What is intuition, Mary of Magdala? Soteriology at Yabby Gate:
The story so far:
The vagabond is homeless, disconnected, a refugee from the world of the therapeutically discriminating intellect. Is he unpacking his “stuff”? Is he on the way to realizing that the enemy of a perfect world is the undeconstructed self? Shall we ask him? Are we bored enough by our pallid Nothingness to inhabit with our self-aggrandizing ‘compassion’ another’s tedious wound? Do we have the temerity to apply our triumphant empathy to the capacity to deal with the shame of eating garbage, being constantly afflicted with diarrhoea and having nowhere to do it but in our pants? Are we ready to deal with the stereotypes he has us cast in?
Now read on.
Does this look like a smiley face to you? You’re sadly deluded. The Moon is a piece of rock without legs, and its ‘head’ is all face. If that doesn’t give him away as a shady type, the one eye confirms he is ‘other’, not to be trusted, potentially evil. Of course, as compassionate people, we have long abandoned physiognomy, but our compassion is anchored to the otherness of the ‘other’. Compassion is part of our identity, and the identity of the ‘other’ is as fixed: indigenous people must remain in traditional culture, disinherited and victimized, and disabled people must remain the recipients of our largesse, defined by their disability. To expect otherwise is racist and elitist, disrespectful of their identity.
The Sign of the constellation Taurus in the southern hemisphere is Sagittarius, the sign of charisma and independence. Re-inhabit your subjectivity and respect the ‘other’ in theirs! Nobody’s identity is fixed, at birth or in an analytical, managerial mind. There is no form which is not empty. There is only time, and the dark art of becoming. And the timelessly true subject of the subject, love.
Part The Second
If you want to justify yourself–tidy yourself at the margins–spare me some change, says the vagabond, the loser, the weirdo. Pause for a dialogue in the daylight world of your power to imagine away my exile. But if you can brave it, meet me in the middle of the night, in the chaos of your fears, the world of my power to make you an infantile irrelevance.
Chapter 1. Saiph
Who is God?
These people on the streets and roads of Afghanistan know the folly of disrespecting a man who will kill you instantly with impunity. If one is uneducated in the nature of offence, as I am, and you too, then one is in mortal danger. One must shroud oneself, maintain an attitude of deference and submit to any indignity. Is it wise to leave questions about God to the Imam to decide? No, it is stupid to voice an opinion. And that is why I will be long gone from the shelter of this moai by dawn. The power of Polynesians is immense, and under the gaze of their ancestors existence itself is an impertinence. Saiph has the laughter which incites a man to be bigger than his grandfather. It is very, very dangerous.
Chapter 2. Butch
Who are you?
Why do I sing “O Sole Mio” when all the beautiful people at this beach have their earplugs in? Because this is a dream, and singing a Neapolitan song gives me an aesthetic reason to be dressed in rags. My people forgive my problem with the bottle, and the years I wasted reading the history of the world, because I entertain the tourists. They tell me a woman’s beauty is not so much degraded by wolf-whistles in Italia these days. You can wear these revealing clothes. Is it true? A woman’s beauty in Pukapuka is the secret which keeps us alive. You will all leave and take your secrets with you, and here another cyclone will come.
Chapter 3. Avior
What is life?
You boys are trouble, no? Hahaha! No, just having fun, I know. That’s all I’ve got, and I don’t know when I’ll have more, but you’re welcome! A cricket team, eh? We play baseball where I am from, but last year I was in India. There it is big, I know. Howzat! Hahaha! The world is just a big game of cricket, no? Tampering with the ball! Hahaha! Go over there to vomit, man! Hahaha!
Chapter 4. Regulus
What is death?
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” When will the Holocaust be forgotten? When will the Twin Towers be forgotten? For ever and ever. Now get out with me and witness the moment. I am pausing the meter, see?
That you will never see again. The star is the Archangel Raphael. I thought it was him when you started raving about death. Why do you want to talk about death? Is that my “stuff”? No. “I found more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, whose heart is a snare and whose hands are like prison chains.” That’s mine. “Eh quoi! n’est-ce donc que cela? La toile était levée et j’attendais encore.”
“Finally, I got home. It was tantamount to harassment.”
