PART TWO: DIALOGUES
BRENDAN: I understand, Neal, that you are of the opinion that a novelist isn't necessarily an artist, these days, just because he writes novels, but can be one of three things.
NEAL: That is correct. He can be an artist, an anti-artist, or a philosopher, using the latter term in the contemporary sense as applying, in the main, to metaphysical writers, or men who identify more with essence than appearance.
BRENDAN: How, then, do you distinguish between novelists as artists and novelists as anti-artists?
NEAL: Very simply! Between those who write in an illusory vein, intimating of truth or envisaging a future society in an expressive style, and those, on the contrary, who specialize in writings of an autobiographical character, making the crux of their novels hinge on the story of their lives.
BRENDAN: Thus you are distinguishing, I take it, between novelists like George Orwell on the one hand, and Henry Miller on the other.
NEAL: Yes, between those who indirectly extend literature towards objective truth, and those who directly indulge in subjective fact - a distinction, in effect, between bound-electron equivalents and pseudo-electron equivalents, bearing in mind that we are discussing the novelist, within the broader framework of bourgeois/proletarian civilization, in relation to petty-bourgeois culture, as relative to contemporary Western society, with particular reference to the United States.
BRENDAN: So we are not referring the novelist-as-artist to bourgeois criteria, which would presumably be to discuss the novel in traditional fictional terms.
NEAL: No, the story-teller of old is precisely the kind of artist that the anti-artist is in rebellion against in his 'romantic' fixation on autobiography. The modern novelistic anti-artist is anti-fiction, fiction being the traditional preserve of the artist, who abstracts fictions from external facts and thus creates a story. The modern novelistic artist, on the other hand, is pro-truth, truth being the goal of evolution in pure spirit, the approach to this goal in literary terms necessarily requiring of the artist either fidelity to illusion, i.e. anticipations or intimations of truth, which is a quasi-philosophical approach, or (assuming he is more of a pure artist) an extension of abstract technical procedures in his work towards some consciously- or unconsciously-envisaged future literary goal of a totally non-expressive art, an art reflecting the post-atomic status of a free-electron age, in which only pure poetry would be produced. This artist takes the direct route to truth by approximating literature to a free-electron status whereby words, the electron equivalents, are freed from the proton/neutron constraint of emotions/meanings, about which, in atomic writings, they invariably revolve. The artist who intimates of truth, however, takes the indirect route to it, since his use of illusion requires fidelity to grammatical conventions in the interests of a meaningful expression of this intimation. He approximates more closely to the modern philosopher, who also approaches truth indirectly ... through the medium of expression, albeit in a more intensively non-literary way than the artist.
BRENDAN: You are distinguishing, I presume, between a kind of lesser modern artist and a greater modern artist, as applying to the indirect and direct approaches to truth, conceived in literary terms.
NEAL: I am! And while the lesser artist approximates to the metaphysical philosopher, the greater artist approaches, in his predominantly abstract prose, the pure poet of the future absolute civilization, a civilization in which all forms of relative literature, including the most poetic of petty-bourgeois novels, would be taboo. Generally speaking, these two types of modern artist are relative to the distinction, within the wider parameters of bourgeois/proletarian civilization, between what I call mainstream petty-bourgeois culture on the one hand, and subsidiary petty-bourgeois culture on the other hand, so that, as a rule, the greater artist will be indigenous to the United States, the lesser one to Western Europe, with particular reference to Britain and France, which are fundamentally bourgeois nations influenced by, though not pioneering, petty-bourgeois trends.
BRENDAN: So you would contend that while the predominantly abstract tradition especially appertains to the United States, the illusory, or indirect, route to truth appertains more to the United Kingdom and France, thereby enabling us to distinguish between novelists, on the one hand, like William Burroughs, particularly with regard to works such as The Naked Lunch and The Soft Machine, and novelists, on the other hand, like George Orwell, whose 1984 must rank as one of the best examples of a novel's intimating, for its time, of what were then future trends, and thereby approaching truth indirectly - through the medium of literary expression.
NEAL: Yes, such a distinction is certainly apposite, although it will usually be found, with the British, that the intimation of future trends, as you put it, is less than objective, falling woefully short of optimism, as can also be borne out by such an illusory novel as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, with its nightmare projection of an envisaged artificial society of the future.
BRENDAN: Would you describe Huxley as generally a lesser artist?
NEAL: No, for apart
from the above-mentioned work the only novel I can think of which entails an
illusory projection of characters into a futuristic setting is Ape and Essence,
which focuses on the aftermath of a nuclear war, as affecting
FROM OLD BRAIN TO SUPERCONSCIOUS
KEITH: Apparently there is more to the old brain than just a subconscious, and more to the new brain than simply a superconscious, if I understand you correctly.
CHRIS: There is, though traditional psychology has failed to stress that fact. The old brain is divisible between a subconscious and a feeling/visionary body, while the new brain is likewise divisible between a superconscious and a feeling/visionary body, the principal difference being that whereas in the old brain the subconscious is dominated by the feeling/visionary body, in the new brain it is the superconscious which dominates its alpha-stemming antithesis. And this is because the ratio of protons and neutrons to electrons, or vice versa, is dissimilar in each of the brains - the atomic integrity of the old brain being heavily biased towards the proton/neutron ingredients, that of the new brain being biased towards the electron ingredient, so that whereas protons and neutrons dominate electrons in the former, electrons dominate protons and neutrons in the latter.
KEITH: Presumably that is why the old brain is a predominantly feeling/visionary phenomenon and the new brain, by contrast, a superconscious phenomenon or, more correctly, essential noumenon?
