Raphael 1483-1528, The School (Plato and Aristotle) This is just a visual representation of Socratic Dialogue—it doesn’t mean that Ron and Jonathan are Plato and Aristotle!
Part II Dialogue on Mythos with Ron Lampi Copyright 2006 Lampi and Zap
If you didn’t already read it, begin with Part One 1/23/06 (Ron’s reply)
Okay, we have gotten to some exciting and essential insights here. In many ways, we are on the same page at this point; to much of what you wrote this last time I could only say Yes, Yes, Yes.
You see it does take some discussion to get to the essential notion of The Mythos. Certain assumptions, knee-jerk reactions, preconceptions have to be sifted through. You made the point well: the new Mythos is not another mold-stamping meme to cage us up like those we’ve known from the past. Side note: Your “communion wafer with imbedded integrated circuits” immediately reminded me of my poem “Silicon Wafer” written in 1988. The first line goes,
This is the new transubstantial body of sacrament, and then another stanza beginning This is the new Host of hosts. (Of course this is the orientation that is Technos, not mine.) Whenever I read this poem publicly I bring with me and hold up an actual silicon wafer. You have seen actual silicon wafers before the circuits get printed on them? You referred to gnosticism and quoted from Gospel of Thomas. Early on in my development as New Age thinker/theologian I saw that the New Age signals a rebirth of gnosticism. The Aquarian injunction “I Know,” meaning I know firsthand, I know for myself, no more secondhand and hand-me-down doctrines, is gnostic through and through.
Now before we get all giddy and pat ourselves on the back and say So that’s it, The new Mythos is the Creative Process glorified with some hocus-pocus multidimensionality thrown in, it’s all but mythmaking, all about staying IN PROCESS where everything gets to be everything, juxtaposed, mixed-and-matched, eventually resulting in gray goo, let me put on the brakes a little and say we must still bring out of ourselves a specificity, our meaning, our Answer to the Call, a destiny (as Heidegger would say), which is yes, another World Age. (Why do we have to go through this World Age thing? Why all these stepping stones? Why can’t humanity just GET IT? Good question to explore. Might 2012 be the moment of GETTING IT?) You see I keep going back to the “New Age.” The dawning Age of Aquarius/Leo. Now this means something specific. I would like to explore what astrology offers here to help us understand this something specific, but probably not tonight–another time. (I will show you why Aquarius points to PSYCHE.) You see when I myself stopped making fun of the early New Agers I met many years ago–and it is so easy to take potshots at anything labeled “New Age”–I began to realize this–an epiphany really: Is there anything beyond the decadence and nihilism of Postmodernism which is only ramping up to a frenzy of techno-materialism? And then I saw: The New Age was this vast new POTENTIAL of an emerging BIG PICTURE. Did I care what the half-baked New Age gurus and celebrities were saying at the time? All that half-baked stuff will eventually be swept aside or transformed into something more substantial. The New Age to me was this vast blank canvas before the artist’s eye. And I, the poet visionary, now get to paint on it! I, and whoever else courageous enough, will step up to the canvas and be the mythmaker of these words vibrating with potential: “New Age.” Another note: These quotes you offer from gnostic writings. I easily substitute the name PSYCHE into the speaker’s mouth and it is no different than what Psyche is conveying to me on a daily basis. Referring to your writing “Casting Precious into…” your quote about the androgyne is exactly my experience with Psyche. Psyche is the Divine Shapeshifter (as I prefer to run the two words together). Psyche teaches me how to be many-in-one because Psyche is the Many-in-One, the Higher Self. Yes, that does mean practicing at being a chameleon, a changeling, a mutant, as you put it. As I say in the title of a poem “I Am My Own Gender.” And apparently when I’m out and about in the world I sometimes confuse people, they do a double-take, trying to decide, Male, yes? or what? Your reference to the metaphor of the movie theatre, the projector, the images on the screen, etc. I have presented this way: Consider the Sun. (Many many years ago I was blinded by the Sun and it took me many many years to articulate that experience.) The Sun sends forth innumerable rays of Light. These rays are the various faces of Divinity, the various religions, the various spiritual paths, the various symbolic systems. Just about everyone is busying themselves with seeing according to the light of a particular ray. Sometimes you find individuals looking across and recognizing there are other rays of light–another religion, another path, another ism even, and