“Well, at least you got to see the Archangel Raphael”
“And you might refrain from turning our Christmas party into a conversation about death?”
What just happened? It will keep university-educated top-down theorists ranting for four years, but the different ways in which resistance to meritocracy, globalisation and political correctness is evolving across the globe feels like a Peasants’ Revolt. Horror of horrors! The representatives of the deplorable, ignorant, racist, sexist, violent, unemployable rednecks have the controls!
But kids, slow down here! The voices now reaching a crescendo to match yours have been audible for years, and you have ignored them. Why? Why have you not seen (until now) that the structures and systems within which you struggle and prosper are a canon of righteousness and entitlement which is not inclusive at all, but exploitative and repressive, to a large percentage of the people you only know from what you’ve read and been taught?
Whether you call them peasants, or the working-class, bogans, suburbanites or deplorables, they only differ from you in not being practised in systematic analysis. They just know what they know. They’re only saying to you that they feel secure in the world you are taking away from them, the world in which they were productive and self-sufficient, and of distinct genders with community identities. The world they have faith in has lost its power, and that feels self-evidently wrong. Isn’t that how you also feel right now?
The Full Moon of November is always in one of the agrarian constellations of the Ram and the Bull. As Spring turns to Summer it descends to Full: it is lowly relative to the burgeoning midday Sun, as the emotions are secondary to the organisation of the enormous amount of work to be done. On the other hand, from the Northern Hemisphere the midday Sun appears low and the Moon high amongst the bales laid up for Winter. These are signs readily recognized by the bottom-up thinker.
The peasant, contrary to the ignorant, subservient boor caricatured in the stereotypical ‘silent majority’, has actually taken the first step towards enlightenment: he has aligned himself with the will of God, and is at the interface between individual truth and the mystery of the Holy Spirit. In history, he is the agrarian progenitor of civilization. He has both an intimate understanding of the scheme of things, and a point of view. Primal humanity, as an historical moment or stage in individual maturation, has an inherited view and a language with which to exchange and explore it. The peasant, in the constellation of the primal sign, is on the verge of adopting a view of his own.
Some peasants share the belief, rejected by science, that Supermoons, when Full coincides with Perigee, cause earthquakes. What possible basis could there be for connecting the New Zealand earthquake of Monday morning at longitude 173.02 with this?
On the same day, a new father emerges from a maternity hospital in Argentina for a cigarette. He tries to describe to himself the sensation of holding his new-born. He thinks he should feel different, that now everything has changed.
He does not believe in God, but in the ward it was as though a new spirit had arrived, and yet he could almost feel that the spirit of his child was made out of his and his wife’s in more than a physical way, that the baby had a past made out of the lives of its parents. Strange thoughts, especially when he turns them towards his own parents. He drops the butt of his cigarette and turns to go back in, thinking that he should return to work soon. He is aware of the immensity of his wife’s accomplishment, but for the new father, there are two more ephedrine deliveries due later in the afternoon.
All of a sudden, he becomes vividly aware of his surroundings in a weird way. The pavement beneath his shoes is more than naturally solid, and is curving away from him. The trees down the lane are standing at different angles to the ground. The clouds are still and the world is turning. The city around the hospital is droning and shuddering. It seems to have its own life, but in this strange moment it is an organism with a corpuscular traffic of drivers all like him, made out of their parents.
The world seems immense and small at the same time; empty of things, it is a corpuscular network of cities made out of the movements of people in moments like his, made like him out of their parents, their needs, their appointments. What time was the baby born? Is it a boy or a girl? Wow. This is like a dream.
On the same meridian around the other side of the world, or in the Underworld of the Argentinian–“Where does the Sun go when it goes down?”–the Moon is at transit over the Swan River.
I clasp you in my arms, boy of my youth. I know you would in this moment spill your last drop of blood for whom you love and what you believe in, if you but had the courage to be what you are…a peasant.
The reader will remember that the last memory to be erased by the Lethe—the Orion Arm of the Milky Way—is of the dark beauty Saiph, hoisting her dress to urinate on the bank. This month, the Moon learns more about her as he enters her Gate. A mass demonstration will be staged in Austin, Texas at 14:30 on Wednesday, to protest about women being treated like peasants. A delegation from the Australian Lock The Gate Alliance and the Northern Rivers Hate Out Of My Hills hippie divorcees community will attend. Thousands of T-Shirts are being distributed printed with this image.
