Saturday, 8 May 2021

Behmoth












This is Your work. 

You better take care of me, Lord.

If You •don't•, You're gonna have •me• on Your hands.

William Blake did a series of engravings based on the Book of Job, rendering in immaculate tableaux Job’s trials and suffering. It is as if Blake through his art and the Bible through the means of prose refer to the same subliminal truth, as if this story, the Book of Job, contains essential truths that we can only behold fleetingly and through the lens of image or language. 




In one tableau, Yaweh, or God, from on high shows Job ‘the behemoth and the leviathan that I made, as I made thee’. These creatures as rendered by Blake are dreadful and uncanny. The dumb, muscular, skinless beast, all sinew and mouth. The deep-dwelling sea serpent ever present but invisible in its awful depths. 

When regarding these silently screaming images the horror of God’s power is awesome, more terrifying though is the suggestion of ambivalence and that implicitly God The Creator is Not Only Good. 

In these images Job and Yaweh look the same, as if both the man made of flesh and the divine father are enshrined within a single form. 

These hypnotic tableaux induce a visionary state where we confront that God is within us and our own moral choices determine God’s values. That the capacity for Darkness and unconsciousness is as much part of the individual’s psychological make-up as the inclination to love and kindness. 

That we HAVEto be Good, because if We are not Good, then God is not Good, that God’s Grace is realized through us and if we do not realize it then it does not exist.

Like a terrible quantum equation where our intentions create all that is manifest. Do not be lost in the leviathan deep. Do not be trapped in the dumb carnality of form, transcend; transcend that God may imbue The World with His Grace through you. 

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Your Life May Depend on Your Complete Honesty




There are •some• things 
(or at least, so it is generally •supposed•) 
that you simply just cannot say 
to A Nun.



BELLS CHIME


FLY BUZZES


Are you hungry, Mr Harker?


No, I'm...


..I'm fine.

DOOR UNLOCKS


Thank you.


Then perhaps we can talk.


I'm Sister Agatha.


Hm. I thought I'd met all the

sisters.


I have been sequestered.


In prayer?


In study, Mr Harker.

Of you.


I've read your account of your most interesting stay in Transylvania.


It's The Truth. 

All of it.



And what a lot of Truth there is.

Sister Angela tells me you wrote all day and all night for a whole week.


Please...sit with me.

Is The Sun 

a little bright for you?


No.


Good.

It's good, isn't it?


DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES


Ah, My Dear. Come in.

We are to be observed.

Apparently, I cannot be trusted

alone with A Man.


Consider yourself chaperoned.


Mr Harker, I intend no impertinence, but WHY are you still alive?


I-I fled.

I was trapped. I escaped.


Escaped, yes.


I fled that place in terror of my

life.

He is A Monster.

I-I swear to you...

...he is the Devil himself.


Then why have you stopped?


Stopped what?



Fleeing.


You've been here nearly a month.


I'm Safe with you.


Why?


This is A House of God.



A House of God, is it?


That's good. We could do with A Man about the place, eh, Sister?


Two years ago, a church in this town collapsed.


The roof fell on the congregation, killed •everyone• as they prayed, including the children.


The Priest was the only Survivor.


Priests are like that.


He said to me afterwards that,

even in moments like these, he was able to maintain his Faith.


I told him he should have

maintained His Roof.


Look to your own Protection,

Mr Harker.


FLY BUZZES


God Doesn’t Care.


The way you talk...

It's unusual in someone of your

calling.


My calling was a very long time ago.

What's wrong?

You have something in your eye.


Is it gone?


Yes.


Your fiancee, Mina.

You mentioned her a lot

when you first arrived. Mina Murray.


Oh, er... Yes.


I need to contact her.



You must love her very much.


Of course.

Perhaps, in time, you will let her read this account.


If she wishes, yes.


So, out of kindness, you have omitted from your writings anything that would alarm or disturb her.


Well, I didn't want to...


So now you may tell me •everything• that occurred in the time you spent with The Count at his castle.


Your dinners. 

Your conversations.

Your intimate moments.


Your LIFE may depend

on your •complete• honesty.


Do you understand 

what I'm asking you?


I think so.


I'm asking, Mr Harker, 

if you had sexual intercourse 

with Count Dracula.





Sunday, 2 May 2021

The Way of The Bat



....okay, 
You come with Me, 
You AGREE on One Thing....


We Don't KILL


Our Way is STRONGER 

and 

More DISCIPLINED 

than The Assassins' Way.


It requires more SKILL.


Buckle Yourself in, 

Damian.




“Better to Reign in Hell,
than Serve in Heaven.”

Lucifer,
Paradise Lost.



