I can't tell if it's useless, or a new religion, or what. I figured here would be a good place for feedback if anyone is so inclined.
From the womb
I am surrounded by the action of the universe.
I feel my own weight.
I am placed.
My place is a sphere and
I am at the center of it.
And every moment of every day of this, my life
my senses—the middle men for everything I know—
tell me the whole universe spreads out from me,
in every direction.
A tree comes into view, and a rock...
They slide toward the center of the universe as I approach,
then slide again away from the center with my progress
until they are gone.
Along the way I discover fire
because I will it,
the rocks and the trees are transformed
into tools and resources.
I am pleased.
I have expressed my rationality in the physical world
by acting in terms of it as it really is.
I call this expression of my rationality "science"
and suddenly the universe
is pressed into the service of my desires.
But my desires (I discover soon enough)
I will be busy until the end of...
the end of...
I explore time, using my science,
and discover I can see the universe without me.
And beyond that I see the birth of the universe itself
until I realize I am looking at the death of a universe without me
and the distance of both is one eternity.
They meet in the middle and there I am.
I stand back and from the middle of eternity I look at what I have done to the rocks and the trees.
I consider the breadth of my knowledge;
It, my science, is a marvel.
It is my tremendous achievement:
an immeasurable accumulation of intelligence across ages.
I am Scientific Man.
Take a look at me:
Scientific Man in the middle of all there is
or ever will be,
forever expressing his rationality in the physical world around him,
wielding his tools,
consuming his resources,
striding across the universe,
I am the master of all that exists.
I am impressive.
I am lovely.
I am dangerous.
I am a very clever monkey.
One day, something remarkable
and very troubling happened
to the clever monkey.
I had had some project or another
underway, that day, and I was
busy with the earth and my objects
and my science.
Behind me, as usual,
my desire grunted and grumbled impatiently.
In the course of my work,
I found myself contemplating for their suitability
the properties of a number of objects in the area.
Suddenly, I gasped out loud
and jumped to my feet
trembling and deeply unsettled.
One of the objects,
as I was contemplating it,
unexpectedly contemplated me back.
There was nothing in all my experience,
in all my science,
to prepare me for this,
for being the object of contemplation.
So I, clever monkey,
simply stood and stared
rooted like a tree to the spot where I stood,
immobile as a rock.
And then I noticed there were others.
Many, in fact.
Many objects contemplating me,
looking back at me.
For a man of science, of course,
it was unnerving—
in the physical world,
one is never the object of one's object.
I marshaled my cleverest science
hoping to find some way to fold these new and unique objects
into my rational, self-centered approach to the universe.
But in the end,
only Linnaeus, of all my scientific brethren,
could offer help: I could only name them.
From then on,
the contemplating objects of contemplation were called You.
And falling out of the nature of the thing,
I became Me.
So there is Me,
in the middle of the universe,
at the center of time
observing the objects around me.
And there, observing Me back, are You,
and You, and You.
And You. Observing Me!
Me circle cautiously.
You circle Me,
and Me ape You.
Me are fascinated that You find Me so exceedingly interesting.
Me mesmerizes You,
and Me cannot tear Me eyes away.
Then I notice that You contemplate Me from the middle of the universe,
and from the center of time.
You cannot be in the place of Me!
Me science strains to account for You implications.
You are Me when You observe Me,
and Me is You,
but the impossibility of it cuts Me adrift.
Blind, deaf, disembodied,
out of place, out of time.
Me senses are discredited;
no longer trustworthy,
and all Me knowledge begins to wash away like sand under a torrent...
Me begins to sense You are the enemy of Me,
and You begin to hate Me.
Me hate You and curse the day Me first saw You,
You tell Me,
snarling with Me hate
and Me terror
and Me loss.
I need a place to think
and so I find a place in which all the objects are proper ones.
I conclude since there can be only one center of the universe,
there can only be one Me.
And that Me is I.
So I tried to ignore you
and concentrate only on those objects that behaved.
I tried and sometimes succeeded.
But, despite my best efforts,
I found my attention irresistibly and repeatedly
drawn back to You.
I couldn't seem to leave well enough alone,
and no sooner would my attention alight on You
than I would find my attention rewarded
with another spate of mule-headed mischief.
