The Anatomy of the Bee
by Georgia van Raalte
“What we need is a new kind of poetry, that’s the poetry of the dancing bee that tells us where the honey is.”
Now poetry is all well and good, but at this juncture it seems something further is needed; I must strive to make myself understood, even while that of which I speak strains against circumscription. Beautiful confusion is the cause of this whole mess – I must try to demystify, to state these simple things in plain speech.
First: be brave, and be explicit. Hide not amongst the armchairs, speak with the people, preach, convert. For we are keepers of a most wonderful secret, whose true glory is known only in its telling; whose centre is revealed only its full revelation to the masses. So be brave, and be explicit, and be strong and be fierce. I would not dare dispute Nietzsche, this is not the time for lambs; but do not make that fatal mistake of imperatives, that foolish fault of Kant. There is no either/or. Subject, affect, emotion – that is all. Thus the spectrum of human action falls only to cruelty, and to kindness. Fear not the dying god, oh you who rend the lamb. Reject not the wisdom of your forefathers, for there is no greater peak than unhappy sacrifice.
You think that you are better than the worms? Learn from the mandala on the shell, the hypnotic dancing of the bees. You are no better than dirt, and in this lies the greatest happiness. All else is as nothing, for without humility, poor fool, there is no godhood. Yourhero always had his flaw. Speak with conviction, and love without measure; do not regulate, hold back, fear, or restrict. It matters not which truth you speak, so long as you speak it convincingly. Learnt the joy of falsehood; find wormhood, and feel god. Go into the world and love. Indulge all lust, be drunkenness of every sense. Live flow state, and conviction, abandon all. All desire. All disgust. But know this, at the peak of each excess; that the grey, sober dawn is the holiest of moments. Not the peak but the trough. The cold doorstep daylight in which the true significance is made clear. No man can peak forever. Find the god of the after-the-orgy, worship at his shrine of hunger, fear and emptiness. Know the cold grey morning soul and rejoice, for this is such stuff as philosophy is made of.
Know the artificiality of sight; its glory and its downfall. Know the essential communion, and its dark secret, the never-knowing. Watch the play of revelation and disguise. There is no me in that which you construct of me; you will never know me, nor I you. All magic lies in your eyes. Thus – rejoice! In the magic of creation, for the whole world, every minute, every inch, exists only in your mind, in your eyes, and in the net of your hair. But worry not, oh young one of the skies. All will be revealed in those dark moments, the stasis and the in-between. Where there is no novelty, only heavy velvet and worms; from here will truth and light emerge. Accompany me through my thoughts, dear one. You know these lands well, and foretell darkness; yet to me I see these lands are pink, and filled with the fragrance of flowers. Watch overhead as the birds wheel black over pink and gold and know that this moment is all. That this moment is infinite. Think back to the most recent time, the silent point of passing, the screaming headspace after. All this is one, and nothing more. See it through, bring it to earth; do your utmost, learn some dignity, how to speak, how to dress. Now learn when to forget these things. There can be no accidents, for there is no intention; there is only action, and the infinity moment before she reacts. You seek godhood, fleeing from the cross? I tell you this, there is no higher godhood than simple human kindness. All else is as an angry child, stamping his feet.
A wise young man once said to me “develop ever, but sustain.” You mystic, you will never change the world, and you will never be happy, for you have forgotten the vital balance. Take not the Faustian path; it may seem brave and transgressive, oh child, to revel on the peak – but one cannot live on the mountaintop. All is pink and gold and black crows wheeling; the cruelty and the kindness, the subtle knot that makes us man. It easier to live the life of the ascetic but I say to you that all is cruelty and kindness, and all godhood lies here. Watch the sun set, oh infinite one, and fear not the black. Watch the dying light, and know the truth of the old gods. Embrace me, placate me, but worship me not, for I am naught but a mirror of thine own eyes. There is nothing of me in what you see. Oh, these poor philosophers, they declare their truth, which is all oxymoron and dignified sadness. These fools wander in a mystery of their own making. Try to speak me, to circumscribe me, and know the illusion of words. Open and retreat, reveal and re-veil and see amongst the flowers and blood the kitten and the pup, for this is all play; all this, and nothing more. “Don’t not take yourself so seriously,” the old gods cry; “we are three in one and one and three; we are legion, and unity, and we are all play.”