On the same meridian, directly below—on Earth as it is in Heaven, as they say—lies the mighty Godavari River at Yanam in Andhra Pradesh. Peasants have been around a long time.
On the bank, a short distance from both a bridge and a ferry uniting north and south, stands a lingam flanked by two sacred elephants. Is this just coincidence? “The union of lingam and yoni represents the “indivisible two-in-oneness of male and female, the passive space and active time from which all life originates”. “…According to Vivekananda, the explanation of the Shalagrama-Shila as a phallic emblem was an imaginary invention. Vivekananda argued that the explanation of the Shiva-Linga as a phallic emblem was brought forward by the most thoughtless, and was forthcoming in India in her most degraded times, those of the downfall of Buddhism.” Wikipedia
How long will it be before gender equality needs no demonstration? How long before gender fluidity is embraced in its intuitive, bottom-up pattern; before geographical separation and the term ‘coincidence’ are dismissed as unreal? The Moon offers a peasant’s advice: there is no eternal life or death, thank God! Stop imagining yourself as a subject of laws; think with your heart and live in your soul, and if you get separated, go to a gate; but know your shadow, and translate yourself into many languages!
The Moon is like every other element in the world: it is trying to make you conscious of it. It seeks attributes and connection. It is more real for your realization of its regularity and witness to its phases. But what more can it mean? Can it be the portal to outer space? Can it furnish minerals? Can it clear the rain? Can it combine in conjunctions and occultations? Can it reflect not only sunlight but our thoughts and feelings? Can it synchronize menstruation? Before it can do any of these things, it must know what they are: it has to learn more about us.
It has had to learn that we begin at a crawl, that it takes 4 billion years for us to walk on two feet, and 7.5 million years more to move faster than it. It has to learn that a human lifetime is very short, and not long enough to overcome all the delusions out of which we construct our reality and concepts of time and space, causality and self.
It must learn to think as we do, to see itself through our eyes. It has to understand the experience of day and night, and perspective, and love. It has to learn how to freeze-frame individual conclusions before connecting them in theories and systems. It has to learn the power and humble beginnings of language. Ultimately, like us, it must try to make sense of this:
I have asked him (sic) to sit at the front of the class, so that I can give him special tuition. In his linguistics, astrophysics and chemical engineering classes, his presence may be considered superfluous, but in my humble tutorial, Who, Where and When Am I Right Now 2B, his participation matters.
His current assignment is to demonstrate a process by which a Drone might be transformed into a Monk. Until today, he has made no visible progress. The theme I have suggested he work to is ‘disclosure’, a philosophical term referring to transformation in its quintessence. He doesn’t understand it. He cannot grasp how a nascent being relinquishes naughtiness as the portal to power and then relinquishes power as the key to overcoming shame: he has never had a child or a pet.
However, tonight he has made a giant leap. For the first time this month, he transits at night, all over the world, against the background of visible stars, and not only does he recognize what I see, his direction and altitude, and the arbitrary names and personalities I have playfully assigned to particular bright stars, but his contribution is an exemplar of the disclosure process.
“The human mind was destined to measure once it had discovered language, because language modulates difference: firstly by identifying things, and then by owning them, and finally, in sharing them, by distilling their subjective relativity.
Below me, as I pass through a gate of my teacher’s mind, a boy finishes mooring a boat and gazes up at me before turning towards home. I wonder if it is a scorpion or a fish-hook he sees below me over the ocean to the southwest.
If I could stay, I could learn much from this lad which my teacher will never know, because although one day they may speak the same language, and thus be enabled to share different meanings and frame time as a continuum of perspectives, this boy’s moment cannot be located by anyone, including himself, without becoming lost in translation.
What am I to make of the journey my teacher has imposed on me? What makes one drone’s utterance preferable to another’s? Will this boy’s hands become toughened like his father’s by brine and rope or softened like my teacher’s in dispensing applications beyond traditional wisdom?