CHRIS: Absolutely! Being antithetically constituted, the old and the new brains function in different ways, according to their respective atomic integrities. Egocentricity, as we customarily understand it, is a combination of these two disparate functions; feelings and visions/thoughts coming up from below, and awareness coming down from above, each of which meet in the corpus callosum, that psychological link between the two brains - the cerebellum and the cerebrum.
KEITH: Whereas the cultivation of pure consciousness, as the mystics understand it, depends upon our ability to transcend feelings and visions/thoughts, and presupposes a deeper commitment to the superconscious - in other words, to a consciousness undiluted by feelings and visions/thoughts.
CHRIS: Yes, to superconsciousness purely and simply, since we do not feel with our superconscious mind. We register feelings in our body through the agency of soul, the body's mind, as it were, which consciousness becomes aware of, to the detriment of its own expansion.
KEITH: Thus consciousness and superconsciousness are approximately the same?
CHRIS: No, consciousness is our superconsciousness existing as a bound-electron equivalent in a day-to-day context of ordinary utilitarian and/or relaxed receptive awareness. When, however, we strive to tune-in to our superconscious in order to cultivate awareness for its own sake, divorced from will, we experience superconsciousness, or consciousness elevated above feelings and thoughts, in a free-electron context, to a higher pitch of awareness. Ordinarily our consciousness, although originating in the superconscious, is less elevated and therefore encumbered by feelings and thoughts, which impinge upon it, causing us to respond to them in some way. If we haven't habitually sought to develop our consciousness, we will be more exposed to the encroachments of feelings and thoughts than otherwise. Indeed, we may become our feelings or thoughts rather than our consciousness of them. Consequently we will be more exposed to the encroachments of feelings/thoughts than otherwise, and therefore become enslaved to the flesh, the body/brain, at such times. The object of evolutionary progress, however, is to become free of this enslavement, to cultivate consciousness independently of the body, and thus aspire towards the Divine, which would be pure consciousness.
KEITH: And therefore completely beyond the flesh, beyond all manifestations of atomicity, with their proton/neutron roots?
CHRIS: Precisely! When we purposely cultivate awareness by tuning-in to our superconscious we achieve a free-electron consciousness, an absolutely post-atomic consciousness elevated above the usual relatively post-atomic consciousness of the everyday conscious mind, which, when we aren't enslaved by or succumbing to feelings, emotions, sensations, thoughts, fantasies, et cetera, functions as a relatively bound-electron consciousness - as when we watch television or listen to the radio. This is the consciousness which is contiguous with the subconscious, that part of the conscious mind which pertains to the old brain and exists there as an absolutely bound-electron equivalent enslaved to and dominated by the majority proton/neutron content of the feeling/visionary body.
KEITH: As when we sleep and witness the dreams that the majority proton/neutron content of the old brain foists upon our subconscious.
CHRIS: Yes, our subconscious is, at such times, the passive spectator of the dream process, which takes place independently of conscious volition, and is thereby absolutely bound to the proton/neutron control, unable to transcend it in any way.
KEITH: Thus one could speak of an old brain/subconscious dichotomy as applying to this distinction between the feeling/visionary body and the subconscious, phenomenon and noumenon, idea and will, but a will so enslaved to and dominated by the proton/neutron root ... as generally to be incapable of conscious volition.
CHRIS: Correct! Though there are occasions when, under duress from a particularly oppressive dream, even the subconscious can muster the necessary resolve to revolt against its oppressor, and we wake-up before matters in the nightmare have come to a grisly pass, or so it seems! Even the subconscious has willpower, though nowhere near as much as the conscious mind, which is relatively free to direct the body along any desired channel of activity. When the conscious mind is turned away from the body, however, it ceases to function as will but becomes the free-electron consciousness of the superconscious.
KEITH: Interesting how there is a spectrum of consciousness from the subconscious to the superconscious via an intermediate level of everyday consciousness, a spectrum which pertains to the spirit or psyche as opposed to the body/soul, and is therefore separate from feelings and dreams.
CHRIS: Indeed! And in its highest reach, that of the superconscious, separate from thoughts and visions as well! For we do not think with our superconscious but use it, as awareness directed towards a conceptual end, to elicit and order thoughts from the minority neutron content of the new brain, in which such concepts are housed. What feelings are to consciousness in the old brain, thoughts are to consciousness in the new one, which is to say, its antithesis, except that whereas in the former context feelings tend, through the medium of the senses, to condition consciousness, in the latter context it is generally consciousness which, through the agency of the will, conditions thought - at least during waking-life periods. For during sleep the old brain prefers to indulge in dreams, which are feelings made manifest to the subconscious through perceptual images.
KEITH: Then what of new-brain visions, particularly with regard to synthetically-induced ones?
CHRIS: These are thoughts made manifest to the superconscious through perceptual images, a kind of waking-life dream state in which consciousness perceives the visual contents of the new brain as the minority neutron content is freed from majority electron control and thus from the will, which, though not entirely neutralized, is rendered passive before the highly intriguing spectacle of the synthetically-induced visions that we refer to as the 'trip'. An hallucinogen like LSD directly appeals to the new brain, where it reduces the threshold of the minority proton/neutron content from the level of concepts to the level of visions, from the quasi-essential to the apparent, albeit an appearance rendered static by dint of its proximity to the majority electron content. Just as sleep lowers the threshold of consciousness to the subconscious and thereby allows the old brain free play, so LSD lowers the threshold of the new brain and thereby permits the superconscious to contemplate the visionary contents of its antithesis. From being a thought-mechanism, the new brain becomes a vision-mechanism. With sleep, the old brain is raised from a feeling bias to a dreaming bias. With 'trips', the new brain is lowered from a conceptual bias to a perceptual bias. Sleep lowers consciousness, whereas LSD raises it.