“I’d rather Serve in Heaven
than Rule in Hell, 
You Cigarette-Smoking Mackrel   Snapper..!!”

Garry Shandling As Mulder, 
Hollywood A.D.


“There is a common belief among the more left-leaning, politically active Blakeans that the conservative, patriotic right doesn’t really like Blake, as they claim they do. 

They just like the hymn ‘Jerusalem’, the argument goes, which they fail to understand

Yet the crowd at the unveiling of Blake’s grave has made me question this

Those people, from all walks of life, were there because they had a connection to the man and his works that I could only see as genuine. 

They may not all have been attracted to the same aspects of him, but who is to say that some aspects are more valid than others? 

The idea that Blake is for Everybody is not an idea that I am willing to discard just yet. 


There is a strain in Blake, particularly in his early work, that could be called patriotism or nationalism, and which at times verges on jingoism


In ‘A War Song to Englishmen’, for example, he reacts to the realisation that he will be killed in battle fighting for His Country by deciding that His Life is a fair price to pay for England : 

Why sinks my heart, why faultereth my tongue? 

Had I three lives, I’d die in such a cause, 

And rise, with ghosts, over the well-fought field. 

Prepare, prepare. […] 

Alfred shall smile, and make his harp rejoice; 

The Norman William, and the learned 

Clerk, And Lion Heart, and black brow’d 

Edward, with His loyal queen shall rise, and welcome us! 

Prepare, Prepare. Perhaps 


Blake’s most striking expression of Nationalist Pride is the satirical verse that begins ‘When Klopstock England defied’. 

The Klopstock in question was Blake’s near contemporary, the German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, who is best known for his epic work Der Messias (‘The Messiah’)


Blake’s verse was written in response to a minor slight Klopstock made about The English Language. 


In response, ‘English Blake’, as he refers to himself, retaliates with an act of what can only be described as English voodoo shit magic

He starts by taking a crap under a poplar tree at Lambeth, but suddenly stands and spins round nine times, much to the disgust of the watching heavens. 

This act magically constricts Klopstock’s bowels, causing him a great deal of pain, until Blake graciously undoes the spell. 

He then concludes: 

If Blake could do this when he rose up from shite 

What might he not do if he sat down to write 

Yet as Blake matures, he quickly moves from a Love of His Own Country to a Love of All. 

He makes this evolution, from nationalism to the declaration that ‘Everything that lives is Holy!’, seem like a very natural progression

In ‘The Divine Image’ from Songs of Innocence, he concludes: 


And all must love the human form, 

In heathen, Turk, or Jew; 

Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell 

There God is dwelling too. 


In divided Brexit Britain, we usually think of Nationalism and Internationalism as opposites. 

Both sides tend to see their opponents in oversimplified or caricatured terms. 

Remainers portray the Leavers’ Love of Country as inherently racist, and invariably connected to issues of Immigration, Cultural Purity and about Who Decides Who Can be Said to ‘Belong’ Here. 

Leavers, in contrast, portray that Sense of Belonging to a Place as honest and natural, and a Thing to be Defended

For Remainers to deny that side of Us is to deny Human Nature, they argue. 


These opposing positions can appear to be irreconcilable. 

Blake, however, had a great love of opposites. He saw them as a necessary step in moving forwards


As he wrote in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 

‘Without Contraries is no progression. 

Attraction and Repulsion, 

Reason and Energy, 

Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.’ 

Or more enigmatically, 

Opposition 

is 

True Friendship.’ 

For Blake, the deep connection to The Place around him was The Soil in which a larger, Spiritual Love put down roots and grew to encircle The World. 

From this perspective, if you don’t have Love for Your Home and Neighbours, then any proclamations of Love for those further away is suspect

It is like someone who sees themselves as A Good Person because they express concern for an abstract group such as Homeless People or Refugees, yet who is a poor friend to the people they know and are in a position to help. 

And, conversely, if you condemn Groups of Strangers far away, then how True is Your Love for Your Home and Neighbours really

Your antipathy to Other People has to come from somewhere, and if it has not grown from Your Experiences with Those That You Do Know, then where has it come from? 

A sense of connection to Your Land, it can be argued, is necessary for, not opposed to, a deep respect for People of all cultures and creeds. 

This position goes past the framing of Nationalism and Internationalism, or Leave and Remain, as Our Primary Duality. 

Instead, it Divides The World into Those Who Delight in What They Love, and Those Who Focus on What They Hate

This, it turns out, can be a far more useful guide to navigating our Politics and Culture. "

WANT




Everyone Gets 
Everything He Wants.

I Wanted a Mission.

And for My Sins, 
They Gave Me One.














FREDO
He said there was something in it for me -- 
on my own.

MICHAEL
I've always taken care of you FREDO.

