Evolving into Space
I am afraid of people in a particular kind of way, which reflects the polar opposite relationship I had when faced with my mother or with my father. My father was recently released from a psychiatric hospital after returning with shattered nerves from combat on Guadalcanal. I wanted to go with him whenever he went out and got in his Jeep. He was a man’s man, hunter, trapper, fisherman, Marine, fine carpenter, mason, electrician, mechanic, and, well, he was the end of a line, because there comes a point where you have explored to the extreme, where the polarity shifts to its opposite. The son grows in the shadow of his father. He never talked about killing people except with his eyes. “You’re worthless,” he would say, and I gradually understood that whatever I was it was never going to be enough. A toddler can’t understand why the most helpless person tends to enrage somebody who is shell shocked. But of course the rage and the helplessness are polarities and so I had both of them.
My mother, like me, had to shift universes when dad was at home instead of on the Tennessee river, where he might stay for days at a time, fishing and trapping. My sister was four years older and she would whip me in imitation of the way dad whipped her. He wasn’t her blood father, he adopted her when he married my mother, who was a prize if a man was looking for beauty. She had black hair and white skin, green eyes and a dozen brothers and sisters, one of those Alabama clans that reproduce like bunnies, poor as snakes but somehow more vibrant and alive and more fun that the respectable people who kill them with corrective measures. I remember Laura Dern in Rambling Rose, at her wedding reception, saying to her new husband how much she loved a picnic. He mansplained to her that a picnic has cold meats and a barbecue has roasted meats. “This is a barbecue.” The beautiful wildness of the rose wilted. She died of cancer.
It is the freedom of the poor which drives the respectable to try to save them by correcting their behavior, and sometimes this correction is done with fists. Mother taught me how to be free, happy, full of laughter and getting crazy was okay, when, for example, Elvis was singing you ain’t nothing but a hound dog on the car radio. This shifted abruptly when dad came home. He was shell shocked and on a hair trigger. But not all the time. I loved him without reservations, considering the danger he posed. I felt like it was up to me to look after him, because, obviously, my mother and sister were deliberately setting him off, or else they were unconsciously pleased by escalating the energy until he went over the edge into a rage.
We bought a 1949 Pontiac straight eight, hooked on a U-Haul, secured the mattress on top of the car and headed west where there was work building the Interstates. I was eight, and already washed in the blood of the lamb, or at least dunked in the baptismal pool at the Southern Baptist church. I had learned to be cautious and guarded with a certain kind of painfully straight man (dad thought Levis were too feminine for a man to wear) and totally uninhibited with a woman who sings and dances to the songs on the radio.
Control and submission are polarities, and if you visit one, you are simultaneously in the other, projecting what you fear most (your submissive, or helpless, part if you fear losing control) onto someone who accepts your control. It is one of those hard things to realize, that we have only the ego experience, but the Self has all the experience. It knows both sides of every exchange, because it is the field itself, both outside time and extending into time.
So we know this not by experience, but by abstract thinking. For example, if I am being abused by someone, my ego position is as the victim, not the abuser. But the ego is not the only player, and not even the most important player. The energy field itself is amoral. It doesn’t know about abusers and victims, it just knows about balance and imbalance. A person who has balanced the energy in themselves will feel it if somebody is putting on a projection. It makes you feel a little crazy because it disturbs the field. But much of it can be avoided by understanding that projection is unconscious but not invisible. It can be “seen” the way a black hole is seen, by the force field around it. When I am overreactive to something I can “see” the energy of the black hole. It is what’s missing in my ego attitude. It’s what dreams try to fill in, this part the ego is screening out.
Chimps and Bonobos:
One of the most distinguished chimps is Jordon Peterson. He is an outspoken advocate of the chimps, who get along through dominance and submission. The dominance hierarchy is the thing, and so Peterson is defender of the way things have been, defending against post modernists, who are moving with the direction of evolution. Burroughs said we are going into space, but he did not mean we’re going to outer space in tin cans, he means we are evolving into space. He used the example of fish evolving onto land in aquariums to point out the absurdity of our going to space without evolving into space through biological and psychic alterations, evolving a capacity we can imagine from here, and there is one simple and irrevocable step one has to take in order to get there, and that is to believe in evolution, not that it exists, but that it has worked so slowly only because that was what it had to work with. Post modernism is a vision of the future when we are not left brain dominant anymore, but back to right dominant, which is going to space. We have built the left brain outside ourselves. Now we don’t need to store everything on board, so we will evolve to where data is requested and received outside of our attention. We will be flying the ship, existing in the eternal present.
Where do we want to go? What is our end game? We can’t know that unless we know the direction of evolution, so that we can see where it wants to go. So when we see the gay rights movement, and then we see the sexual identity politics, we have to ask ourselves, what does this serve? We are evolving into a new mind, which has access to all the energy in the field where nothing is better or worse than anything else, because they are not unconsciously opposed, the ego taking one side and opposing the other. Don Juan told Carlos that all acts are equal. Carlos found this disturbing because obviously that is not true if one is emotional. There is no ordinary emotion in space, nor is there morality.
There is no morality because a system which mediates between the person and the experience requires a time delay, and there is no time in space because everything has the same location, functionally, just as it does on the internet. All communication is immediate response, so that the emphasis would be more on dance and ritual than on reasoning. It doesn’t matter what’s in your head it only matters what’s in your heart. Your intellect operates just fine, but outside of conscious attention. Information storage and retrieval is off-shored.
And then, unlike the chimps there are the matriarchal bonobos, for whom sexuality is the natural currency of social life. With the chimps it becomes a precious and limited resource, and the control over it is defining of chimp society. Perhaps we have evolved to a place where we don’t have to choose what kind of monkey we want to emulate, because we can be an entirely new kind of monkey. But first we have to stop being chimps. Sorry Jordon.
You see now I’m thinking about Jordon again. I see something in him that I don’t like in myself, but it’s there. So now I have the option of seeing it in him, or just going straight to the place from where it projects onto him. And I can go right to the behavior where the negative energy resides, an assumption of superiority which is backed up by a conventional education. But it goes deeper, into a need to get something from being smart. And it comes back to dominance. Being smart is a weapon for men who don’t want to get killed. They wield a different blade and they will cut you quick as a pimp with a straight razor. When there’s a disturbance one has to shine a light on it. Other people are where we see it first, but if we want to move with evolution, we know this is something in our energy field which has gone dark. To occupy the center, and evolve into space, we shine the light on ourselves, not the other person.