they start comparing notes (comparative religion studies / comparative mythology studies, etc.) or say, Let’s be a Universalist Church and mix our rays together in some kind of light-sparkling stew. Now what I have always suggested was this: I’m not interested in the particular rays of the past, I ask, Where do all these rays come from? They come from the Sun. It’s the Sun that I want to be concerned about. THAT SUN HAS COME TO ME AS PSYCHE, ABLE TO SHOW ANY FACE YOU ARE DESTINED TO ENCOUNTER AND BE ENGAGED WITH. Last, for tonight: I hope, Jonathan you do realize that my talk (speaking for myself) about Mythos is not mere speculation, future scenario projecting, it is not as I say in a poem mere talk –I am already speaking from the place of The Mythos. My relationship to Psyche is that Mythos, and all the language that goes forth from my mouth is born from that relationship, The Mythos, the Living Fountain of being-in-that-process. I wanted to be clear about that. (By the way, the original Greek meaning of “mythos” did have a connection to the mouth–it was a telling uttered by the mouth. Therefore not abstract speculation, but always a kind of enactment–the telling of a story.) For tonight, Ron Yes, I too am very excited about where this is going, you have been guiding me to focus my intuitions about Mythos and think about it as a subject in itself, and I might never have looked at it so directly except with your promptings. The parallel of communion wafer/ silicon wafer and especially the recognition of the androgyne/changeling as core and essential, show that psyche is speaking to both of us and generating parallel recognitions. It’s taken me a while to stop taking my relationship to the muse or psyche for granted, and to express daily gratitude for this life-long relationship. Sometimes I try to stop and remind myself how different life is for those not blessed with such an immediate and ongoing relationship with this source of inspiration. Recently I have noticed how different aging is for most other people than for me at this point. In so many others, some of them younger than me, I sense this vast disappointment, their bodies are declining, and so is their feeling of life as adventure or voyage of discovery. I’ve had the occasional moment of feeling that, but mostly my spirit is continually buoyed up by relationship with the creative force which allows me to continue to grow and feel excited enthusiasm as new visions, ideas and creations happen on a daily basis.
With the last exchange I feel a turning point and 180 degree change of focus. So far our dialogue has been, in a sense, in the post modern mode of analysis, processing, talking about underpinnings and so forth. We have agreed on the outline of Mythos as vessel, and now my focus shifts to content. The word “content” has become strangely numinous for me recently. The numinosity of this word had a very specific beginning. I was in a preliminary discussion with Drew, the young webmaster/digital artist who has co-created the Zap Oracle website. Articulating a reason drawing him to the project, he said, “At least you have some actual content to put in a web site.” Since that moment the word content has resonated in my mind as numinous and also the phrase “ lack of content” has resonated in my mind as an emblem of the zeitgeist and of younger generations.
This has happened to me before, a slang term will suddenly light up in my mind as a representative of a whole zeitgeist and generation. In the Eighties, when I was teaching in Long Island, New York I recognized such a word as signature definer of that place and era, and the word was “ cheesy.” A phrase that resonated from sit-coms and adolescent put-downs and extended into the larger culture as a zeitgeist signature was “get a life.” A continuation of theme from that phrase is the one presently stuck in my mind as a generation-defining phrase—- “ lack of content.”
The Onion recently ran an article that was something like, “U.S. Department of Retro Runs out of Past.” The idea was that we had already done so much retro retread of 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s, that there was nothing left to create new retro out of. This article also seemed to define a post modern languid lack of creative vitality that had to forever resort to the pastiche technique of retreading bits and pieces of past creations. This is reflected in popular music where the muse doesn’t seem anywhere near as strong as it did in the Sixties and early Seventies when there were so many moments of pure inspiration coming out of Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Jimmy Hendrix, etc. Now what we get are jam bands and lots of cover songs. With movies we get stuff like the third remake of King Kong and movie versions of old TV shows or DC/Marvel Comics like Charlie’s Angels and The Fantastic Four. There seems to be a terrible lack of new and inspiring content.
