"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." -- Aristotle
Subject to the status quo politics of late stage capitalism, we find ourselves stranded in the era of The Great Dismal.
Because a small cadre of elitist elements own the means of manufacturing and control of imagery and storyline, it is difficult to envisage the epic drama inherent to our circumstance.
As an example, the fate of the earth's biosphere and its capacity to
sustain human life is being subjected to an unfolding, desperate
campaign--craven as it is noxious--in its intentions, scope, and side
affects, by the elite of an arrogant order to maintain their grip on
privilege and power. By propaganda and coercion, they proceed, with
cult-like conviction, on a course of catastrophic folly involving a race
to secure and exploit the remaining resources of our ecologically taxed
planet (the only planet available to us). If their agendas remain
unchecked, the biosphere will be rendered unviable to our species.
In an era of urban alienation, suburban atomization, corporate state domination of the public realm, and electronic media saturation of the human psyche, in an era when desire is defined by consumer impulsiveness, individual liberty is circumscribed by debt, and freedom monitored by the dehumanizing apparatus of the national security state panopticon, one hears the lament--I don't even know how to go about embodying the truths of my heart. "How do I even begin to glide along the pollen path of my soul? " First ask yourself, how powerfully does the longing live with in you? Does it blaze through your blood? Does it bestow a love of life itself? Does it provide you with a love so potent that it allows you to even love the obstacles in your path? Do you love your adversaries like a Delta bluesman who wails in lamentation about the treachery of a dirty, lowdown betrayer? Notice this: It is the obstacles along your way that have given impetus to inspiration. The antidote is contained in the dragon's venomous bite. Passion's path winds through the monster of the world.
"I feel the beautiful, beating heart of God in the monster of the world." -- Federico Garc√a Lorca
What did you expect--a perpetual glide across eternal pools of bliss while lounging upon some kind of cosmic pool toy? There would only be a tinkling top to such music; it would be devoid of the heartbeat of an earthbound bottom--the vital rhythm section of the monster's heart.
Here at the crossroads of Eternity and the Living Moment, and near the last exit ramp of Empire's End, the roadside attractions have become more than a bit empty and garish i.e., a Cracker Barrel of the bottomless cravings attendant to the marketing of counterfeit desires.
"What we speak becomes the house we live in." -- hafiz
Is it any wonder then, in the U.S., enmeshed as we are in the consumer paradigm of late capitalism, that we exist within a Landscape of Nada that is reflective of an inner Architecture of Nowhere?
Sterile malls and ugly strip malls, big box stores, fast food outlets, convenience stores and agora-devoid subdivisions--these flimsy, banal structures, we have conjured into existence by our hollow, poetry-devoid incantations.
Wasteland within. Wasteland extant. The word and the landscape are one.
So what is the Grail that will restore the dry, sterile landscape to fecundity? And whom does the Grail serve? And where can it be located?
The question pertains both to where and to whom. The who in question is you. And the where is: the living landscape of your stalwart heart. The first step in allowing the wasteland to bloom is a reclamation of empathy and the embrace of imagination.
Or else, all you hold dear will be rendered dust and ash--and find dismal dominion in the indifferent winds of fate.