KEITH: Though the latter doesn't raise it as far, I presume, as would transcendental meditation.
CHRIS: No, since LSD directly appeals to the new brain and only indirectly to the superconscious, whereas transcendental meditation directly appeals to the superconscious and not at all to the new brain, i.e. to the minority proton/neutron content of its atomic structure. The 'trip' is a quasi-occult experience, the meditation state, by contrast, a hypermetaphysical one - the difference, in a sense, between the phenomenal at its furthest reach and the noumenal at or near its inception. The 'trip' is the culmination of an alpha-stemming tradition, the meditation state the beginning of an exclusively omega-oriented aspiration. The one is basically Occidental, the other Oriental. The one stems from a tradition of proton indulgence in the use of alcohol, the other from a tradition of electron indulgence in the use of hashish and kindred mind-expanding drugs. The former tradition lowers consciousness by weighting the proton/neutron content with increased sensuality, whereas the latter tradition expands consciousness by imposing increased awareness upon the electron content. In the first context, the distilled, i.e. alcohol, is used to sensualize the old brain and, following on its heels, the synthesized, i.e. LSD, is used to visualize the new brain. In the second context, the naturalistic, i.e. hashish, is used to increase sensual consciousness and, following on its heels, the supernaturalistic, i.e. transcendental meditation, is used to increase spiritual consciousness. Alcohol leads to LSD as surely as dope to meditation in the evolutionary progression of each tradition! Of course, neither tradition is absolute. For, in a certain sense, tobacco is the occidental equivalent to dope and, conversely, tea the oriental equivalent to alcohol, though both tobacco and tea are considerably milder than their respective counterparts. Tobacco does not raise sensual consciousness to anything like the same extent as hashish or marijuana. Conversely, tea does not lower consciousness, by appealing to the old brain, to anything like the same extent as alcohol, particularly the wines and spirits. So whilst a relativity has prevailed in each tradition, it has not prevented a bias, one way or the other, from emerging in accordance with the use of stronger drugs, so that the Occident has remained predominantly alcoholic and the Orient, by contrast, predominantly hashistic, despite the recourse of each civilization to tobacco and tea respectively. The one tradition has mainly stemmed from the Diabolic Alpha, while the other one has mainly aspired towards the Divine Omega.
KEITH: Though the Occident presumably began by directly stemming from the Diabolic Alpha and has now reached or is approaching a stage of indirectly stemming from it, whereas the Orient began by indirectly aspiring towards the Divine Omega and then proceeded, in due course of time, to directly aspire towards it - a distinction, in the one case, between distilled alcohol and synthesized LSD, and, in the other case, between naturalistic hashish and supernaturalistic transcendental meditation.
CHRIS: Yes, which we may alternatively define, in atomic terms, as a progression from a proton equivalent to a pseudo-electron equivalent in the case of the Occident, and from a bound-electron equivalent to a free-electron equivalent in the case of the Orient. It is the example of the Orient that we must follow in regard to the development of a transcendental civilization.
KEITH: Then the final human civilization will be entirely metaphysical, with regard to the practice of transcendental meditation?
CHRIS: Correct! And it will lead, in due course of time, to the Host-human Millennium, the first phase of which - a quasi-occult one - will entail the widespread use of synthetic hallucinogens like LSD by the Supermen, the first of two life forms who, created by millennial technicians, will be human brains artificially supported and sustained in communal contexts. With the subsequent establishment, however, of the second of the post-human life forms, the superbeingful new-brain collectivizations, millennial evolution will progress to its highest phase, a wholly metaphysical phase involving the practice of hypermeditation - a more intensive and purer form of meditation than was practised, if I may be permitted to anticipate the future, by the transcendental proletarians of the civilization preceding the post-Human Millennium. This hypermeditation will lead to transcendence, to the freeing of the majority electron content of the new brain from its minority proton/neutron content - in other words, to the freeing of superconsciousness from the new brain, so that pure spirit can soar heavenwards towards its ultimate goal in the Omega Beyond, a goal, however, which is unlikely to be attained to for some considerable period of supra-atomic evolution, as the various Spiritual Globes from whichever Superbeing on whichever habitable planet converge towards and expand into one another in a continuous process leading from separateness to unity. As you can see, life has a long way to go before it becomes a candidate for transcendence! But at least it is slowly evolving, in the guise of men, towards that distant goal in a truly superconscious mind. Both the old and new brains are destined to be discarded, as the superconscious continues to expand towards the omega goal of evolution. From discarding them relatively, evolving life will proceed to discard them absolutely, the removal of the old brain preceding the transcendence of the new!
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ARTS
GAVIN: I am fascinated by this theory of yours that, like art and music, literature evolves along a kind of disjointed spectrum or, more correctly, series of overlapping spectra ... from philosophy to poetry via fiction, each stage of this evolution being independent of the others and yet still indicating some kind of continuity.
JAMES: Yes, and to revert to atomic terminology, one could describe philosophy as the proton root, fiction as bespeaking an atomic integrity, and poetry becoming, with full maturation, a free-electron equivalent. A similar distinction also applies, as you remarked, to art and music, so that we can describe the evolution of art in terms of a development from a proton root in sculpture through an atomic integrity in painting to a free-electron culmination in holography. Likewise we can define the evolution of music from rhythmic beginnings through a melodic atomicity to a climax in pure pitch.
GAVIN: Let us take one art form at a time, shall we? Beginning with literature.