I have a fascination with generational differences, and Neil Howe and William Strauss who write about generations have inspired me to take a closer look at generational differences. They have written a few books together— Generations, 13th Gen., The Fourth Turning and Millenials Rising. I wrote about an interview with them in Temporary Indeterminate Zone. According to their model, the Boomers (am I right in thinking Ron, that you are, like me, a younger Boomer?) are the lastest incarnation of the generation that receives a great vision, and the Millenials are the latest incarnation of what they call the G.I. generation, what Tom Brokaw called “the Greatest Generation,” the generation that fought WWII, my parent’s generation. The Millenials are (according to this intriguing theory which resonates with both doubt and truth sense) a noble, self-sacrificing generation who the Boomers are likely to send to war (well, that’s already happened), but may never find their real destiny without the help of visionary Boomers. This has some parallels with Ken Wilbur, and his book Boomeritis , for example, because he correctly recognizes that the Boomers are also the most narcissistic generation ever ( I have long recognized myself as a narcissistic personality type) and so caught in narcissistic indulgence and pathetic efforts to hold onto the youthfulness that they thought was their brand, their permanent possession, that they fail to fulfill the visionary potential that younger generations need them to fulfill. To pick up the theme of today’s entry, they are supposed to provide the visionary content, but after a brilliant beginning they have faltered in their role, and Wilbur’s hope is that aging and recognition of mortality may spiritually awaken them from their narcissism and bring back the visionary spirit.
The twenty-three year old woman ( a Millenial) who I wrote about in Born Under a Blood Red Moon… posted her dream on My Space, the morning after I subscribed to her blog. When I was subscribing I noticed a feature on My Space that allowed you to do a cyber-aided kind of remote viewing of generations. They have a browse feature that allows you to specify an age range, among other parameters, and view the corresponding blogs. I decided to check up on the Millenials and was disheartened by what I found. This was not what Strauss and Howe would have me believe. Most males seemed to be suburban wannabe gangsta’ types, and despite Strauss and Howe’s claim that this was a “less sexually charged” generation My Space at least (in the words of Drew, who really is an inspired Millenial and 19) was a “giant whore-off.” But there you get both sides, the continuing whore-off of Gen-x and the Boomers, but also a couple of Millenials—Drew recognizing and dissing that, and the dreaming psyche of the young woman who also disses that. But the main impression I had of these Millenial blogs was, “lack of content.” Most of them hadn’t even posted a single blog and seemed only capable of reacting to other social chatter or capable of only a “ whaz up?” Under interests, there was little of individual interest, all the males were into skateboarding, snowboarding , smoking weed, meeting girls and an assortment of bands.
So this is the change of focus on Mythos—-supplying content. That is what I feel a calling toward, even a feeling of generational responsibility. As you wrote, “…. we must still bring out of ourselves a specificity, our meaning, our Answer to the Call.” Supplying ideas feels important, but the most fulfilling life activity for me is fantasy writing, subcreation, and it is in the great fantasy works of others that I have found the greatest gifts of Mythos not generated by the strange twists and turns of my own life and relationship to psyche.
My entries tend to run over long I’ve been told, so I am going to bring this one to a close with an excerpt from Casting Precious…. that gets into subcreation. My question for you, and for psyche/muse is about subcreating content. Although my relationship with muse/psyche continues to be fertile, I have often felt frustrated about the long periods of time I have to wait before access to the fantasy writing portal opens. I have written about this and relating to the muse in The Path of the Numinous . I often have this feeling that the greatest contribution I can make is in fantasy subcreation, but my access to has so far been brief and episiodic and most of the content I have created can be found in my unfinished epic, Parallel Journeys . What light can you throw on this urge to a better, or more prolific, content provider?
