Friday, November 10, 2006

RE: the poem: Guerden ov Addomz (see 10/26/06)

Reb Rick Kool wrote to me, asking:

So what is it that is written in our cells that we drag up the hill? The search for the peaceful place, the search for the garden with food (all kinds of foods for mind and body), or is it that our cells tell us to stir up dust?

In answering him, I thought maybe it would be of interest to all of you, so here it is:

I guess I would have to answer that, on the first level, the poem attempts to unlock these kind of questions, rather than provide answers. But then again, I hate writers that spew out the copped-out, bullshit company line that "art and literature have no meaning except what each reader/viewer gives it." That's just so much hogwash in a bucket.

So I am glad if this poem inspires questions, but if that's all it does, it's a failure. If art/literature is to be more than decoration or entertainment, if it is to take leadership responsibility for making this world a better place, the author must be able to clearly convey intentions (in-tensions) and meanings, and not merely create questions, ambiguities, and bizarreties.

Technically, I am merging/superimposing into a single picture a few worlds: 1) this, the one we see with our eyes; 2) the after-death state which we cannot see at all with any certainty; 3) the Biblical-spiritual world that provides us with images of some kind of original (or pre-world) paradise, that may also be, 4) a Divine state of peace and perfection that is immanent but hidden.

We are the tillers of this soil, this world, but yet we hardly know what fruit it is we grow or harvest. Indeed, we are so busy, so overwhelmed even, with the details, that we hardly have the time, much less the vision, to contemplate what, if any, are the enduring impacts of our presence and our work here. We have hardly the time or the vision to consider that, as many believe, we stand in the Presence of the Divine, and yet, grievously, we see with our eyes how shameless our behavior can be. Many also believe the Messiah has come, and yet, grievously, we see with our eyes that these are not Messianic times, at least by any definition I can understand.

Perhaps with these kinds of meditations we can begin to remove the veil from our eyes, a curtain upon which is projected this obvious world, but which separates us from higher states of knowing and being. Many say, "no, there is only this world, and it is not (but) a veil." They say there is nothing deeper, nothing Divine, nothing Messianic to see or to know.

But I have seen the veil pulled back, and I am trying to address that experience and convey it, both for those who don't believe there is anything beyond this world, and for those who have seen beyond, and want to see more. The problem is, visionary experiences transcend our rationality, and thus can't be conveyed in simple, or literal, or rationalistic modalities. I'm not interested in telling about the experience. Plenty of others have done that. I want to generate a reality transcending experience in the reader! My response is to construct linguistic forms that stretch, or tear, the fabric of language, and that superimpose multiple states and places. By partially emulating the "visionary" experience, perhaps I can literarily (and literally) activate or stimulate it. I don't know what else to do, to try to help people see thru, or beyond, that which appears so opaque, so impenetrable, so insurmountable.

But to attempt to achieve such results in one way or another is absolutely necessary. Whether I succeed or fail is another issue entirely. How else are we to be inspired to change, to do better, if we cannot begin to glimpse the Divine Presence beyond the veil?

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