It was frustrating, frankly, and it made me angry.
And the more I dealt with you, the angrier I got.
So, when You or You came into view,
I turned away.
It was I and my objects
there at the center of the universe
in the middle of time.
Oh, my science!
I am awed by your scale and your complexity.
But, I have discovered,
You are more complex still.
Scientific Man, you are clever,
but, I have discovered,
You are cleverer still.
You laugh. Science never laughs.
You cry. Science never cries.
Though science understands the human eye,
science cannot see You eyes.
You eyes sometimes cloud with sadness,
You eyes sometimes sparkle with joy,
Sometimes You eyes narrow with suspicion.
Sometimes they flash with anger.
Sometimes they harden into hatred.
To all these, science is blind
and it would break
your heart, Science,
if you could see beauty.
And oh, my science,
You can feel my pain.
I have discovered why I cannot seem to ignore You
to eliminate You
to live isolated and satisfied with Me science and Me objects—
a very clever monkey
in the middle of the universe
and the center of time.
Because I hate, and love,
and feel sorrow, and joy.
Because I am You.
Clearly Scientific Man is inadequate to explain
both Me and You.
I need to find a fuller man,
a man who can include the reality of Scientific Man,
and exceed him.
Like Scientific Man,
my new man must express his rationality in the real world.
To be more fully real
he must act in terms of the world as it really is.
But my new man must also account
for the impossible paradox
of the individual centrality
of all the Me and You.
And so, for the first time since the womb,
I step back from my senses,
I step back from the information they feed me—
a small step to suspend—
the basis for all my rational action.
Oh You, and You, and You, and You:
I grant you Me and I am You and
You and Me are equally in the center of the universe.
...and the immediate benefit is astonishing...
Where before my world was limited
to all the objects around me,
now to that objective reality is added a new realm.
Suddenly, society spreads out before me.
And politics, likewise,
like the lights of a city coming on as dusk passes.
And politics and society blaze out into the falling night,
lighting the darkness.
And I have a new man.
I consider what to name him.
I discover I can send ripples of understanding through my societies.
So do I call my new man social man?
I learn I can act reasonably in political ways.
So do I call my new man political man?
No, there is a better name for the Scientific Man
who has suspended for a bit his science,
his relationship with the rocks and the trees.
I look out on the vast city below
stretching out in a yellow haze
into an endless sea of lights
blinking on and blinking on...
I stretch out my hands
and there is a pipe organ before me
as large as a mountain
and my fingers are spread a mile wide
over the keys.
I drop my hands and an enormous chord—
a giant urgent Beethoven chord—
swells up out of the earth
and flows lava-like with power out over the city.
The city below me shudders in recognition.
And by that shudder
I know I have expressed something true.
The shudder shared as it washed over the city
is the mutually shared recognition of the truth I have expressed
and the new man is thus discovered acting rationally
in terms of the universe as it really is.
How much more deeply rational becomes clear
as I consider the nature of this discovery.
For this discovery, unlike the discoveries of Scientific Man,
cannot be made by Me acting alone in the physical world,
nor by You acting alone in the physical world,
but requires the higher reality of both
You and Me acting together in the world.
The truth just discovered
required the creation and the validation—
the chord and the shudder.
This man who, with humanity, shudders
at the power of truth—
this politicized, socialized man,
this Scientific Man made more fully real,
this more rational man,
this one who creates and validates,
I call Artistic Man
and the power that washed over the city I call Art.
Upon the appearance of Artistic Man,
Scientific Man is enslaved.
To You and You and You.
As Artistic Man creates and validates,
Scientific Man becomes a fetch boy
for the creator and the validator.
Never again need he be merely a clever monkey,
for now he is in the service of creation;
his desires are informed by art.
Scientific Man is still as powerful as ever,
he has lost none of his power over the rocks and the trees.
Indeed, his abilities continue to expand with breathtaking speed.
He daily dazzles with new marvels
and the glittering mountains of crap he has spent a lifetime gathering
would be the envy of any crap-gatherer.
But in the glow of his accomplishments, sometimes,
when surrounded by all his crap,
Scientific Man forgets his position of servitude.