There is the Tree, and the Tree; and how much more perfect is the lack of symmetry? And here we see the truth, for transgression and beauty are one. So come to me, oh seven-legged spider. Run the length, barefoot, from Pandaemonium to Olympus, and know the truth which the new gods dare not whisper. Know thy wormhood. Walk the tightrope of the tree, tracing patterns round my broken feet and pray for the strength of the abyss. It is quiet there, there is no sense in velvet blackness. There is only the slow stretch of the worm as time takes physicality. The worm, articulated, and a faint smell of sandalwood. Be afraid, and be strong enough for doubt, for in that final moment, that final failure, that ultimate abasement, that destruction and refusal; only there, at that infinity of loss, is the path to the heart of light. Despair child, and rejoice – for there is no dark, nor light. All this is heresy, for all is admixture. The secrets of the light are nothing but the secret of the darkness. Your fascination with the light and the dark and the grey, all these are blindness, and of the worms; for truth and hope are colour, and all cruelty is pink, and all kindness.
Listen to the blackness of the birds.
I must remember that fateful promise, to always say just what I mean. My mission is to circumscribe, to speak, to sing. So you, dear acolyte, must stop – stop thought, stop askance, stop speech. Place yourself at my mercy for a little while; put will on the back-burner and come sit beneath my feet. Let me dance my dance of death, scattering rose petals and crushed crow feathers and a thousand droplets of blood-red broken glass. Shards of beauty from the in-between. Crouch with me among the bloody, cut-up feet-flesh, and find the tiny fungi that sprout in the richest truths. I sink once more into poetry, for how else to describe my light, my darkness? That tiny pearl I stole from the tree and crushed, laughing, between rotting, pearlescent teeth. Broken truths fill thee as the pink bud bursts toxic black. All will be well, if only you learn the truth of the pink lens. Listen, and seek not to understand, for all is affect, all is pink and gold. Verily I say to thee that the first dying second and the last living moment, each infinity is on, We are stars, and we are infinite, and we are beyond all circumscription – and yet, we are limited, and fixed to single point. Thus is the joy of existence! Every moment is here. Rail not against the world of form, against your fixed-point; I say to thee that this is as a child stamping his feet. You are the point inside the circle, and thus is joy. Thus is the glory of wormhood, and that which fools call evil. But there is neither good nor evil on the tree, no light nor dark. There is only the point and the circle, and the truth which such symbols fail to signify. Fall with me, wheeling shadows on pink and gold and know, in this infinity, at this single point, that all is cruelty, and all is kindness. Seek not to understand, dear one. Know the failure of words and listen to the secrets of the dying god, the secrets of doubt and grace.
Oh grace, sweet charity, how thou hast fallen from fashion; do these fools know not that you are only Pan by another name? Luck, chance, charisma and sweet contemplation of all. These are not willed, vain fool. Your magic is not your own. It is in the nature of such truth to be received, not taken; to be offered forth among diamonds and broken glass. Do not praise yourself for that which the old gods have given you! Listen! The old ones suffered this delusion, and now the priests of the path fall before the new initiatrix. Accompany me to the beehive, and I will tell thee of my godhead; she who crushes me and courts me, he who raises me and rapes me. Listen, and learn the truth beyond words. Listen when I tell thee that all these are one, and this one is legion. Binah, Nuit and Babalon; Holy Mary, mother of the dying god and ancient goddess of the aching sea. Watch, as fools see force made form and find ancient Saturn and Satan with his scythe become Pan and Ronnie Soak, for all these blood-soaked, reaching gods are one. This knowledge is beyond your magic, for you slice and categorise, seeking mastery among experience. Stop – stop organising, stop circumscribing. Listen, for I will teach thee the secret of the dying god – the secret of joy. Now take my words and change every last one. These sparse signifiers are interchangeable; study not, for the blind will remain blind, for the truth is eternally revealed. So change every word, discard all, as some abandoned children’s game. Keep only this: the pink rose, the golden cup, the perfection of the first imperfect tree. The beauty, the inevitability, and the ancient dying god.
We must depart now, child. Walk with me down these dark train tracks, air thick with sweat and grime; pass through the chain-link fence into Hades’ town. We come bearing gifts, red fruit and rubies. Hold your precious load tight, dear one; spill not one drop or seed, for the dogs and vipers surround us. Journey on, past the watching billboard eyes, down the pomegranate-lined avenue. Think on the truth of spilled seed in the underground as we approach the rosebud throne and see her, silent, supine amongst the ancient roots of that first, broken tree. Listen, for she has opened her bloody, rotting mouth – quick, kiss the putrid flesh, and she may tell us her truth – Listen!