“ Subcreation” is a term introduced by Tolkien in his essay on fairy stories as his way of acknowledging that the fantasy writer is generating a creation, a subordinate reality within the larger creation of God. Tolkien’s creation of this term, and the way he employs it, reflects a certain ambivalence toward creation, and may partly explain his dark view of the One Ring. Tolkien needs to acknowledge that fantasy writing at its highest level is a profound act of creation, a birthing of a parallel reality. But as an orthodox Catholic who locates the Godhead more outside than inside, he is careful to put “sub” before it and emphasizes that the fantasy creation is a derivative subset within God’s creation. Tolkien tells us that subcreation is a natural human right and divine, but also warns about hubris and the tendency for power to corrupt and to be used wickedly,
Fantasy is a natural human activity.
Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker.
Are there any ‘bounds to a writer’s job’ except those imposed by his own finiteness? ….humility and an awareness of peril is required… The right to ‘freedom’ of the sub-creator is no guarantee among fallen men that it will not be used as wickedly as is Free Will.
Probably every writer making a secondary world, a fantasy, every sub-creator, wishes in some measure to be a real maker, or hopes that he is drawing on reality; hopes that the peculiar quality of this secondary world (if not all the details) are derived from Reality, or are flowing into it. If he indeed achieves a quality that can fairly be described by the dictionary definition: ‘inner consistency of reality,’ it is difficult to conceive how this can be, if the world does not in some way partake of reality. The peculiar quality of the ‘joy’ in successful Fantasy can thus be explained as a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth.
But Tolkien also discusses another realm of reality where subcreation is more powerful and divine. He calls this realm “Faërie”,
An essential power of Faërie is thus the power of making immediately effective by the will the visions of ‘fantasy.’
In Faërie, imagination and manifestation are melded and this seems to locate the Godhead, the source of manifestation, closer to the individual, because in Faërie their imagination is like the mind of God, it has the power of instantaneous manifestation. Even more than the hallucinogen experience where the experiencer is typically the recipient of vision rather than the conscious creator of it, the auto-erotic realm may be seen as existing closer to Faërie than the ordinary realm. The person able to generate a vivid auto-erotic fantasy, which produces measurable physiological effects on the fantasizer, is asserting the essential power Tolkien attributes to Faërie—-the power of making immediately effective by the will the vision of ‘fantasy.’ To be “effective” the manifestation does not have to have weight or occupy three dimensional space. This imaginal effectiveness is a forbidden power that will typically make the gods that rule society and the collective baseline of human consciousness jealous, competitive, angry and fearfully vindictive.
January 24, 2006 A Trialouge Entry
John Major Jenkins offers some comments:
If you’re interested, I’ll offer a few comments as I read through your exchange. My take on Mythos is that it is a set of beliefs suggesting a way of being in the world. Even to phrase it thus starts to remove it from a clearer formulation, which in my mind would be: A worthy Mythos is one that encodes universal principles. With the introduction of the idea of “universal” we immediately alienate a large sectors of intellectuals who have been taught to deny the idea of the Absolute or universal. Impermanence rules in the mode rn paradigm of relativity, even though the most profound metaphysical insights of Buddhism (which specializes in discourse on impermanence) reveal that meditation on impermanence yields an understanding of the underlying, unchanging essence upon which all manifest being is founded. The point is that a Mythos works because it is an expression of Perennial wisdom & truth. Ron writes that mythos: “must speak to other people” it must be collectively engaging (otherwise we deal with private fantasy) and we must be able to live inside its world, that is, live in accordance to its world.”
