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Sexual Puritanism and Empire: Sex, Shame, and Military Might

What "character issues" come into play involving an individual’s complicity in the maintenance of blood-fueled imperium?

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Poetry and music can awaken imagination and induce empathy, therefore are potent provisions that sustain one while carrying the darkness. However, first one must engage the struggle, to face the everyday monster whose name is, “That is just the way it is and must remain” — even to risk having one’s concept of self devoured by the task.

To paraphrase Lorca: to know oneself by drawing near to the beating heart of the monster of the world.

“But the Duende — where is the Duende? Through the empty arch enters a mental air blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, seeking new landscapes and unfamiliar accents; an air bearing the odor of child’s spittle, crushed grass, and the veil of Medusa announcing the unending baptism of all newly-created things.” — Federico García Lorca, excerpt: The Duende: Theory and Divertissement (1930)

One cannot kill nor banish personal demons but one can give them supervised work to do (that way one can keep an eye on them).

(Knowing one’s demons also provides insight when dealing with adversaries and can prevent one from being drawn into the self-serving ploys of mass media vampires of mind and spirit who retail sexually related scandals that bring glee to the bloodless.)

Personally, it could trouble me less if the sky shook, thick as seething locust, with a pixel-borne pestilence of suggestive photos of political sorts.

Funny, the same crowd of fundamentalist, petty moralists who believe that global warming is the result of natural forces insist the heat of human libido is what will bring on man’s doom i.e., greenhouse gasses aren’t melting the polar regions; instead, Climate Change is caused by the hot breath of Satan himself tweeting pictures of his lust-scorched undergarments.

In times such as these, one is advised to embrace both mystery and logic — both élan vital and logos.

Be both apprehensive and comforted by the unknowable, ineffable quality of existence; thereby, one comes to be moved by a poetic approach to mystery, and the realization arrives … that one is vividly alive even amid dismal, alienating circumstance, and, as a result, that the ennui engendered by the illusion of atomization is, to a degree, mitigated.

Although one’s suffering is uniquely one’s own, one remains part and parcel of the implicate order of a living planet. This is how Wallace Stevens delivers, in verse, the case for acquiring and maintaining a view of the world by means of empathetic imagination (that can serve as a panacea to the preening narcissism inherit in toxic innocence). I’ll give him the final word:

We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.
Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one …
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

–Excerpt: Final Soliloquy Of The Interior Paramour

 
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