JAMES: This begins, as I said, in philosophy, as an analytical concern with external appearances, and proceeds to an apparent/essential compromise in fiction, before culminating in an exclusive concern, through poetry, with essence. Philosophy stems from an aristocratic absolutism in pagan civilization which, in the Western context, stretches from a grand-bourgeois root (Bacon) through a bourgeois stem (Kant) to a petty-bourgeois flowering (Wittgenstein), at approximately which time it is also transmuted from appearance to essence and becomes, at the hands of petty-bourgeois revolutionaries, a pseudo-electron equivalent, a kind of reformed proton, which endows it with an anti-philosophical integrity appertaining to its metaphysical bias. Genuine philosophy, by contrast, ends with the furthest reach of appearance in a critique of language which, in comparison with its inception as a critique of natural phenomena, is not as genuine as might at first appear! Nevertheless, this philosophy - academic philosophy as we may call it - signifies the furthest stretching of philosophy from its aristocratic roots, and corresponds to contemporary representational sculpture in art and to a kind of Afro-Caribbean rhythm-biased music involving percussion instruments. By contrast, the development of metaphysical philosophy, which mainly stems from Schopenhauer, bespeaks a separate spectrum of literary endeavour, though one paralleling the philosophy spectrum from its petty-bourgeois inception, while completely outstripping it as we tend towards a proletarian climax in an ultra-metaphysical collectivized format. One might describe this pseudo-philosophy as corresponding to modern abstract sculpture in art and to a melodic rhythm-biased music which, like Calypso, uses percussion instruments in a variety of pitches to largely melodic ends.
GAVIN: And what about fiction?
JAMES: Being a largely atomic art form, the novel can be either biased towards the proton, as when it is highly fictional and mainly concerned with appearances, or biased towards the electron, as when it is predominantly illusory and mainly concerned with essences. Or, alternatively, it can approximate to a sort of atomic balance between the two, as when appearance and essence are granted equal treatment by a quintessentially bourgeois novelist - the other types of novel being grand bourgeois and petty bourgeois respectively. The bourgeois novelist creates in such a fashion that essence is bound to appearance, and so engenders the enslavement of illusion to fiction, the former functioning as a bound-electron equivalent, the latter as a proton equivalent within the overall atomicity of his quintessentially literary novel. The petty-bourgeois novelist, on the other hand, specializes in essence, pushing literature towards truth, and so creates a work in which the electron content of illusion or non-expression predominates over the proton content of fiction or illusory expression, depending on the type of petty-bourgeois novelist in question, that is to say, whether he corresponds to a bound-electron status or to a pseudo-electron status; whether his work is illusory, i.e. intimating of truth or some future society through expressive means, or predominantly non-expressive, i.e. largely abstract.
GAVIN: So we are alluding to a distinction between, say, George Orwell and William Burroughs, are we?
JAMES: Yes, and while the bound-electron expressive novelist stems from an atomic tradition, corresponding to the furthest reach of painting and classical music, the pseudo-electron non-expressive novelist corresponds to the anti-philosopher, to the extent that he presupposes the development of a new literary spectrum which, beginning as an autobiographical revolt against fictional literature, and therefore briefly paralleling the tail-end of the old in both its traditional and modernist manifestations, should extend to the boundaries of a proletarian absolutism, without, however, ceasing to be petty bourgeois.
GAVIN: So that leaves us with the poet - the highest kind of writer.
JAMES: It does! And we may contend that although poets have long existed, they haven't been genuinely poetic, prior to the inception and development of contemporary metaphysical poetry, but enslaved to appearance and description, functioning more as a bound-electron than as a free-electron equivalent, creating a pseudo-poetry that smacks of traditional philosophy and fictional literature. Only with the comparatively recent development of metaphysical poetry, which parallels anti-philosophy, have poets begun to appear in their true light ... as men of essence and literary freedom. Needless to say, this development has attained to greater heights in the mainstream petty-bourgeois culture of contemporary America than ever it has in Europe, particularly with regard to the extension of the genuinely poetic into impressive, or abstract, writings, such as one finds in the 'Cantos' of Ezra Pound and, to a greater extent, the late poetry of Allen Ginsberg. We can speak here of a relatively free-electron poetry, a poetry which is relatively post-atomic, combining the metaphysically expressive with the metaphorically impressive, in accordance with the extreme relativistic criteria of bourgeois/proletarian civilization. Like non-expressive novelistic writings and anti-philosophy, this genuine poetry signifies the beginnings of a different spectrum of poetic development, one paralleling the end of the old pseudo-poetic spectrum and extending beyond it towards a proletarian absolutism, such as must some day arise on wholly free-electron terms, with the inception and subsequent development of a transcendental civilization.
GAVIN: Presumably when poetry will be created on absolutely post-atomic terms, with regard to impression alone?
JAMES: Yes, the ultimate pure poetry of a free-electron age. At that juncture in time poetry will attain to full maturity on computer discs, the transcendental medium, par excellence, of a proletarian civilization.
GAVIN: So this ultimate poetry won't exist in a new spectrum of poetic endeavour, but will signify a continuation of the free-electron spectrum from contemporary petty-bourgeois relativity to subsequent proletarian absolutism.
JAMES: Yes, a continuation paralleling that from neo-Buddhism to Social Transcendentalism in religion.
GAVIN: Having outlined the evolution of literature from its philosophical inception to its poetic consummation, let us now turn, if you will, to music and art, and briefly discuss their parallel evolutions.
JAMES: Which are, of
course, from a proton root through an atomic compromise to a free-electron
climax, both relatively and absolutely.
