Eros/Ethnos/Logos. Myself, I’d maybe stick Christos in there before Logos, or somewhere/everywhere, because the entire Christian contribution to civilization is this idea of Christos: an embodied-transcendent translator, transmitter, or transistor of Logos.
Over the last few years I’ve watched my heart-mind turn away from the east, back to the west. It’s like, when shit got real and I found myself in a communist brainwashing cult that called itself Buddhist, the fat got cut away, or burned off. A few years ago, in an earlier symptom of this turning, I lost all interest in the I Ching, and gained an interest in Tarot, quite conscious about needing to turn even the deeper archetypes of my mind or soul back toward Europe. I know that any interest in Tarot cards sounds super gay, and maybe it is (I’m over that, too, for now.) But I was and am fascinated by these systems of (potentially) minor personal revelations, and both I Ching and Tarot present ennobling models for individuals and for a society infused with spirit. Trying to “cast” the future is of course totally retarded. Paying someone else to read your cards is a sham about 90% of the time (I paid one guy once and he was amazing, so I can’t say 100%). Used as meditations on how the universe, society, and self functions, such tools claim to, and just might, be useful. Jung thought so. And hippies.
I just wrote a book about hippies. I have this total love/hate thing with hippies, and boomers, generally. I’m glad my parents weren’t boomers, and its not that: parental rebellion. It’s more like sibling rivalry. Gen X – the perpetually put-upon little brothers and sisters, now adult generational middle children. And we’re annoyed by all of them. Maybe its that neither elder nor younger have any real sense of tragedy, and they’ve practically destroyed comedy. And art. Boomers often failed to think clearly or long term. Like I’ve been talking about in the zen-o-sphere. This is real: boomers who clearly don’t have their shit together out protesting Cheeto Hitler with pink-haired gender-confused kids, probably so disordered because they had foolish or asleep boomer parents, or maybe just grew up in a boomer culture bent on twisting them in knots and exploiting them for cash and cheap power. Infinite causes and conditions, but there are trends.
Really, I’d much rather be singing people’s praises. In the midst of these meditations, I watch for coming off as just teeing off on individuals. I keep saying its not personal, because it’s not. But if we don’t know a thing from personal experience, then we don’t know it in its deepest sense. Telling stories is how things are felt, leading to any real change. Plus, there are pipers to be paid. People need to be held to account sometimes. Like I said before, all these SZBA priests spoke with one voice. If that voice be demonic, then you speak to that demon, in Logos saying, this is not your world. This is God’s world. Stand down.
That gets right into it, doesn’t it? What do we mean when we say God? Nietzsche thought he himself had killed God off by simply saying so in petulant diatribes, which he disguised as revelation, philosophy, and science. That sounds a bit definitive, right? I mean, it’s Nietzsche for Christ’s sake, the “last truly great philosopher.” But just think about who likes Nietzsche. Creeps like Nietzsche. You can take apart his ideas, tackle it that way I suppose, but it seems like an exhausting tar baby to me (you’re not supposed to say tar baby, anymore, but I don’t have a better image to describe getting sucked in to a fruitless, endless engagement, so I’m sticking with that one.) Or you can just remember what it was like trying to get through Nietzsche (if you tried) and the people who like Nietzsche. Great mustache. Crazy eyes. Terrible ideas. Annoying fans.
Terrible ideas are running rampant. Where are the good ideas, and when we have them, what is their source? That can seem like the most important question these days. We need better ideas, and a reverence for their mysterious source. A bunch of Professional Wise People (Futsacutsas of the Kamminstram, one old sage used to call them) in lock-step banded together in service to some of the worst ideas imaginable, and still think themselves doing their Lord’s work. They call him Buddha. If that’s what Buddha really is, then we have a problem (but I don’t think it is). And this isn’t a case of many roads all leading to the same mountain top; this is a signpost on the road to a literal hell on earth, and should be recognized as such. For all the problems we now face – which is all the left can seem to see, and even then mostly inaccurately – for all the problems around us, the actual facts, and most people’s lives, tell an amazing success story. Most of the world came out of poverty in the last two decades. There are way fewer people in conflict and war, per capita in total, that ever in human history. The main health problem for much of the world’s poor is obesity and despair from too much stuff and too many choices. Who is telling this story? No one in politics, that’s for sure. The media doesn’t make money on good news (rather bad news, wrongly analyzed.) Nor apparently does the SZBA. They have decided to achieve purchase in the society by being left of the left, the spearpoint of race war and Bolshevist revolution. Their choice. It will not work out well for them.
So, this post was supposed to be about these lofty Greek terms and concepts. Over the last few years, I found myself arriving at them on my own, quite organically, but as happens you get reinforcement from the universe, and I began to encounter (mainly Catholic) thinkers likewise returning to these terms to come at reality with a refreshed classical bent. Not decadent classical as in some spooky Enlightenment fixation. But sort of Colorado modern classical, with a high altitude love for big skies and mountain trails. That’s my ideal. Every “modern classicist” has their variation, I suppose. Andy Warhol said, “there’s trouble with the classicists,” and he won the culture war. My favorite living painter is probably Sean Scully, and how unfashionable is that?
Anyway, real classicism isn’t “classical.” It’s very fresh and alive, not a marble mausoleum to the unknown. Here’s a hit-and-run over these terms, as I’ve been considering them. Eros: generative force. Desire. Passion. Gonad inspiration, and also beauty. Care. Elevated, the sacred feminine. Embodied as Madonna, Diana, Venus, maiden, mother, and crone. Moon. Puck and Bacchus. Ethnos: all the mechanisms of family, tribe, culture, society, and the self in relation to them. Gaia, Mercury, Holy Spirit, maybe. Logos: the Word, a Good Idea manifest in the world, wrapped up in a thing – a new tent, an old car, a red wheelbarrow glazed with rain water. The source, moderator, and divine inspiration for Eros and Ethnos. Sacred masculine. Sun, and Saturn, unsymbolizable, but in the substance of mind and language itself. Christos: your own life redeemed and given access to goodness despite your confusion, and sin arising from confusion.
Something like that.
There are Buddhist equivalents to these concepts. But I’m trying to allow my heart-mind to find it’s own natural language. I speak English. English is a culture itself, rooted in classicism but wild, eclectic, adaptable, and it clearly flattens the world. This sounds bad, but while we may not have Shakespeare, Leonardo, Van Gogh, or Nicolai Tesla right now, more people live better, healthier, longer, more peaceful lives that ever before. English is (ironically) the lingua franca driving this transformation, and building the bridges. Its an amazing achievement. Could we have done and can we do better? Well, what else are we supposed to do?
Burroughs said language is a virus. That’s a nihilist, for you; a drug addict, a pervert, a murderer, and a creep. Really. That may have contributed to his capacity to craft clever lit, but would you want to hang out with him? I met him. A toxic creep. His lover Ginsberg supported NAMBLA. That’s no joke, either. I have a zero tolerance policy for pedophiles. Kids mucking about is one thing. Adult men and little boys: zero tolerance. Yet, we still extol the Beats, and the Boomers love to let each other off the hook (we’re talking about you Clinton, Epstein, all a ya’ll.) I read the Beats as a kid, more out of duty that pleasure. Mostly garbage. Kerouac wrote some compelling things, but he was tortured, really. He’d sinned too much, knew it, and drank himself to death in despair. There’s no such thing as free love. He found out the hard way that kicks are not the point.
Yet ’60s counterculture swallowed that bait, hook, line, and sinker. Still, here we are. The light of Logos, of Bodhi, shines out of every crack. Despair is not an option. Nor is failure to attend to Logos, and sometimes, plea to Christos.