Monday, September 30, 2013

'Coincidance' Week Three

Minoan snake goddess (context here)

"Mammary Metaphysics" was one of my favorite essays when I first read "Coincidance" a few years ago and responded by launching this blog. I can hardly hope to do justice to it (one problem is that I'm in the middle of working 10 days in a row), but here are a few notes:

 " ... anal persons worship reason and follow it with remorseless tenacity wherever it leads, although often having an equal capacity to ignore facts, which are after all on the sensory or sensuous level and therefore somewhat suspect." (page 48).

Wilson's target is Catholic theologians, but this could equally by applied to many libertarians on the right wing side of the movement, who have largely ignored the experiences of women and minorities. Libertarians of course stress the oppressive nature of the government. It was the intervention and power of the federal government in the U.S., however, which ended segregation and "Jim Crow" laws in much of the U.S. and many of the overt practices of discrimination against women. This inconvenient fact has left the libertarian movement in the U.S. mostly a movement of white males.

More generally, these seems like a restatement of "the map is not the territory," e.g., no ideology or model can cover all of the known facts, and there is a tendency to try to make the facts fit the ideology, rather than vice versa.

"The first early waves of the new paganism appeared in southern France in the 11th and 12th centuries." (Pages 50-51)

Many of the features of the movement Wilson writes about here appear in Robert Shea's excellent novel, All Things Are Lights, including Tantric sex, the courtly love movement and its poets, the Cathars and the Knights Templar.

Wilson's essay here would seem to illuminate his remark, in one of his letters to Green Egg, that " Christianity is only degenerate Eleusianism: on the occasion when it has come alive it was, briefly, revived Eleusiniasm, e.g. France 1100-1300."


Eric Wagner said...

Bob hints at a secret structure of the book on page 37. For years I tried to find this structure, thinking about the Kabbala, the eight circuits, etc. He later told me he didn't have a secret structure for the book; he had thought about it and decided not to do it. He left the comment in just to induce thought in the reader. Of course, it may have a secret structure and he told me it didn't in order to keep the structure secret. I just finished Bleeding Edge, and I feel confused about almost everything.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I was worried about not knowing the secret structure. Thanks.

Oz Fritz said...

One of the best essays I've read on the female archetype. Should stand as required reading for anyone studying magick or just life in general.

Listening to Heroes by Bowie, the live version from the album Stage today. Seemed a fitting soundtrack to this weeks assignment.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

It seems to me that what men feel about the female form is not just lust but is sometimes a form of worship, and I think that's what RAW is trying to capture. Anyone else feel that way?

gacord said...

It seems we go in waves of woman hating/shaming to "almost" praising/adoring. I say "almost" because I don't think I've seen anything truly matriarchal happen in my lifetime. We definitely seem to be swing heavily back on the hating/shaming side lately. Although I'm seeing a lot of push back this time around. Makes me thinking of Nick Cave's "Kicking Against the Pricks".

I think if more people read this... better yet, the entire "Book of the Breast" (which I have a copy of... love it) or the newer Ishtar Rising version (which I don't have, but should), then maybe... just maybe, we'd get back towards women adoring in general. At the very least, when we decrease the fear/shame/hate we get closer to balance.

Eric, I too puzzled and puzzled to find the secret pattern. Since my qabala-foo is wicked low I was hoping good ole Oz would give us all a nudge. But, you might be right, perhaps RAW was just having another one over on us. Secret pattern, mo thóin, ha!

gacord said...

Tom, I hesitate to use words like "worship". I think it would very likely get misunderstood, but I think you're right. Although, I wouldn't leave that exclusively to men. Women, when they get the patriarchal induced shame out of the way, can truly appreciate the beauty of their own form just as much as us "dirty old bastards", if not more!

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Can anyone speak to the differences between "The Book of the Breast" and "Ishtar Rising"?

Oz Fritz said...

My copy of Bleeding Edge arrived today.

I don't detect any secret form to Coincidance, cabalistic or otherwise. RAW may have said that simply to get people thinking along those lines.

I'll risk an interpretation. "Mammary Metaphysics" most obviously corresponds with the sphere of Binah, the Great Mother archetype in Jungian lingo.

Motherfucker, in the qabalistic metaphorical sense means someone, usually with "male" attributes, working with this archetype in a particular way. It involves a union of male and female qualities into one androgynous entity,'... and love under will.

This type of work can but does not always involve sex as one component though it becomes way more than ordinary sex. The title "Mammary Metaphysics" - beyond the physical - nicely reflects this.

Near the end RAW gets explicit about tantra. I like this quote from John Donne RAW put in:

"Love's mysteries in souls do grow,
But yet the body is his book"

We studied "Coincidance" in RAW's Tales of the Tribe online course. At some point someone mentioned that RAW gave clues with the last word he used in some of the essays. I don't recall where they sourced this info.

The last word in "Mammary Metaphysics" is "fool." The Fool tarot card also symbolizes an androgynous union of male and female qualities and the same kind of work.

In the Cabalistic hint RAW specifically mentions baaaaaaad motherfuckers and signifying motherfuckers. The Fool card corresponds with the Hebrew letter aleph which = "a" in English. So maybe all the "a"s in bad motherfucker also point to (or signify) the Fool?

Eric Wagner said...

Oz, I hope you enjoy Bleeding Edge. I finished it yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me think about Sylvia Plath's line in "Daddy" - "Every woman adores a fascist." Pynchon seems fascinated with how women sometimes feel drawn toward evil men. He dealt with this in Vineland and Against the Day as well.

Oz Fritz said...

Tom, yes I think he's going for a sense of pagan worship, but also support in the sense of the archetype represented by the Chariot tarot card.

I don't have either Book of the Breast or Ishtar Rising available to me at the moment but I can say that Ishtar Rising = 210 and 210 describes the work of an esoteric motherfucker. 210 is one of the only numbers RAW has explained outright, that was in one of the Historical Illuminatus books.

Book of the Breast I would also say has significant cabalistic meaning, not numerologically, more like an anatomical pun.