And so the earthlings whirl insensibly through their hours and as their sky moves I pass through my teacher’s gate, and prepare to flip south and north for his examination.
What can I tell him of his Yabby, that it is slimy from tuna in the Coral Sea? No, it is the strident sentinel of his zodiac, steadfast anchor through the precession of seasons and life’s daily observance of the Acheron and the awful necessity to get across.
And Saiph, the synchronously invisible, the inevitable, the equally robust temptation to impious lust, what can I confirm of her as I move towards my teacher’s barren shore? Can I bear witness to her charisma and independence, and the determination and withdrawal signified by what her thighs straddle, the act of sacralizing the waters of forgetfulness?
For the sake of meaning can I embrace the human concept of a particular moment rippling daily across the perspectives of seven billion people? Can I so infinitesimally fragment and compartmentalize my freefall?
Of course I can, but do I desire it? Into what fables and myths must I acquiesce in my appropriation in order for these stick figures to convert me into immortal words? When may I graduate to the lectern myself, and dilute human consciousness into a roiling protoplasm, as empty of cosmic significance as the orientation of the rotational axis which furnishes my teacher’s vision?
Is, are, astrometry, astrology, human language, grammar and narrative, meaning and desire, and my own identity and physical form, any more than a time-consuming molecular fiction?”
Can he find himself in the coordinates and attributes of all three of the systems he itemises? Perhaps he can, but it makes me wonder how many systems have to penetrate each other before identity is conceded as meaningless. How many more generations of elders will condemn their grandchildren to violence by refusing to see orthodoxy as a masquerade of truth?
Sidereal astrology is, or should be, your invitation to emptiness, an experience of the limiting structures of narrative and identity. Nowhere on the planet tonight is the transiting Moon further than a handwidth from the gate, wherever it might be in relation to the zenith, and whether positive latitude means it is above or below the ecliptic. The gate, four minutes earlier each day, will linger in the north and disappear into twilight in the south as sunset gets earlier or later. We are all numerals on the one clock.
Karma and everything else about the real world, is cyclical, not linear. We are creatures of rotation and longitude, but let us not be prisoners of the hours, or the year. Being is essential strife (Heidegger), an incessantly emerging responsibility for blame, a continuous endorsement of doodle. Let us stop revering shape to the extent that we model ourselves on the last turd to dissolve.
Claiming no more legitimacy than any other mindfulness aid, astrology should focus not on putting something else into mind, but on the memes in there: the substratum of our dependency on the delusory self making this mistaken world. I give him an A.
“Art thus teaches us not to try to banish the darkness that surrounds the light of intelligibility, but to learn to see into that ubiquitous “noth-ing” so as to discern therein the enigmatic “earth” which nurtures all the genuine meanings that have yet to see the light of day. Insofar as we can learn from Van Gogh (or other similarly great artists) to see in this poetic way ourselves, Heidegger suggests, we will find ourselves dwelling in a postmodern world permeated by genuinely meaningful possibilities.” Iain Thomson, Heidegger’s Aesthetics, 2015.
Because of the inclination of the equatorial and ecliptic planes to the galactic plane, some part of the Milky Way is not visible to us. Rather, it is divided into two great rivers. The first is the great tumult of Scorpius, which is entirely contained in the Breamlea Zodiac Constellation Scorpio, and carries the Summer Sign of Gemini, because the Sun crosses in Summer. The Moon crosses this river once a month, bringing it to the stellar wasteland I have called Justfriendistan, and in that context I call it Acheron.
The second river features the visual delights of Orion and Canis Major, and flows between the Breamlea Zodiac Constellations of Taurus and Gemini, which carry the Winter signs respectively of Sagittarius and Capricorn. This is the River Lethe, which cleanses the memory of past astrologies and prepares the traveller, Sun, Moon or planets, for the social climb, where the Sun is now, back into the mentality of Scorpio.
There is a boy once–Muna is his name–who is a constant worry to his mother. “Watch out for snakes,” she calls after him as he heads into the bush again.He likes to escape the gossip of the village, even though there is much he could be helping with, and spend the whole day wandering, wondering about change and goodness, and daydreaming about girls. One day he does come upon a snake, a big one right across his intended path.