In music, we shall find the first stage exemplified by rhythm, by a
music exclusively or predominantly conceived in rhythmic terms. From there music will evolve to a second
stage in melody supported by harmony, which signifies a compromise between
rhythm and pitch, protons and electrons, and thus reflects an atomic
integrity. Finally, after a number of
intermediate emancipations ... with especial reference to petty-bourgeois
civilization and its relatively post-atomic jazz, music will evolve to an
absolutely free-electron status, in adherence to the criteria of an exclusively
omega-oriented civilization, and thus attain to its goal in pure pitch, in
compositions the notes of which are completely free from rhythmic
attachments. Such an ultimate music will
be the norm wherever proletarian civilization is developed, and it will largely
stem from modern jazz, just as pure poetry will stem from the relatively
post-atomic poetry of contemporary
GAVIN: So this absolutely free-electron music is part of a separate spectrum of musical evolution from the European classical tradition.
JAMES: Absolutely! Since, if it doesn't correspond to a bound-electron equivalent, such classical music corresponds, in its avant-garde manifestation, to a pseudo-electron equivalent, which pertains to a different spectrum of creative evolution - one paralleling the tail-end of atomic tradition and extending as far beyond that as petty-bourgeois criteria will permit.
GAVIN: Thus a parallel development with the pseudo-electron literature of William Burroughs, which exists on a different level, within a different spectrum, to the largely illusory novel-writing of, say, George Orwell.
JAMES: Precisely! In the context of a lesser music, just as the expressive illusory novels of the typical European author are lesser literature when compared with the (greater) literature of the pseudo-electron novelist. So the music of the next civilization will stem from the highest music of contemporary American civilization, viz. modern jazz, being, however, as different from that relatively post-atomic music as pure poetry ... from its petty-bourgeois precursor. Pure jazz as opposed to modern jazz.... As for the evolution of art, it proceeds, like literature and music, towards a free-electron climax through a number of similarly independent spectra of evolutionary development, commensurate with a distinct atomic status, so that, from humble proton beginnings, we may note a disjunctive continuity through successive art forms towards the ultimate art form of the future. Beginning, then, with aristocratic sculpture in the round, the evolution of art is through lower grand-bourgeois vase painting to murals, which signify a higher grand-bourgeois integrity, and thence to representational painting on framed canvas, that approximately bourgeois stage of artistic evolution. From which we proceed to painting of a partly or exclusively non-representational character on frameless canvas, bespeaking a lower petty-bourgeois preserve, and from there, via a different spectrum, to higher petty-bourgeois art in the form of light art, that relatively post-atomic art form. This then leads us to the climax of art in the representational, or rather, abstract holography of the coming transcendental civilization.
GAVIN: In what way or ways is light art relatively post-atomic?
JAMES: By being a combination of materialism and spirituality, the one conceived on the highest terms, as pertaining to the glass or plastic tubes of the light work, and the other conceived in terms of the electric or neon lighting which, particularly in the most transcendental examples of this art form, can be used to symbolize the spirit, to intimate of omega divinity. That there is a lower type of light art, of materialist/expressionist tendency, I do not deny. Yet this is another factor in that art form's relativity, one that could never apply to abstract holography, as germane to a transcendental civilization, and for the simple reason that such a civilization, being absolute, would have no place for the quasi-occult - in other words, no place for expressive, materialist alternatives. The holography of that civilization would be purely impressive, and such an impression, designed to intimate in the most unequivocal way of pure spirit, would be projected into space conceived as the interior of a Meditation Centre, free from material surrounds or casings, as light purely and simply, which would constitute its conceptual absolutism. One could not contemplate a higher type of art than that - at any rate, not objectively considered. For, although the Supermen of the first phase of the post-Human Millennium may be contemplating the visionary contents of their new brains, thanks to LSD or some such synthetic hallucinogen, and such contemplation be directed at the apparent inside their brains rather than (as with abstract holography) at the quasi-essential outside them, those visionary contents won't be impressive but expressive, not abstract but largely representational and, therefore, quasi-occult, on a lower level to abstract holography, because perceptual rather than conceptual.
GAVIN: And yet evolution will still have to pass through a hallucinogenic phase, if only to get to an ultra-metaphysical one.
JAMES: Yes, the process of evolving toward the ultimate metaphysical, or supernatural, absolute in the post-Millennial Beyond must take place on relative terms while life is subject, as it is with men and will continue to be with their immediate successors, to relativity. While the representational aspect of hallucinogenic stimulation may constitute a fall from the impressive absolutism of holography, at least it is situated within the new brain rather than without it ... in surrounding space, and thus signifies, on that account, some kind of evolutionary progression, even if only on relative terms. The truly absolute mode of progress will only come following the subsequent elevation of millennial life to its superbeingful stage, when pure contemplation succeeds the impure contemplation of the Supermen. This higher contemplation, involving the experience of hypermeditation carried out in the context of new-brain collectivizations, will in due course lead to transcendence, and thus to the goal of millennial evolution in the space-centred Heaven of the post-Millennial Beyond. It would be beyond all art, which at its highest level is designed to intimate, through apparent means, of the essential, viz. the Omega Point. This hypermeditation would be divine and therefore entirely essential, the spirit's contemplation or, rather, direct experience of itself in absolute purity. Art ends, in any objective sense, with pure holography, essential as opposed to apparent, but hallucinogenic contemplation will signify a pseudo-metaphysical subjective extension of art into a post-civilized, post-human age. Just so, pertaining as ever to the human and civilized, art began with pure sculpture, apparent as opposed to essential. Yet before art there were dreams which, antithetical in every respect to trips, bespoke a pre-human, pre-civilized aesthetic beginning, a beginning that involved the contemplation of naturalistic visions by the subconscious. Thus a spectrum of evolutionary development leading from pre-human dreams to post-human trips passes through the intermediate human development of art which, as we discovered, is divisible into approximately seven stages, corresponding to class-evolutionary distinctions in a disjunctive spectrum, or series of overlapping spectra, which stretch from a sculptural absolutism to a holographic absolutism. Before they created and contemplated art, men and/or their ape-like predecessors dreamt. After they have completed the evolution of art, as of literature and music, men or, rather, their superhuman successors will trip. But dreams and trips are alike two extreme manifestations of cerebral activity, the former pertaining to the majority proton/neutron content of the old brain, the latter to the minority proton/neutron content of the new brain. Evolving life will only be truly free when it gets beyond the contemplation of proton/neutron appearances by directly experiencing electron essences. The finest art, literature, and music have intimated of the truth, and to that extent served as a means to an end, a pointer to that ideal society which I equate with the post-Human Millennium. It took man a long time to bring art to the level of an intimation of truth. For in its earliest stages, those of sculpture, vase painting, murals, even much painting, it stemmed from and sought to emulate or describe naturalistic fact. We can have no truck with such fact now, for we are in favour of supernaturalistic truth, and can only intimate of this through the most free-electron art, an art stemming from the best or foremost developments of contemporary American civilization and evolving through the highest level of civilization, as germane to a transcendental proletariat, to its future consummation in the purest terms. Like pure poetry and modern jazz, the best light art is situated on a free-electron spectrum that will extend into an absolute phase with the development of this ultimate civilization. We cannot take over any of the relatively free-electron arts ourselves, but we can certainly continue from where they leave off, and on a basis that will become uniquely our own, producing absolutely free creations which, whether in literature, music, or art, should bring that final spectrum to a divine climax.
