To start this chapter we have a response from the journalist Hippie and friend who uses the name Eternum1 on the web. He was a part of the founding of web logs as these journalists went to the hot spots of the world and kept in touch with each other. I think he sees where I am going with this book.
I agree with Sartre in that each being has complete freedom if he will only believe it and I agree with Camus on how the absurd man becomes a rebel. Sartre had de Beauvoir to keep him honest in his musings because most left wing sympathizers had yet to recognize women as the barometer of society's evolution. As a result Sartre was more of an anarchist in his existential writings while Camus remained a sympathizer to Marxist rebellion, he didn't quite link Engels statement "judge a society by the position of its women" to the rebellion of his time.
I understand your link to Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin? btw I followed up on Rubin's "student is nigger" with my own catchy title 'the lumpenproletariat and the revolutionary youth movement'... I know its a real page turner judging by the title.... but it was re-printed in all the new left magazines of the day and translated into French, German and Italian..... it was an analysis of why white middle class youth was dropping out into a sub-proletarian mode of existence... i.e.? the hippy movement..... I explained in more human terms than Rubin... how white middle class and bourgeois children linked the limits on their freedom to racial minorities and the poor, which kind of shook up the socialists of the day who thought labor unions were the radical institutions still..... the idea that lumpys or otherwise d?class? citizens were the future great unwashed disturbed them more than the capitalists it appeared.
I agree that true freedom is the ability to accept or reject all things or as Sartre says psychologically in each one of us this amounts to trying to take the causes and motives as things. We try to confer permanence upon them. "We attempt to hide from ourselves that their nature and their weight depend each moment on the meaning which I give to them"; I find this statement very important, but not original since a similar thing was said by Nietzsche a hundred of years before, because it allows a different view of the things in the world. It reveals the potential of the thoughts. When everything depends on the meanings we give, then, we should think positively and we should give the meanings that we want, however unusual they are, not the ones we are expected to give and this would bring us closer to reaching our purposes.
How often have we seen our motives and causes co-opted and their meanings distorted into what you refer to hole (ass) istic babble. Too often. As we discussed in Babble on Babylon the separation of beings continues without the need for foreign tongues, our own language is used against us.
To the point where words like patriotism, love, freedom all become things not qualities.... but things we attach to like clothing labels.
Sartre makes an attempt to describe what freedom exactly is in Part 4, chapter 1 of his book Being and Nothingness. However, he says, he finds it difficult since describing something is looking for its essence. And "freedom has no essence"? "Freedom makes itself an act, and we ordinarily attain it across the act which it organizes with the causes, motives and ends which the act implies". That is to say that freedom is revealed by the act, we can experience the freedom only through act. It is not possible to describe freedom that is valid both for me and for the Other, thus no essence of freedom may be concluded. The freedom in one individual is different from the freedom of any other individual; there is nothing in common which can be named essence. Freedom is beyond essence since it is "the foundation of all essences".
So that is why I say freedom is an individual act but the combined acts of freedom compose rebellion and that is how rebels become existent? not that each finds a particular idealology but each exercises his freedom not to attach to the system or its ideaology. We know that Communism was never practiced by those who called us comrades... 'from each according to his ability and to each according to his need' ... possibly because the true anarchistic nature of freedom needs people sophisticated enough to implement socialist ideas.
Sartre often speaks of "bad faith" when we surrender our freedom to become soldiers for a cause.... to profess to "love anything" more than our responsibility to freedom is acting in "bad faith". And when you hand that freedom to a President or his Generals or to the mob of religiosity you give up responsibility for your actions to others and thereby lose true freedom.
I don't think an existentialist would ever say "we choose to be free" however. Because we are free at every moment. Freedom is not a choice made once and then forgotten. Freedom is not an ideal. Freedom exists within every being at every moment. Freedom on the individual level needs no defending against others unless others try to impose their will. There is no "land of the free" there are only individuals surrendering their freedom every day to causes and idealologys.
Sartre's version of a radical transformation of society is the paradigm shift in thinking we have discussed in the past. It is the belief that we can be what we choose to be. This requires effort for most of us believe what we are told we cannot do while few tell us what we are able to accomplish.