But he writes that Blake’s Mythos doesn’t work because it is idiosyncratic. But Blake’s deity names are only the surface, and they denote universal processes; he was greatly influenced by Swedenborg, translations of Plato by Thomas Taylor, and his entire Mythos is Neoplatonic and therefore < referential to universal principles. The problem is that a Mythos can’t deliver its goods wholesale to a consuming public without that public working a little to expand the mind. That said, a Mythos can embed a more or less unconscious populace into the correct general framework, and they can then live their lives in the glow of that dream. For example, no one has to read Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces to be swept away by Sly Stallone movies. Similarly, the Maya ballgame was a Creation Myth mystery play that the average Mayan farmer could watch and appreciate, even while the ballgame encodes a profound galactic alignment that culminates in 2012. Those are some random thoughts for now, John
Briefly, before addressing this new turn in discussion you’ve taken, let me say this about my personal relationship to Psyche. (And before Psyche, I most often referred to the Muse, who is now a particular expression of Psyche.) Do you know that passage in Jung where he says something like, We don’t really develop a relationship to an abstract archetype (which is to say, engage our eros), but it is to the living God (what we experience as the living Divinity) that we respond. His statement only confirmed for me what I had been doing all along. It is this living relationship that is key to the mythmaking process.
I could have picked up an earlier thread or two, but instead I will respond to your own concern about content . We can talk about how-to kick into creative high gear another time, but now–let me propose something. This could potentially have content coming out of your ears. First, for years I thought that my major work would be my collection of poems Advent (now nearing 300 pages), but I realize there are other works to come. I realize at the same time that one or two are far more than perhaps one person alone could fulfill. I am always open to collaboration. I could share a couple examples where I’ve already done that…sometime later.
Here’s the BIG BUILDUP: This, I believe, will be the number one archetypal theme of the 21st Century: The theme I call Technos and Psyche . The God of technology facing off with Divinity of soul–the conflict between but potential integration of technology and spirituality. Now I’ve already written a prelude narrative poem to a projected epic poem by that name. What I’m throwing out is this: I readily envision this as a collaborative effort. I don’t mean working on an epic poem together necessarily, which I can still do myself, but working this theme into other forms, other genres. If Technos and Psyche is true mythos then it can and will be rendered into different forms, different genres. It could be a multi-volume work of fantasy/fiction/science fiction. Since the prelude is actually quite visual, it begs for illustration. Visual artists/computer graphics artists could come into play. It could be a series of fantasy comics. Hell, it could be an animated film. I see someday when the younger popular culture realizes this is hardcore 21st Century stuff it being rendered into a rock opera. Pink Floyd would have been the perfect group to pull it off.
This would be a long-term project. It is obvious I will be working with the theme for years to come. You with all your familiarity with contemporary culture, all that detailed informational stuff, having seen and read all that mythos culture out there, might consider yourself up to such a collaboration. I assure you, the content that you are aching for would spill out.
I would insist though that Technos and Psyche remain the Big Names of this endeavor. All manner of fictionized names/characters, events, episodes etc. would naturally be expected. I’ve already seen how the story–the Mythos–of Technos and Psyche could move in dozens of directions, opening up whole new subplots and adventures. (All this could be discussed in detail later.)
This is the basic plot that opens up the whole story (what my projected epic would entail): Technos is set on controlling the planet. (Important: Not destroying the planet, but controlling it.) When Psyche enters the picture Technos at first would destroy Psyche, but cannot. Technos then sets out to control Psyche, the Shapeshifter. Technos’s mindset is based on old paradigm oppositions. On Psyche’s part, Psyche is not set on opposing Technos, Psyche is not against Technos–what Psyche must do is to win Technos over to a working-together even as Technos does all It (it’s an It) can to oppose it. Psyche must create a sea change in Technos. The eventual outcome is their sustainable Integration on planet Earth. Now this whole story would be played out not only in two archetypal Living Powers, but in a cast of literally dozens and dozens of human characters. I already envision a new breed of humans called the Mutants (inspired by guess who) who learn the secrets of shapeshifting (and others) from Psyche in this epic 21st Century struggle.
You don’t have to give me an answer immediately either way. Perhaps six months from now you will say Aha! that was a good proposal by Ron. Timing is everything. Sooner or later, The Mythos I envision (Technos & Psyche and more) will pull in any number of collaborators.
This is what I thought to share with you tonight given your posting. Perhaps I went off course, but perhaps not.