CORRELATIONS IN SEX AND ART
SHEILA: If what you say is true ... about politics, art, and sex all hanging together on an equal level of development in any given class-stage of evolution, then it should be possible for one to equate a given sexuality with a compatible aesthetic or political development, and thus come to form a better understanding of that sexuality both in terms of its nature and the extent of its applicability to any specific society.
DONAL: I agree! And therefore, not altogether surprisingly, I have worked out an exact correlation between each of the subjects to which you refer, with particular reference to the relationship between sex and art.
SHEILA: Please proceed to expatiate on this correlation!
DONAL: Well, I divide sex, no less than politics and art, into spiritualistic and materialistic categories, since such a distinction is endemic to a relative civilization, where either an atomic dualism or a relatively post-atomic dualism prevails, as in Britain and America respectively. I also distinguish between two stages of petty-bourgeois evolution within each of these relativities, viz. an early and a late, and further divide each stage into two phases, the first of which I equate with a revolt against civilized precedent, the second of which I equate with the attainment to a new civilized ideal - a distinction, in effect, between lower and higher manifestations of a given class integrity.
SHEILA: Hence the barbarous art of the lower/early petty-bourgeoisie and, by contrast, the civilized art of the higher/early petty-bourgeoisie, to name but one of the two petty-bourgeois class stages. Though one could just as easily refer to early/lower petty-bourgeois art and, by contrast, to late/lower petty-bourgeois art, if one wanted an alternative logical structure within which to work.
DONAL: I agree, though I prefer to reserve the distinction between lower and higher for the type of art being produced within the context of any given class stage, whether early or late petty-bourgeois. However, since we were intending to correlate a given level or type of sex with a compatible aesthetic framework, we may as well concentrate more on those subjects and distinguish, to begin with, between lower and higher manifestations of early petty-bourgeois sexuality and their aesthetic correlates, before proceeding to tackle the parallel manifestations of those same subjects as applying to the late petty-bourgeoisie, always bearing in mind a further distinction between the spiritualistic and the materialistic side of each subject.
SHEILA: Which can presumably be equated with the predominating moral bias of any given manifestation of petty-bourgeois culture?
DONAL: Yes, with
particular reference to its mainstream manifestations, as applying to
SHEILA: Against which the Nazis were to rebel in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
DONAL: Until their ascension to power in 1933 enabled them to destroy virtually everything for which it had stood. As should now be apparent, Nazism signified a lower/late petty-bourgeois rebellion against Weimar civilization, being essentially a spiritualized politics and therefore opposed, in particular, to materialistic manifestations of civilized art and sexuality, the two chief representatives of which in Germany at that time were Abstract Expressionism and soft-core unisexual pornography, by which I primarily mean a kind of rump-biased heterosexual pornography, one involving young women in a variety of rear positions. If one is to find an aesthetic equivalent for Nazism, it must be in architectural light art, in the lower, impressionistic art of the late petty-bourgeoisie - a type of spiritualistic barbarism paralleling expressionist light art, its materialistic counterpart, which was more sculptural than architectural.
SHEILA: Certainly the Nazis had a reputation for light art, for building 'cathedrals of light', as during the annual Nuremberg rallies, when numerous spotlights were trained on the night sky from a variety of angles and positions, making for a kind of dome of light above the heads of the assembled faithful. Such architectural light art, corresponding to a barbarous because paradoxical use of light, would presumably parallel the sculptural light art of those artists who would appear to be primarily in rebellion against Abstract Impressionism, as mainly pertaining to America, and who consequently employed a materialistic barbarism.
DONAL: Yes, and whose sexual equivalent would be homosexuality, a barbarous sexuality not unknown to Communists either. However, as for the Nazis, who opposed Communists and homosexuals alike, we should have little hesitation in contending that the sexuality most relevant to them was paedophilia, or the condition of being sexually attracted to children, which accords, it seems to me, with a lower/late petty-bourgeois phase of sexual activity, being, in large measure, a revolt against rump-biased soft-core pornography, a fresh sexual medium, but one employed in a paradoxical and, hence, barbarous way.
SHEILA: Are you serious?
DONAL: Perfectly! Just as architectural light art bears no
resemblance to Abstract Expressionism, and Fascism no resemblance to
SHEILA: Thus from the contemporary point of view, both paedophilia and homosexuality are passé, anachronistic modes of barbarous sexuality.