FREDO
Taken care of me?! 
You're my kid brother and you take care of me. 

Did you ever think about that -- did you ever once think about that. 

Send FREDO off to do this -- send FREDO off to do that! 

Let FREDO to take care of some Mickey Mouse night club somewhere! 

Send FREDO to pick somebody up at the airport! 

I'm Your Older Brother, Mike 
and I was stepped over!

MICHAEL
That's the way Pop wanted it.

FREDO
It ain't the way I wanted it! 

I can handle things I'm smart -- not like everyone says -- 
not dumb, smart and 
I want respect!

MICHAEL
Is there anything you can tell me about this investigation?

FREDO
The Senate Lawyer QUESTADT -- 
He belongs to ROTH.

MICHAEL
FREDO — 

You're nothing to me now—
you're not a brother, 
you're not a friend.

I don't want to know you 
or what you do -- 

I don't want to see you 
at the hotels -- 

I don't want you 
near my house -- 


When you see our mother 
I want to know a day in advance, 
so I won't be there --
 
You understand?

[FREDO doesn't answer. MICHAEL walks off.]

FREDO
Mikey.

CUT TO: 
AL NERI sitting in a chair. 
MICHAEL walks up to him.

MICHAEL :
I don't want anything 
to happen to him, 
while My Mother's alive.




You told me once to fight like My Life depended on it... 
because one day, it might. 
Well, today is that day. 

I cannot defeat them alone.

 
The Sanctum's already fallen. 
The Dark Dimension. 
Dormammu is coming. 

It's too late. 
Nothing can stop him. 


Not necessarily. 

No. 

The spell's working. 
We've got a second chance. Whoa! No! 

Wong. 

Breaking The Laws of Nature. 


I know. 

Well, don't stop now. 

When The Sanctum's restored, they'll attack it again. 

We've got to defend it. 
Come on! 

Get up, Strange. 
Get up and Fight. 
We can finish this. 

You can't fight The Inevitable. Isn't it Beautiful? 
A World Beyond Time. 
Beyond Death. 
Beyond Time... 

Strange. 

He's gone. Even Strange has left you and surrendered to 
His Power. 


Dormammu, 
I've come to bargain. 

You've come to die. 
Your World is now My World... like all worlds. 

Dormammu, I've come to bargain. 

You've come to die. 
Your world is now my... 

What is This? 
Illusion? 

No. This is Real. 


Good. 

Dormammu, 
I've come to bargain. 

You've... 
What is happening? 


Just as you gave Kaecilius powers from YOUR Dimension... I brought A Little Power from mine. 


THIS, is Time. 
Endless looped Time. 

You dare! 

Oh... 

Dormammu, 
I've come to bargain. 

You cannot do this forever. 

Actually, I can
This is How Things ARE, Now. 
You and Me, trapped in 
This Moment... endlessly. 


Then you will spend 
Eternity Dying


Yes. But everyone on Earth will live

But you will suffer

Pain's An Old Friend. 

Dormammu... 
I've come to bargain. 

End This! 

Dormammu... 
Dormammu... 
Dormammu... 

You Will Never Win. 

No... but I can lose... 
again and again... 
and again... 
and again, forever

And that makes you 
My Prisoner


No! Stop! 
Make This Stop! Set Me Free! 

No. I've come to bargain

What do you want? 

Take your Zealots from The Earth. 
End Your Assault on My World. NEVER Come Back. 

Do it... 
and I'll break The Loop. 



Get up, Strange! 
Get up and fight. 
We can finish this. 

Isn't it Beautiful? A World Beyond Time. 
Beyond Death. 


What have you done? 

I made A Bargain. 


What is This? 

Well, it's 
Everything You've 
Ever Wanted. 

Eternal Life as part of The One.
You're not gonna like it. 

Yeah, you know, 
you really should have stolen 
The WHOLE Book, 
because the warnings... 

The warnings come after The Spells. 

WONG :
Oh, that's funny. 
We did it. 

Yes. Yes, we did it. 
By also violating 
The Natural Law. 

Look around you. It's over. 

You still think there will be no consequences, Strange? 

No Price to Pay? 
We broke Our Rules, just like her. 
The Bill comes due. Always! A reckoning. I will follow this path no longer. Yeah, okay. Wise choice. You'll wear the Eye of Agamotto... once you've mastered its powers. Until then... best not to walk the streets wearing an Infinity Stone. A what? You might have a gift for the mystic arts, but you still have much to learn. Word of the Ancient One's death will spread through the Multiverse. Earth has no Sorcerer Supreme to defend it. We must be ready. We'll be ready.

That's How I Got Here.






Charlie Skinner :

....Name That Tune.


