On Blood, Brimstone and Balance
by Georgia van Raalte
We are not to impose upon the other; and such a task seems nonsensical, Sisyphan – a misunderstanding of human nature and unpractical to boot unless one understands its true meaning, the second element in this equation. For it is not our task to impose upon the other, but to open him; to prepare him to receive and to give through our own unbounded offering.
It is a project that breaches our utmost constraints; it would be easier to forget our potty-training than it would to revel in vulnerability (such revels which take place inside a game, or contract, are irrelevant to our discussion, for this is not true, an-economical vulnerability). It is a project of invaginization; we must cease striving to become phallic, monumental, all fire and stone, and begin to become as water – both endlessly giving and endlessly cruel – dependant for form upon that which it fills and thus endlessly transformative, endlessly virile. Susceptible to manipulation, to stops and flows; yet indestructible in essence. A new vision of the soul to quench these fiery fools.
We must never forget that this grail or cup into which these elements are poured is an actant, adding motions, creating admixture. This thing we call passivity is a force every bit as strong as action; it is all that we call chaos, for it is resistant to direction and the falsity of circumscription. This then is the gilded cup of civilisation, the womb of the temple whore. It is a force which overspills; a passivity better understood as a flow, as a taking-the-shape-of-the-mould, a strength beyond rigidity; a spreading circle disrupting the line.
We fools in our confusion: we strive to be better than the worms, but then head off in search of wormhood! Inscribing the body with blood and ink and scratching at the soul; listen to that wise old goat de Sade when he declares that sensation, overwhelming sensation, has no moral value. It is not bad to do these things, we know that now – but there is no goodness in them either, not innately. It is in our reaction, our gaze, and our judgement that value is constructed. Thus we worms find startling new conclusions from ancient, corporeal truths. We seek to alter our erotic topography, but we were already infinite.
Now it is true that, for the process of healing to take place, red blood must be spilt. This is the truth of the skull amongst roses, of Binah and Satan her keeper. But this vision, of penetration, and hanging, of menstruation and ropes and renewal – what strange, phallic vision is this? There is only the tides, and an infinite expanse; what does the ocean care for your feeble scourge? For there is something further hiding in this dialogue of blood; these rites which claim to disrupt and subvert – their ghoulish aesthetic comes not by coincidence, for these are the inheritance of the carnival – a tolerated margin of bloody and gore which appears revolutionary, and does nothing more that propagate the current economic order. Oh, listen when I tell thee of tantrism, that great irony of the esoteric, that most liminal of practices which serves only to strengthen the status quo. This is the key to understanding our own vain failing, for the greatest depravity serves only to strengthen social and moral norms.
Denying the sacredness and inviolability of the human body, destroying the skin that separates the self from other, letting blood mingle – these things teach us only the divine falsity of such an endeavour. We learn only that we are fools. But we pursue – the snake restricts around the cosmic egg until it cracks, and angels flood in: a whole ecology of spirits thirsty for images. And we decide, in this world which we have made so clean by washing out all of the dirt and the blood and the pain, that we must find new ways to inflict these upon ourselves. But this power of exteriorization, of release – whether in blood, or in paint, or in screaming – this is nothing more than the priestess naked on the altar, although it is something less. Learn ye that the gaze of the other is the only true source of power. No man exists alone.
Tread the middle path, that most difficult of all things – balance cruelty with kindness, and bloody drunken bareback fights with intimacy, and family. Do not allow this new age to become an age of conformity; learn the lesson of Aquarius, and the joyful paradox of restriction. Such joy! In the balancing of plates, the carefully-filled cup; in the fucking and the fighting, but only in the light of the cold grey dawn. Do not become complacent. We are the last envoys of light, so tarry not in darkness. Do not fetishize the hidden, for it is nothing more than burrowing worms.
Cast Nuit as Kali, and Babalon as Pan, rapacious, rutting goat and whore of whores. We poor fools, we philosophers – we are but children, playing games with glass blocks, each one a universe. But on all sides, just out of our sight, lie those monsters unthinkable, and they are drawn to the glint of stars on glass. Hear me; Nuit is all lust – She stands upon the vain hill of mankind, crushing purpose underfoot. She beckons to woman, demands she confront Her. No man may stand before Nuit, but wo-man. Make not the mistake that that primal divinity can be described within our false economy. Call Her not whore, until thee understand the secret of the temple children. Our goddess has no need of such impotent worship. Know shame: think not that thou art better than the worms. I say unto thee that the whore is not the least of men but the great height of humanity. She is all that which thou canst not imagine.
But remember that, as eternally irreducible as we all are, we will always have one thing in common – that is, the commonality of not knowing what we have in common.
In the monster, whether octopoidal, cthulic or mammalian, we find an escape from this dystopian anthropocene. Tentacle sex never went out of fashion because the monster, repulsive and seductive, breaks the pre-organised territory of desire and pleasure. The monster offers an alien new land yearning erotic colonization. But remember – nature, for humans – we who wish to list and sort, to have control – it is always unnatural, monstrous, for it is infinite and unquantifiable. We are partial beings, our self is all consciousness: thus matter itself represents alterity. We are alien to our own bodies.
And this is what is at stake in that crucial economic act of coital bliss – a demarcation of the self as body, limited by skin; a way of proving to ourselves that we are not caught in some demon’s vat or game. For who could deny at that moment of joy that our minds do inhabit these things we call bodies – that it is not the other’s mind which i cannot grasp, but his skin which keeps it in. We are reconstituted, we reconsider; it is not the mind, the will which is a fortress, but this feeble bag of skin. Witness this moment, the liberation of desire between two entities, utterly unlike. What potential! Potential for growth and change and for a new way of knowing – but potential too for a tolerated release, and a return to normality.
Hear me – that moment of release, that ecstatic, infinite point – that is nothing, if it is not brought back to earth. This is the secret of the Tree – develop ever, but sustain. Slow evolution will trump vicious revolution, every time. So too happiness does not exist in some infinite minute point. At this place lies joy – but what use is that to the starving? Happiness lies in the back-and-forth, in the joy and in the shallows. Only thus can we sustain, and escape the fate of the desert hermit; for no one can abide forever in the light (or rather, he who would must learn the truth that all is grey). Fool of the desert: happiness is all balance.
Arriver la Fin is the motto of my house: consider the end, and arrive laughing.