative work has looked at the stages before, during, and after apocalypse. This implies, as apocalypse often does in modern interpretations, a teleological interpretation. But apocalypse itself actually does one of two things: the rupture either creates a circle, an ouroborous so that the currents of the past can re-shunt into the future, or it provides a true break in which an entirely new process can begin.

All of that destruction seems to be distracting to most people. They lose the actual sense of the term, so that much as "myth" becomes simply "an untrue idea," "apocalypse" becomes merely "the end of everything." Not so!

The apocalypse is not in the explosion, the rupture, but rather what is shown in the silence after. But apocalypse is that revelation. Another example might be seen in all the times in our lives when we think things are a certain way, and we operate under the mandates of that myth, and suddenly we are shown in a stark and often painful way that those illusions will no longer suffice. If you can brave the passage with your eyes open, however, for a split moment, you are offered the opportunity to see a truth without its clothing, before we again begin wrapping it in myth, a new myth.

Another example comes to mind, which incidentally and eerily fits the Tarot imagery of the Blasted Tower. When the World Trade center was blasted to the ground, many in the States, certainly many in New York, witnessed something interesting. In the weeks that followed, we looked at one another with new eyes. We were snapped awake, startled out of a dream, and though frightening, there was also a sense of possibility, even hope, in those new eyes, and in seeing our old neighbors in new ways. Of course, the predominant culture over the years that were to follow fell into a myth of fear and hate, and that rhetoric shrouded over any real apocalypse that could have been.

In a spiritual sense, this is why towers are shattered. I'd like to leave you with a short passage from Join My Cult! which, I'd like to mention, was written before 9/11:
White walls are here because they caught me Working. Bombed theHive building. The flames danced and sang about me. Something the Agent said came back to me then, a commentary, a running monologue: “Millions of souls were freed from slavery to the Great Eye, Novus Ordo Seclorum, Eye of Shiva, blaster of towers… Of course the gate-keepers brand me a ‘terrorist.’ It is no matter. Through the power of association the entire structure will topple in due time. This is high ritual, and the ultimate sacrifice for the survival and evolution of my species, which I love so dearly. Even my friends and teachers have disowned me. Horus, the bull of your father is avenged. We can now return to our mother,whole. The dove resides within the blasted tower, and within that destruction, that madness, we lay the seed of the purest aspect of life…” 
The whole structure erupted in a final, defiant exhalation, breathing out foul, billowing columns of smoke. Its systems coughed and spluttered. The whole world was dancing and singing. We sang:  
Alas! With ruthless hand you have destroyed this fair edifice…it falls and decays!And then, right before the cops came, we started a chant. It just came up out of nowhere…
In the temple of the temple of the temple of the Holy
sits a woman who is waiting who is waiting for the sun
in the temple of the temple in the temple of the
Holy creeping shadows falling darkness she is waiting for the sun.
For the people of the people by the people making people
in the temple of the temple of the temple of the Holy
She is weeping for the people of the people
making people in the temple of the temple in the temple of the sun

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