Will McAvoy :

Play a little more —

Tom T. Hall :

"That's How I Got to Memphis."


Charlie Skinner :

You do play a little guitar on 

The Side.


Will McAvoy :

I do a little news anchoring on 

The Side.

Since when do you listen to Country? 




Charlie Skinner :

My Grandson Bo, Katie's oldest, 

has a garage band.


Ask me what instrument he plays.



Will McAvoy :

Guitar.


Charlie Skinner :

All of them.


Seriously, he's a savant.

You put an instrument in his hands, give him a day, 

and he can play it.


So I was at their house last weekend, 

and I wander out to the garage 

and see Bo teaching 

"That's How I Got to Memphis"

 to his friends.


And I ask him, 

"What's a kid from New Rochelle doing singing about Memphis?" 


He said, 

"Memphis is a stand-in for 

wherever you are right now.”


That it really means, 

“That's How I Got Here.”

Whenever One Move Out of The Transcendent, One Comes into a Field of Opposites.



“This, am I.”



JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 

Whenever one moves out of 

The Transcendent

one comes into 


A Field of Opposites


These Two,

Pairs of Opposites 

come forth as 

Male and Female 

from the two sides. 


What has eaten of 

The Tree of The Knowledge

not only of good and evil

but of male and female

of right and wrong

of this and that

and light and dark


Everything in The Field of Time is Dual

past and future

dead and alive. 


All This, 

being and nonbeing

is, isn’t.


BILL MOYERS: 

And what’s the significance 

of them being beside 

The Mask of God, 

The Mask of Eternity? 


What is this sculpture 

saying to us?


JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 


The Mask 

represents 

The Middle

and 

The Two 

represent 

The Two Opposites

and 

They ALWAYS 

Come in Pairs


And —

Put Your Mind 

in The Middle.


Most of us put 

Our Minds on 

The Side of The Good 

against 

What We Think of as ‘Evil’


It was Heraclitus, 

I think, who said, 

For God, all things are 

Good and Right and Just

but for Man, some things are

Right and others are not.” 


You’re in The Field of Time 

when you’re Man, 

and one of 

The Problems of Life 

is to 

Live in the realisation of

 both terms. 


That is to say, 

“I know 

The Centre 

and I know that 

Good and Evil 

are simply 

temporal apparitions.”


BILL MOYERS: 

Well, are some myths 

More or Less 

True than others?


JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 

They’re True in 

different sensesdo you see? 


Here’s a whole mythology 

based on 

The Insight That 

Transcends Duality. 


Ours is a mythology that’s based on The Insight of Duality


And so, 

Our Religion tends to be 

ethical in its accent, 

Sin and Atonement

Right and Wrong


It started with a sin, you see. 


In other words, moving out of the mythological zone, the garden of paradise where there is no time, and where men and women don’t even know that they’re different from each other, there the two are just creatures. And God and man are practically the same: “He walks in the cool of the evening in the garden where we are.” And then they eat the apple, the knowledge of the pairs of opposites, and man and woman then cover their shame, that they’re different; God and man, they’re different; man and nature, as against man.


“You get a totally different civilization, a totally different way of living according to your myth 

as to whether Nature is fallen 

or whether Nature is itself a manifestation of Divinity, 

and The Spirit being the revelation of The Divinity That’s Inherent in Nature.” 


— Joseph Campbell


I once heard a wonderful lecture by Daisetz Suzuki

you remember, this wonderful old 

Zen philosopher, who was over here. 


He was in his 90s. 

He started to lecture in Switzerland that I heard in Ascona. 


He stood up with his hands on his side, and he said, 


God against Man —

Man against God —

Man against Nature —

Nature against Man —

Nature against God —

God against Nature —


Very funny religion.....”


Now, in the other mythologies, 

One puts Oneself 

in accord with The World. 


If The World is a mixture of Good and Evil

you do not put yourself 

in accord with it. 


You Identify with The Good 

and 

You Fight against The Evil, 

and this is a religious system 

which belongs to 

The Near East, following Zarathustra’s time. 


It’s in the Biblical Tradition

all the way, in Christianity 

and in Islam as well. 


This business of 

not being with Nature, 

and we speak with sort of derogation of 

The Nature Religions.”


You see, with that 

Fall in The Garden

Nature was regarded as corrupt


There’s a Myth for you that 

Corrupts The Whole World for Us. 



And every Spontaneous Act is Sinful

Because Nature is Corrupt 

and 

Has to be Corrected, 

Must not be yielded-to


You get 

A Totally Different Civilisation, 

a totally different way of living 

according to your myth as to whether 

Nature is Fallen or whether Nature is itself 

A manifestation of divinity

and The spirit being the revelation of the divinity that’s inherent in nature.