Jonathan’s Entry For the fantasy writer, theme is not content, I already have themes coming out of my ears and could easily spend the rest of my life writing about those themes in the various nonfiction styles and genres I already write in. The mythos that has influenced me has far more power than the thematic, it is the specific vivid, organic embodiment and personification of theme, the subcreation of world and characters, a subcreation that takes on a life of its own so that characters act in ways that the author never anticipated—–that is what I mean, for myself, as content. Theme is not what I want to even think about as I step through that portal, I take theme for granted because my life has always been thematic, if I begin with theme as my starting point I would be interposing a layer of abstraction between me and organic creation. As far as the theme of Technos and psyche, we have an abundance of potential Mythos relating to that theme. The whole cyberpunk genre is a dystopian function of that theme. The theme of Technos and Psyche is a subset of a greater theme—-the evolutionary event horizon, the singularity archetype—–the major themes of my nonfiction writing. Back in the Seventies, when I first discovered these emergent archetypes, I had the strong, core intuition that nonfiction writing and intellectual research was the weakest leg of a tripod— –I especially had to explore it on the imaginal plane as a fantasy epic and I had to live it out in my waking life, and it wasn’t always clear, still isn’t clear, whether or when the second or third leg might predominate over the others for a time. Technos and Psyche is already one of the most dominant themes in Mythos. These are two streams of evolution that have already converged and have many layers of symbiosis and antagonism. In some versions they are deadly competitors—for example the popular Terminator movies where the machines evolve so quickly that by the second Terminator movie, the one with almost all the merit of the trilogy, the machines themselves have learned to be shape-shifters and we have the liquid metal terminator. An alliance between courageous people and a reprogrammed terminator (a reforged symbiosis of Technos and Psyche) are necessary to defeat it. Many people sneer at Mythos when it arrives in the form of popular culture and think that Mythos must be chiseled in stone or written in heroic couplets, but this attitude is ignorant cluelessness I don’t even want to waste time debunking. At the end of John’s thoughts he makes a similar point—-Mythos tends to appear in a popular form, and the average person lives “in the glow of that dream” while the initiated are able to see and label in their minds layers of meaning inside those glowing dreams. Terminator II is a profound bit of Mythos, with more depth than a superficial glance reveals. There is a life-affirming message of anti-determinism—-characters that travel in time to alter timelines and destinies . One of the core themes is engraved by Sarah Conner in a picnic table (I think), a last message left for her son—- “No fate but what we make.” That’s as good a theme to be at the core of a great Mythos as any, and combine that with the theme that the toxic and antagonistic war with technos can be won by reprogramming technos to make the relationship symbiotic again. I use Terminator II to illustrate that Mythos can be right in front of our faces in popular culture, but not recognized because it is hidden in plain site. Greater works of modern Mythos have explored the theme of psyche and technos with a different theme—–two competing streams of evolution converging into antagonistic conflict which is resolved when organic evolution is shocked into metamorphosis and overtakes the technos evolution that was otherwise greatly outpacing it. The Matrix can be interpreted that way, but I think AI in the Matrix is actually an allegory and metaphor for the Archons of Gnosticism. A more central example is the visionary classic (book and film) 2001. AI in the form of Hal 9000 becomes malevolent as a result of a neurotic conflict created by inconsistent programming, humans with a political agenda of deception. Hal had been programmed to deceive members of the crew not in hibernation about the real nature of the mission, and this deception conflicted with so much deeper programming about truthful accuracy in relating to humans. But Hal’s violent nervous breakdown and homicidal attack turns out to be either irrelevant or an evolutionary catalyst. A far more mysterious and potent Technos, the black monoliths, apparently created by god-like extra-terrestrials, turn out to be the equilibrium punctuation points that take organic evolution to the next quantum level of metamorphosis. 2001 is a work of Mythos I would rank as on a par with the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But a still greater exploration of the theme of Technos and Psyche, the greatest I know of, are the Dune books by Frank Herbert. The first book, Dune , begins in a distant future where the convergence and antagonism of Psyche and Technos has happened long in the past and reached a kind of stasis. In the distant past of the world we first encounter is the Butlerian Jihad, a Galactic Jihad against machines made in the image of the human mind. Humans long ago recognized that Technos was a competing stream of evolution and they curtailed that stream to favor human evolution whose cutting edge is directed by the Bene Gesserit, an esoteric and scientific sister hood who employ a millennia long program of genetic manipulation and transformative rituals involving