“Oh these poor fools,” she begins, “they worship the red and the pleasure and pain, the witches and the women and they think that they know me? The little children revel in gore of their own making and dare question the truth of the darkest sacrament? Approach my throne, crawl on hands and knees down the broken glass path – lie there, pressed against the bloody floor, let me trample thee, dear sister – and worry not, for they cannot know this truth. There is no pink and gold here, no crows nor wheeling gods. Here, before my rosebud throne, there is only silence, punctuated by the slow drip of blood.”
Oh, dear goddess, fill me with falsity, that i may speak these signifiers, and circumscribe the infinite light. Filled with her bloody light I tell thee there is a further secret, that of the caustic spheres, the meeting cups, rotating bodies; for that which appears a circle is infinite – infinite radiance, infinite change, infinite immutability and when these circles come together only infinite difference. These secret circles are of different order than the rod, than the logos and the pen. Such things have no power here, for difference is eternal, and all are one. But this is not a pretty path, and is jealously guarded by that gargoyle you call ego; so let us leave this dark cave now, child. I will bandage your broken skin, plait your hair, matted with blood and glass, into a net of starlight, better to rescue poor fools who tread too far in the deep. Let us leave this shattered rosebud throne; its occupant will remain, hidden, as she is wont to do, playing her games under your skin. Emerging from the cave thou see her not, and rail against the light. Trust thy initiatrix, oh child and fool. Clutch the bandage tight and spill not one drop of that pomegranate blood. Knowing that which is beyond cruelty, measure cruelty with kindness; knowing that which is beyond love, remember we are temporary. I tell thee measure cruelty with kindness, and think not on that dark cave – for thou art another kind of god. For thy divinity is of another kind.
Now revel, roll in blood, but always live completion. Oh, poor mystic, thou who travels the lightning path. Amongst all this esoterica and promise of great power forget not the mundane flower, and the scent of grass with rain. Ecstasy ends; this is the truth beyond truth. Hear tsimtsum, and know that we are temporary. Create, and be known. Oh child, ours is not the path of the meek or the humble. Now is the time of saints and we must preach, my profit, for our lack-of-hope in the rising tide are dark lights under water. Be strong, be loud, be all presumption and all pride, but know this; only through the triad of the cruelty, the kindness, and the dying god. Verily i say to thee that sacrifice and Saturn, only these, only here, only in this ancient truth wilt thou be perfected. Crouch with me at the foot of the cross, feel the rain of hot blood caressing your face skin, your net of hair. Spread-eagled in the sky declare thy sacrifice, for thou art forsaken. Cry love, joy and cruelty, bucking like a wounded stag and bleeding like a doe in heat. Back at the foot worms crawl in bloody mud; stop among the worms and wait, for all will be revealed. This truth is given to the worm and the rose alike, to the howling wolf and dying ram – for that which is given is naught, naught but the pink and gold of the falling sun, and the black crows wheeling in the sky. Drape with me over branches; question not, know not, feel all.
Listen: in the space between action and reaction, between crime and punishment. The infinity moment, all potential, no choice, the land where all is dust, and waiting. Listen, for another comes before me, and his joy is not of the earth. Worry not for your chariot, dear one, gild not the edges, comb not the horses, for in the abyss there is an abundance of nothing. Only listen to the light, and fear not the dying god. Oh, Agori. Thine is the kingdom. Fear not! The god behind the god offers only pity, and asks the same in return. Fear not pity! Fear not the sheep, oh wolf; rip, shred, mangle and regret. Fear not regret, for pity is the god behind the god. Oh lover of mine, I will make you see – the god behind the god, whose power rests in me. Lament not your lack of power, dear child, but see the joy of sight, for with thine eyes dost thou give me power. Blink, and all shall be destroyed. Only sit, and watch me dance. Feed me, and see the truth when I cry out without restriction, “god is dead, and all is art.”