If Sartre was President he would tell each citizen what they need to do to prevent terrorism and it wouldn't be surrendering your freedom or responsibility to others and continue grazing passively in the food courts of the nations shopping malls. Nothing is a complicated as the elites would have us believe and the fact that they deny each citizen the right to be fully involved in making a safer world gives the lie to their role of defenders of freedom.
Really if freedom was a project wouldn't we want everyone working on it? But the co-opted version of freedom is not a project... it's a banner meant to take away ones options and choices like a valium induces passivity and a payment plan induces obedience.
I recall that lumpenproletariat thing. I liked it and the word. I agree about Simone de Beauvoir and there is another Simone that was important - Weil. Yep - I agree about Sartre and was impressed when he turned down the Nobel Prize. I used to call myself a French Atheistical Existentialist.
You apparently see where I am headed as I draw the Goths and Beatniks into this (tie it back to Cathars and Cynics long ago too). As the movie Braveheart ends the life of Wallace and the Keltic Creed that held the world in Brotherhood for millennia says - FREEDOM and NO FEAR - which you see all over the place. These symbols and the one for Peace are powerful legacies and archetypes. We need to show people some cultural through-lines and help the Goths be understood. ? Robert
The same issue of what a Goth really is can be made in comparisons to Flower Children and the people who really study what might be the core principles. The Goths I have known seem more able to defend their approach to life than the normal average or everyday person. But I seem to know the upper echelon of them perhaps. I find few are doing it just for the attention which certainly was not as true with the Flower Children. At the same time one can find a wide variety of perspectives and wonder if there is any true Goth culture at all. Certainly the journalists and social commentators who were all the rage after Columbine's Massacre did not clue in to some truly important things. Those kids were under psychiatric medication and there are other extreme issues they faced. But I will make a little analysis of what I think might be going on with them and a host of other Church-burnings and the like.
In my time in the Caribbean I met people who knew some things about the 'Lodges' as well as Rastafarians or the followers of Bob Marley. There is something similar to the Peace, Love and Brotherhood message in these approaches and there are myths that make one smile. One of the things I intuit is operating has to do with the 'Rastie' symbol and flag of 'Irie' and I could be wrong but Eire seems to be there as a spiritual part or connection to the Kelts and the ancient Brotherhoods be they Olmec or Phoenician. Many black people there know that they were there long before the Spanish heathens and Empire-Builders came to wreck havoc and enslave them or perform an outright genocide on the likes of the Taino in Cuba. Their aversion to Babylon is a metaphor for all that is wrong with the materialistic Empires that control so many people. This continues in the black community to the present and many are they who abuse this knowledge and act as criminals. Who can really blame them? I deal with these things in depth in my historical books.
The stele I found at Chichen Itza had many ancient Masonic symbols including the old T-square which is the symbol of the Egyptian builder-god Ptah. It may have been put there by Rosicrucians and there was one member of their inner sanctum watching over it. The Goths who did the deed at Columbine were heard speaking about Plato and Aristotle and the day they chose to do it was the birthday of Adolf Hitler. The extent to which certain people know about these things or write about them has been hard to tell. I know authors like Marshall McLuhan knew about the influence of secret societies and yet he did not disclose what he knew. It can still be difficult for truth tellers. We must tell some of the root story of these Mystery Schools within what I call the 'octopus'. Hitler was a student of them too.
There are at least a thousand different stories that would fill the equivalent of the thirteen volumes the CORPUS HERMETICUM entails. Stories abound with re-written history and co-opting the people who told the truth by creating fictions about them or eliminating facts like who tried to assassinate James 'The Righteous' leader of the Essenes and probable brother of Jesus. This tale is mentioned in the Bible without saying who tried to assassinate him. Thus the reader is led to think it was an uprising of common people who distrusted James rather than the fact that Paul was diametrically opposed to the teaching of James; who as Michael Baigent says was much closer to Jesus than Paul ever was, even if James was not the actual brother of Jesus. The Roman scribes and lies are so complete as to make it exceedingly difficult to even guess what the nature of truth was. Unless one actually gets first hand experiential knowledge by means of such things as 'direct cognition' with such dimensional knowledge as the akashic or spirits might allow. That is what is known to me, alone; a simple sole and single searcher for truth - imagine how many other stories of even greater import there might be. It is hard to write about one without running into another but let me try to tie Aristotle and the life of Hermes in with Jesus and the enigmatic 'Emerald Tablet' so that you can see some different perspectives from academics. At the end of this story is a personal tale of soul-grabbing that makes the idea of the L?vi to Crowley to Hubbard and Miscavige soul entity continuance seem more possible. By the way, it is highly unlikely that Jesus did not visit Alexandria to see her great Lighthouse and Library during the long time he studied before his short period of missionary work that may have only been a couple of years at most.