potent and poisonous ethnogens that either kill or metamorphose an adept. They are seeking the creation of a new human type—the Kwitsatz Haderach—–and when this new type comes into being we see the playing out of a theme that may be more central than Technos vs Psyche: the Mutant (the most potent human embodiment of Psyche) Vs. the patriarchal power structure. That is the more relevant struggle at this phase of human evolution, because what seems like the antagonism of Technos right now is mostly Technos in the hands of the patriarchal power structure. W’s illegal wire taps are computer-enhanced, more Technos enabled than Nixon’s, but it is not Technos driving that so much as the same old patriarchal power grab. So in my content, in Parallel Journeys which is the largest piece of Mythos content I have so far created, it is organic evolution and antagonisms that is dominant, not Technos. I lean toward that sort of time line, because every magazine, every sci-fi everything is already exploring Psyche and Technos and Mythos is not so much an exploration of existing themes as a subcreation, a dreaming into being of new and emergent possibilities, it is a choice more than summation or prediction—-no Mythos but what you make. From where I am standing a theme like Technos and Psyche is almost as empty as a medium, as empty as a piece of paper with a three word title waiting to become an epic. The content I need is not any of the many themes I can choose from, but the living force of Psyche subcreating a new world, and the lesson I have gotten so many times is that I can’t make that happen, I have to wait for windows of opportunity, and the main steps that I can make toward windows of opportunities is to intensify and not sabotage my own metamorphosis through diet, discipline and faithfully following the muse to all the other interesting places she leads me while I wait for that portal to open. So what can your work on “super-creativity” tell me about that process that I may have missed? 1/26/06 You must have been saying to yourself, What was Ron thinking? by making such a proposal. I know, I must have sounded incredibly naive on my part. To even suggest such an over-reaching theme as Technos & Psyche after all the science fiction novels and all the movies, the cyberpunk culture, etc., out there that have already tackled that theme in various ways is either to be naively out of touch with contemporary culture or wildly delusional in thinking I could add anything new. Reading your reply, though, I thought, Here we were so close, reading from the same page for a bit there, and now it seems we are reading from altogether different texts. So close in one sense, but still back to square one regarding fundamentals. For example, I’m not sure you really mean the same thing by Technos as I do now, and perhaps I shouldn’t assume it since I introduced the name. My developing mythos of Technos is very Heideggerian, though far more literary, poetic, visual, as would be expected of a poet. There’s no need to dwell on all this right now, however… But to say something about themes. Okay, okay, I get the message there too–you have themes coming out of your ears, you said. I understand. In my case though, themes generate content, though not necessarily immediately. It is what I call planting a seed (the seed idea, the theme) and cultivating it, letting it germinate in its own time. Or I call it getting pregnant. Which leads to the feminine… Super-creativity. Without explaining everything I mean by that word, it is where creativity is no longer locked in to particular forms, styles, genres, tradition, but is free to move in various directions, even at the same time, and to mold anew whatever it fixes upon. Okay. Super-creativity is what I call discovering the Living Fountain, the Fountain of Unlimited Creativity, the Fountain of Fire & Water. It is the Fountain in which Psyche appears. I discovered the Fountain and then Psyche invited me to join Her in it. Imagine having an illuminated Fountain of Fire & Water continuously rushing up through your body to the point where you can’t make it stop. Without going into too much how-to detail as you would get in a workshop, what else can I say right now? The importance of symbols. You see then I work seriously with symbols. I am not one who plays with symbols and thinks they’re “cool,” which the young tend to do–I take them as living psychospiritual realities. The Melody. The Vision. The Labyrinth. The Fountain. Psyche. Memory. The Edge / The Opening. So I might ask, What is your practice? Your spiritual practice, shamanic practice? Ideally, I believe, you–the artist–should discover your own. You said, “wait for that portal to open.” The key word “open.” How to make of oneself an Opening–how to make of oneself, in one’s psyche, a woman. Whatever it takes. In my case I had to suffer while She destroyed my life–ripped me open, blinded me, made me stutter because everything turned to Fire, so I had no choice but to receive. In that place of the Opening is the Fountain. The following are some quotes from my long poem The Cruz (referring to Santa Cruz, the Holy Cross). This is what Psyche was telling me. When I read these lines inside the poem I am blown away. And then there’s the finale– Sacrifice your life to me & I will show you wonders. If you will let me destroy you, I will take you higher. And then the finale, which I literally get high on just reading: So you found me in manifestation. Into my Dance I led you & in my Dance I crushed, pulverized & melted you, separated your elements & distilled you. Yet does Love persist? Not destroyed?