“What are you afraid of?” The old midwife who lives on the hill has changed herself into a crow and is watching him. “My mother says if a snake bites you, it is the end of you,” replies the trembling boy. “Ah, death,” says the crow, flapping over the snake and seeing it off into the grass. “I don’t worry about death,” she croaks. “Death is the entrance to eternity. Don’t you know that?” “What is eternity?” “Eternity is a beautiful place where it is always now, and you don’t have to worry about getting home and getting into trouble with your father for being lazy and having your head in the clouds and coming up here every day to play ‘Mothers and Fathers’ with Old Spica. In eternity, you are the headman with your choice of all the pretty girls, and you don’t have to lift a finger.” She knows she is giving in to an unkind impulse, but really, another needy man is just what the world doesn’t need. “Go to the river yonder, and ask Antares to row you to eternity, just for a look.”
So Muna goes further than he ever has before, and comes to a vast river. On the bank he finds a man in a loincloth, his arms outstretched, spinning slowly around and around. “Excuse me,” says the boy. “Can you tell me where Antares is? And what are you doing?” “I am Dervish,” says the man, “and I am working myself into the trance of eternity. What do you want with Antares?” “I must ask him to row me to eternity,” the boy says. “Do as I do,” says Dervish, “and prepare yourself. Then I will show you where Antares is.” The boy makes himself completely dizzy, and barely manages not to throw up as he staggers to the boat Dervish is pointing to.
The blind Antares cries out, “The Way to Eternity is through me!” Muna almost capsizes the boat as he clambers over the gunwale, observed scornfully by the two oarsmen. By the time he has regained his senses, the boat has reached the far bank, and believing himself in eternity, Muna disembarks. To his horror, the boat immediately heads back across the river, Antares in the bow calling, “The Way to Eternity is through me!” “No returns,” scoffs one of the oarsmen.
Muna finds himself in a strange and frightening place, quite unlike the village and so far from his mother and Spica that he fears never to be held by a woman again. The only girl to be seen has herself done up with ringlets in her wispy blond hair and a pale floral dress tied with a pink bow. How can this pale-skinned trifle be what the crow promised? In tears, he describes to her what has befallen him. She bursts into a flood of tears herself. “This is Justfriendistan,” she wails, “where jilted lovers go. You must escape as fast as you can!” She points to a distant range in the opposite direction to his home. “The way you must go will take you past the chateau where I was to be married, and I implore you, do not listen to the voices of passionate love you will hear there, lest you too become bewitched by limerence!”
With no idea what she is talking about, the lad takes off at a sprint. Seven days and seven nights he runs, until exhausted he trips on the roots of a giant tree on a razorback ridge and falls immediately into a deep sleep. While he sleeps, a swirling fog creeps down the spur from an invisible peak, and voices begin whispering to him. “There is no such thing as eternity.” “Life is a miserable delusion.” “Only a woman can save you.” “Your love can save the world.” “Find the One.” When he awakens, the fog has lifted, and far below he can see the glint of another river. He has never felt more disheartened, nor less deserving to be a headman or to rule over women.
In three more days he reaches the river, and finds himself in the presence of a brooding bull of enormous power. “Are you ready to mate with one of my heifers, and be unassailable in relevance and pride?” he bellows. Off to his right, Muna sees a knot of chewing cows winking in his direction, and distinctly hears the words, “Am I the One?” Without hesitation, he dodges the bull and races to the water, but just as he reaches it, he glances to his left, where he catches sight of a swarthy herdswoman who, with a giggle in his direction, has hoiked up her skirt and is squatting to pee in the river. This, finally, is the One!
With curiously little effort he swims to the opposite bank. “I am hungry for the future, aren’t you?” says someone else’s wife. Muna has become a man. He has no idea how he came to be three days walk from his village, nor does he know Capella, or to whom she might belong, but she does remind him of someone, and in this moment, eternity, he is hers.
He never becomes headman, and becomes derisively known as Mooner, and eventually just Moon. He is forever wandering, away for weeks at a time looking for someone. Perhaps for this reason he has remained a secret connection in the heart and body of every woman, and I daresay, in the heart of many Fa’afafine, and men who adore women, especially women like Saiph.