After the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. which can be called the birth of Christianity or more properly 'Churchianity', the Gnostics were attacked four times over more than one hundred years. The agents of empire-builders like Constantine or Caliph Omar, did not want people to know the truth of the prophet Jesus, who spoke about all men being 'the children of God' in equal terms. They wished to be the Divine interpreters for whatever it is that we call God. In fact, they wished to be the sole interpreters if that were possible, but they knew they might have to share some of this power with others who also had armies and legions of willing 'sword or cannon fodder' that would follow like sheep in the proverbial 'flock'. The scribes were busily re-writing the apocryphal Bible or Septuagint and Targum Onklos with due regard to the Torah and Hebrew Bible. Part of the agreed upon purpose was to remove the story of the wise Miriam, whose counsel in her day (with Moses) was the most sought after in her land. This was once in the Bible under the name Jasher, but when the Council of Carthage removed women from the priesthood in 397 A.D. they allowed such heresy no more.
Enoch was another book of the Bible which told of psychic and spiritual realities 'within' and 'without', that mirror and elucidate the sayings of Jesus. Mary Magdalene, a priestess with the Essenes and part of the 'Therapeutae' who were a watered down version of the 'Great White Brotherhood of Master Craftsmen' from a couple of millenia before, was probably the wife of Jesus. Such truths would have rendered the 'Bible Narrative' incredible and without power to wield a 'sharp sword' of fear over the souls of all men. For if Jesus was not 'the only begotten Son of God' as the Jews and original Celtic Catholic Church say; then the concept of easy 'Salvation' (and its special dispensations that Martin Luther railed against) would be unable to generate the money-making and power creating outcome that has been with us these past 1500 or more years.
Karma or the original 'law of Retribution' would require right living on a daily basis and people would have to live in the true path of Jesus, and never be able to EXPECT a simple 'absolution of sin' through such things as confessionals. The great stories of 'Eternal n Damnation', 'The Resurrection' and 'Hell' would have little theological or philosophic support. The Pope has said there is no Heaven or Hell in the months leading up to the millennium and as part of damage control or spin-doctoring but is there any proactive course of change and when will the dogma and doctrine of Paul's 'Epistles to Timothy' that say 'man is the head of woman' etc., be expunged in all their vile prejudice against women? St. Augustine's portrayal of Genesis and the 'original sin' with women as the harbingers of that which disconnected us from God are damnable destructive influences to this very day.
Let me illustrate the academic conundrums and obfuscated idiocies attendant with Hermes and Jesus. Aristotle was able to keep his hermetic or alchemic inclinations sufficiently shrouded and thus lived a long life from the time his father taught him as physician to Alexander's father King Phillip of Macedon. (384-322 B.C.) He was motivated and guided by 'The Emerald Tablet' and the work of Hermes Trismegistus. According to the 'Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology':
"Emerald Table: The (of Hermes)
Believed to be the earliest statement of the principles of spiritual alchemy, ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus, after whom alchemy has been named the 'Hermetic Art'. Hermes Trismegistus is a shadowy figure, possibly mythical. The old alchemists believed him to have been an Egyptian living about the time of Moses; others have claimed him as a personification of Thoth, the Egyptian God of learning. There is a legend that the Emerald Table (also known as the Smaragdine Table) was discovered by Alexander the Great in the tomb of Hermes in a cave near Hebron.
The earliest printed version in Latin dates from an alchemical work of 1541, but a Commentary on it was known three centuries earlier, and the Table might well be ancient. The original was believed to have been inscribed on emerald (smaragdine) in Phoenician letters, later translated into Greek and Latin." (1)
Author of Diverse Druids, Columnist for The ES Press Magazine, Guest writer at World-Mysteries.com