DONAL: Absolutely! Following the brutal demise of Nazism, the way was clear for the development of higher/late petty-bourgeois sex and art, which took the forms of hard-core pornography and abstract light art, as relevant to the late petty-bourgeois civilization of the Federal Republic of Germany on its materialistic side, and to post-War American Republicanism on its spiritualistic side - the former the relevant political setting for a bias favouring hard-core homosexual pornography and abstract-expressionist light art, the latter the relevant political setting for a bias favouring hard-core heterosexual pornography and abstract-impressionist light art, which usually takes the form of slender neon tubing symmetrically arranged rather than, as with its 'materialistic' counterpart, a-symmetrically arranged in everywhichway anarchic fashion.
SHEILA: Doesn't a kind of sculptural light art continue to exist with these developments?
SHEILA: Thus certain
barbarous American trends in sex and art would be adopted by
DONAL: Yes, until such time as that integrity was no longer necessary and could be superseded by Social Transcendentalism's mature phase, the phase more dedicated to construction than destruction, when abstract holography would come to supplant the barbarous, or representational, variety and, in sexual matters, hard-core juvenile pornography become the logical successor to soft-core juvenile pornography, with its representational perspective.
SHEILA: How exactly would juvenile pornography become hard-core?
DONAL: By exclusively focusing on the rump and, in particular, anus of the mature teenage model, be it boy or girl. Such a hard-core absolutism would transcend both heterosexual and homosexual hard-core pornography, the former tending to focus on the vagina, the latter on the penis. From being sexist, pornography would become post-sexist in the transcendental civilization, a juvenile's rump distinct from either male or female sex organs and significant, moreover, of a higher order of unisexual focus - one literally transcending sex. In such fashion pornography would attain to its consummation, a consummation wholly relevant to computer discs and thus to VDU contemplation, while holography was likewise brought to its consummation in the purest abstractions, abstractions originating in sculptured objects projected into space through the reflection of mirrors.
SHEILA: Quite a remove from Nazi paedophilia and architectural light art!
DONAL: To be sure! And quite a remove from all modes of
civilized late petty-bourgeois art and sex as well, not to mention civilized
late petty-bourgeois modes of religion like neo-Buddhism and mescaline
tripping, about which we have not said a word!
Certainly there will be no toleration of barbarous modes of late
petty-bourgeois art or sex either, which means that paedophiliacs and
homosexuals, if any such exist in Eire, would be subject to censure and, if
necessary, internment. Similarly there
would be no encouragement of either architectural or sculptural light art, nor,
I need scarcely add, of their civilized successors. A Social Transcendental
SHEILA: That is something to which one can only look forward!
STEVE: What would be the religious integrity specifically germane to Social Transcendentalism?
SEAN: A relatively civilized mode of upward self-transcendence dependent upon LSD or some such synthetic hallucinogen. In other words, the indirect cultivation of awareness through the contemplation of artificially-induced visionary experience - in short, through tripping, which would take place in public within the institutional context of Meditation Centres, under the watchful eye of specially-trained spiritual guides.
STEVE: So tripping would presumably constitute the lower phase of religious evolution within a civilized proletarian context.
SEAN: Yes, a relative absolutism on a par with representational holography in art, tonal synthesizer compositions in music, expressive metaphysical poetry in computer literature, and so on. Something distinct, in other words, from late petty-bourgeois absolute relativity, including neo-Buddhism.
STEVE: And thus currently beyond the pale of bourgeois/proletarian civilization.
SEAN: Yes, officially
speaking! Probably no more than an
intimation of things to come, once People’s civilization gets properly under
way, as I hope it will do in
STEVE: So it would be a stage on the road to an absolutely free-electron equivalent, once the introduction of the absolute phase of People’s civilization became feasible.
SEAN: Yes, which would be with the transformation from Social Transcendentalism to Super-transcendentalism in the second phase of the civilization in question, when hypermeditation became the relevant religious commitment.
STEVE: What, exactly, would distinguish this hypermeditation from transcendental meditation?
SEAN: Principally the fact that it would be experienced with the body in a vertical position, free from the ground, through utilization of a special harness suspended from some support apparatus within the Meditation Centre, an apparatus which would enable the hypermeditator to remain suspended from above, in a levitation-like posture. This physical transcendentalism would correspond to an absolutely post-atomic integrity, conferring a hyperspiritual status on the meditator in question, his mode of meditation also being hyperspiritual, i.e. centred on awareness and the cultivation of awareness, elevated above even the most positive feelings which, in pertaining to the old brain, would be irrelevant to an absolutely post-atomic civilization, particularly during its mature phase.
STEVE: So this Super-transcendentalism, as you call it, would constitute an aspect of the True World Religion.
SEAN: Undoubtedly the most important aspect, though not, however, the only one! For, as I envisage it, lectures on the future course of evolution and certain 'cultural' ingredients, like abstract holography, pure synthesizer music, and impressive computer poetry, would also have a place within the overall context of the True World Religion, which to some extent begins with the first phase of People’s civilization and simply attains to a climax with its second phase.
STEVE: After which time the same thing presumably begins again, albeit on higher and more intensive terms.
SEAN: Yes, with the introduction of the Millennium-proper and consequent elevation of post-humanist life to a post-human status, as human brains become artificially supported and no-less artificially sustained in communal contexts, establishing thereby the Supermen of the lower phase of millennial evolution, one given to LSD tripping - as in the corresponding phase of the preceding civilization - but this time on more extensive and intensive terms, the tripping more regular and probably stronger as well.
STEVE: Who will be responsible for creating the Supermen?