So impressive are his achievements,
so attractive his acquisitions,
so clever his contrivances,
Artistic Man, too, will sometimes forget
who is the master and who is the slave
and he will bend his head to his slave
and hand him the whip.
At more rational times, however,
Artistic Man will confront the insubordination of the
clever monkey crap-gatherer.
I have seen your work, says Artistic Man to Scientific Man,
at those times when you have dared assert your rank above me—
of my enslavement to you.
That I should have ever submitted myself to you and your hubris
proves only that I am human, that I am not—
God? Scientific Man interrupts derisively.
You once told me that you were Economic Man,
continues Artistic Man, ignoring him,
and proved to me with some h + o (cu/s) = (po) + c /(u + s)
that I was your slave.
For a time I believed you;
you were, after all, very grand back then.
I handed you my whip,
and the lights in the city were nearly extinguished
and the music from the pipe organ on the mountain was crude and violent
and the only shudders in the city were those of terror and old women
as they drew a curtain on the agony of a city
cast under a blood red haze.
Finally, even you had to admit your science was not up to the task—
that your Economic Man did not meet the standards of reality—
and you handed me back my whip.
Another time, Scientific Man,
you told me you were Psychological Man
and you proved to me with some blahcus blowcus
that you were my master.
I believed you and handed you my whip.
The lights of the city became thin and shrill
and meager as the spent whore left grasping at the fleeing night.
And even you eventually needed morning light
and to feel the sun
and you handed me back my whip.
Another time, Scientific Man,
you told me you were Sociological Man
and you proved to me with some ad hocusinem pocusology
that you were my master.
I believed you and handed you my whip.
And the lights of the city grew feeble and small.
They lay distant, scattered across a wide dark swamp,
flat and sluggish, crying solitary in a mad, parataxic rhythm.
Immobilized by the empty weight,
you handed me back my whip.
So let's have no more coups,
Scientific Man, you clever, clever monkey
roaming the city under a yellow haze
in the middle of everything
forever in the center of time.
The Artist is up on the mountain.
He plays and the power ripples across the city
and You and You and You shudder in recognition of it.
I know, as I watch the city shudder below,
I know that to shudder in recognition is not the thing recognized.
Artistic Man merely reproduces a yet higher man.
It is Artistic Man who recognizes something more real than himself
and a city shudders at the power of that which he recognizes.
I look closely, listen intently,
feel my way carefully for this power under the ripples and shudders.
But my five physical senses are useless.
I sense the artist's power some other way.
Oh, the power of that finer, higher sense,
embracing the five senses and all the cleverness derived from them
and adding the higher fuller reality—
the heart that sings,
the eyes that love,
the look of compassion.
I am a member now of a vast city,
down on which from the heights of Art I gaze.
I see the shudder of recognition as the power in Art.
I understand that the thing recognized is more fully real,
but I struggle to name it, so I recall the manner in which I made my first great leap forward in reality.
I remember suspending my belief for a moment—
suspending all the knowledge my senses were feeding me—
and I looked around at this universe at the center of which was I.
And I said, No. I am not at the center,
nor are You, nor are You, nor are You,
And in that way Art was born
and my world became more real.
But I had forgotten time.
I had forgotten Me and You still in the center of time.
So I looked backward,
but saw only a man standing at the beginning of eternity;
a man at the end.
So we took our hand and stepped out of the center and looked up—
up at the center, which was the whole of eternity,
at the unity,
at the One...
Instantly we see the great city below us
spread out across the universe
and pulsing in time to eternity.
Ah yes, we have accomplished that reasonable step,
that perfectly rational step.
We have acknowledged we are not at the center of time.
I look deeper, and I notice that if I unhinge the city from my own centrality
it spreads out across the universe below me,
but to spread out over eternity
it is not enough that I strike the city's shackles—
You must, too,
and we raise the next generation as the previous one raised us
and we have our before and after...
And two, become one,
not in the middle of the universe: the We omnipresent.
not in the center of time: the We eternal.
the We in which there are
no centers of the universe,
no centers of eternity.
We have a new man acting in terms of the world as it really is,
exalted by Artistic Man,
revered by Scientific Man...