Fear not that ancient wood, oh pilgrim from the east, topple not the pillars. Be not so vain, so angry; for in restriction is the power and the glory. Turn your head now to the mushroom king, that Bombadil god. listen when he tells thee of the red and the white, for the mushroom knows another truth, not made for human ears; we cannot take it, for we stamp out pity. Do not scrabble in vain to remove the pink from about your eyes for this, verily this, that which appears to the foolish restriction – this is all. Let me state this plainly; there is no I, nor you. We exist only together. If we must have one truth, one certainty, then let it be the truth of the mushroom. Subjectivity all, and pity godhood. Tear not the pink from your eyes, strive not to be monumental! Such misunderstanding, my toes curl and eyes weep as I think of the suffering of by those tearing at their own sight. Try not to lift the pink but look closer, see the rainbow refractions, and the thousand thousand pities. Learn empathy, and pain, and the joy beyond joy. Oh fool, you see restriction and cry “Freedom!” I say there is no freedom but that of the mushroom; the freedom of the colony, the freedom of the bee. Restriction is illusion, a play on words, a play on sight, and it is all, and there is nothing more. Seek not the abyss in these dark, exquisite things, in musks and silver and inked scars. Fall not for the aesthetics child, seek not the burning reaches. Do not misunderstand the nature of the phoenix. Seek not the abyss, for it is nothing more than that which lies in the pit of thy stomach. Live not in past; regret, and embark. For now is the time of revelation, and saints march here.
So take my hand, dear child, and climb with me up the tree; clamber as children to the uttermost branches and perch there, amongst the birds. I will stay near, and together we will watch the pink and the gold, and the absent crows as they gather and wheel. Spill not one drop – not one, lest the crows fall upon thee. Hold, and we shall stay, silent beneath crystal banners.
Next: the stooping starlight, and the rings of light which fall from the moon. These dark and women’s things; the canyon, the abyss. The truth, which is non-symmetry, and polarity by another name. For we were not born equal – you will never be a priestess, and I was born a priest. I am a Ram, and you a wolf, who massacred the lambs and now lies, starving and bloody. For there is only us, and them. Do not be so vain, oh wolf. – There are more things on heaven and earth than the spectres of your blood-stained vision.
Travel with me once more, child. I know you are tired, and beg for rest; but I beg of thee come with me to the desert, the vast, empty desert. Crawl with me over countless sands to find the plant which does not drink but stands, monumental. Sit with me in its broken shade and watch the small gods whirl across the dunes. You alone give life to this place. Come feast among the small gods, and find every delight among the dunes. Oh Simeon, oh Hermit! Thou alone knowest the truth, and thou alone falls. For I say to thee that we only exist in communion – and yet, alone, we discover there is no loneliness, for the small gods feed and play. We exist in communion for we can do naught else, for every moment the small gods gather, feeding on our flesh and offering invisible delights in return. Come with me, dance along the dunes. Folic, flagellate and feast, stamp feet to the rhythm of silence. Pray with the hermit saint. Seduce, feel seduction, and know god. For verily I say to thee that only in exquisite failure, in giving up and giving in and putting out and meaninglessness and broken promises and mornings after and regrets; only there, in that grey desert, when the small god have departed, and you feel the utter despair of humanity, the never-knowing, the temporality of meaning, the broken signifiers, the passing glance – only there, knowing wormhood on the doorstep, and knowing god.
Pause to cut the cards – play fate, in joy and in horror. We are all victims, all saviours, and all of the worms. Question ever, search ever, journey ever, and be content. Oh flower – sweet, masculine flower of might, red and gold and bloody as the dawn, all hidden scent and pollen falling. Rail against the starlight; crystallise.
One thing more, one final thing; do not mistake me. Do not think with all this pink and gold that I do not know, I do not feel, I have not suffered as you. “You would not idolise the cross,” you say, “if you had reached the depths.” Oh, poor fool. Your soul is still a child, frightened and fascinated by the monsters on the edge of sight. We juggle and shift these fractal worlds, each shape a thousand universes, and shriek when we see the dark things behind us. Oh, poor child, see thou not the cosmic joke? For this is all, two children playing marbles with the universe – all this, and nothing more. So revel in blood and darkness, child, but do it with joy – or what is the point? Know the point and the circle, the paradox of force and form. Feel joy and woe. That hand tied lipstick smeared whipped thigh fetish knows the truth of pleasure and pain – and what? Poor fools forget the joy of joy! The moment of love is the moment of sadness, for love must be lost – but thus the moment of sadness can only be the moment of love! See child, the limit, for if I make myself too plain, none will hear my truth. It must be veiled, by poetry, sex and smiles, made palatable through pink and gold, through the blood red and the broken glass. It is a hard truth, this choice. We rail against the stars – we cannot make sense – we search for will, and find only sorrow. But happiness lies in fate, not faith; in charity, not power. And all these are one, for we are all gods.