SEAN: Qualified technicians, or men with more than a superficial grasp of evolutionary requirement, a kind of serving nobility stemming from the bureaucracy, leadership, scientific community, or whatever. Such men will create and then serve the first of the post-human life forms, rather as a gardener serves his plants. They will also, in due course, create the second of the post-human life forms, the Superbeings, who, as new-brain collectivizations, will duly hypermeditate towards transcendence and, hence, ultimate salvation, that is to say, the escape of pure spirit from the remaining new-brain matter.
STEVE: You mean they will remove the old brain from each Superman and thereupon upgrade post-human life to an absolute status, with more intensified collectivizations.
SEAN: Indeed, thereby establishing the ultimate life-form on earth, each Superbeing, or hypercollectivity of new brains, being the antithetical equivalent of a tree. Well, just as trees preceded apes in the slow evolution of life on earth, so the Superbeings will succeed the Supermen who, by contrast, may be regarded as the antithetical equivalent of apes. Now just as trees stem from the phenomenal globe of planet earth, so the Superbeings will aspire towards the noumenal globe of pure spirit, a transcendence destined to converge towards and expand into other such transcendences in a heavenly journey towards the definitive unity of the ultimate Spiritual Globe - namely, the Omega Absolute. However, before all that can come to pass, life on earth must be directly programmed for transcendence, and this will be the responsibility of the serving nobility in the post-Human Millennium, who will create the Superbeings out of the Supermen, according to the demands of the occasion.
STEVE: And when they have achieved their objectives in this matter?
SEAN: There will be nothing more for them to do, in consequence of which they will gradually withdraw from active service and, eventually, die out, leaving behind an absolutely classless society of Superbeings - god-like beings perfectly capable, one imagines, of looking after themselves or, rather, their selves, i.e. of hypermeditating towards complete salvation.
STEVE: This presumably isn’t something that the meditators of the preceding post-humanist civilization would be capable of doing.
SEAN: No, they would be unable to attain to pure spirit in space, but could, at any rate, make the most of their situation by attaining to pure spirit within a relative context, their superconsciousness elevated above the intrusion of troublesome feelings, not to say thoughts, and elevated, moreover, above the contemplation of the visionary contents of their new brains. Theirs would certainly be a more absolute phase of transcendental evolution!
STEVE: Yet before this higher phase could be seriously contemplated and extensively introduced by the leaders, post-humanist life would presumably have to pass through a phase of LSD tripping?
STEVE: All over the world?
SEAN: I believe so. After all, it would be a precondition of being able to successfully hypermeditate that evolving life had passed through a phase of indirect hypermeditation, as it were, through LSD tripping; that the relative had preceded the absolute, and thereby opened-up the new brain to a degree which made an absolute orientation both possible and desirable. LSD would force consciousness up towards the visionary contents of the new brain, up towards superconsciousness. You can't expect people to hypermeditate who have spent the greater part of their lives drinking beer or wine, indulging in various degrees of downward self-transcendence in contexts of sensual stupor! When you are dealing with the proletariat, you are dealing with the urban masses, people whose psyche isn't necessarily disposed to upward self-transcendence. Therefore a precondition of making it so disposed is first to ban or phase-out alcoholic and other such sensual indulgences, and then induce them to trip and thus have their psyche almost physically wrenched away from the sensual - a precondition of their eventually being in a position to take hypermeditation seriously. For hypermeditation won't be like transcendental meditation, that petty-bourgeois extreme relativity. It must lay claim to an absolute integrity, as appropriate to a civilized proletariat. But before the proletariat can become absolutely civilized, they must become relatively civilized, and they will only become this, it seems to me, through the assistance of LSD tripping, the trip constituting a form of quasi-meditation. Once alcohol, tobacco, and other such sensual drugs have been banned, as would be the case in a post-atomic civilization, commensurate, so I believe, with 'Kingdom Come', then a substitute stimulant must be made available not only as a means of compensating the masses for the loss of traditional drugs but, more importantly, of upgrading their religious bias from the sensual to the spiritual or, at any rate, quasi-spiritual.
STEVE: So it appears that if LSD is for universal export, once the drive towards People’s civilization gets properly under way in certain countries, Social Transcendentalism must also be so, since corresponding to the relative phase of post-atomic civilization as a quasi-religion.
SEAN: Yes, I believe you are right! For Social Transcendentalism is primarily a religious ideology, and it would therefore have to take root in all countries before Super-transcendentalism, or the absolute phase of People’s religion, became possible. It signifies the Centre, that transcendental successor to the Christian Church, not to mention every church-equivalent throughout the world, and must be orientated towards the establishment of a universal centre, or global community of Transcendentalists, which will signify the total eclipse of statehood come the absolute phase of People’s civilization. Statesmen are at best petty-bourgeois democratic types, but proletarian leaders, when genuine, should be theocratic centrists, dedicated to the furtherance of a free-electron absolutism throughout the world. If they cannot be absolutely such throughout the relative phase of People’s civilization, they can at least be statesman-like centrists, and thus testify to a relativity biased towards the theocratic absolute.
STEVE: In other words, theocratic quasi-centrists.
SEAN: Yes, and therefore opposed to state-like designations, because fighters for the development of religion and associated cultural achievements towards the absolute. Wherever Social Transcendentalism takes root, you can rest assured that it will be 'all up' with the State. Free-electron equivalents, even when 'quasi', cannot abide anything proton- and/or neutron-constituted.
STEVE: And neither are they deeply enamoured, one imagines, of pseudo-electron equivalents, with their people-as-state integrity.
SEAN: No, but they understand such pseudo-electron equivalents and are determined to convert their upholders to a quasi-electron status in the course of time. For Social Transcendentalism is the root from which the flower of Super-transcendentalism will stem!