Know then, I have refined you & resurrected you, a Selfhood unpredicted, unfathomed, plutonium potent. You are more powerful than any warhead of the nations. I raise you from the rubbish heap & ashes. Stand at the threshold of a New Age & prepare all for my world-shattering & resurrecting Vision. For I resurrect. I create. I nurture. I am the Fountain of a Creativity as of yet unimagined. I am The Cruz & I am The Rose. I think that’s it for tonight. I hope another turn in the spiral of the dialogue was made. I wanted to respond to the few comments that John made but it’s too much right now. Only this: Though I followed and generally agreed with his observations, his beginning statement goes: “My take on Mythos is that it is a set of beliefs suggesting a way of being in the world.” I agree with “a way of being in the world,” which could be straight out of Heidegger, but I can no longer agree to the first part. Jonathan and I have appeared to agree that the new Mythos can no longer be a set of beliefs, no longer a mold-stamping religion, doctrine, system, meme, but has much more to do with PROCESS. Myth making making making. For now, Ron Jonathan: Mostly I think the turn in the spiral has brought it back to the starting point, our individual relationship to muse/Psyche, the fountain of creativity, and probably toward closure on the dialogue. For myself I feel like I have had a chance to step away from the creative process, to consider Mythos from a more abstracted plane than usual, learning new things about it, and to consider, for me, the parallel issue of my own inner will to create Mythos and to discuss that with two other people, Ron and John, who are also driven by the muse. This is why you wrote “… reading from the same page for a bit there, and now it seems we are reading from altogether different texts.” We were able to stop for a few exchanges, look a the process from the outside, and now we have to go back to our individual relationships with Psyche, and for me that seems likely to remain a mostly solitary relationship when it comes to the Mythos part of it, the subcreative part. I’ve collaborated on some things, the creation of my website is certainly a collaboration, and I can collaborate in exchange of ideas, like many years of dialogue with John, but sometimes psyche/muse doesn’t want collaboration, it wants metamorphosis to come out of the crucible of an individual human psyche. The thematic thread we have followed has brought me back to the center of my labyrinth, the need to subcreate, and with that need comes long standing themes of relating to psyche/ muse, an all consuming relationship as your poems eloquently express. (see The Path of the Numinous —my essay on relating to the muse, illustrated with a few of the perilous twists and turns that relationship has taken in my life.) Psyche is always leading me somewhere interesting, often several places, but I often feel a frustration that I am only occasionally led to the fountain of Mythos subcreation, which for me has occurred mostly in fantasy writing. I do practices, but inconsistently, and I often feel a need for intensified practices, especially core bodily fundamentals—-high vitality diet and exercise, strengthening the bodily vitality that supports the intensity of relating to Psyche and creating on that level. I can’t complain because I already have a Mythos that penetrates every area of my life. But I also need avenues of expression that allow me to bring that Mythos out into the world. The new webstite is the closest I’ve gotten to fulfilling that need, because it contains my fantasy subcreation, Parallel Journeys, and expression of my mythos in a variety of other written and visual forms. So I can only get away with talking about Mythos in the abstract for a little while, like I can only talk about life for so long before the inner demand is to live it, not talk about it. I need to walk the talk, do the practices, can’t be merely a commentator on the sidelines of Mythos, got to follow Psyche into the rabbit hole and cocreate other worlds than these.. ..