The Mystic and the Anarchist

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity…”
—William Butler Yeats

Below is a very loose description of Anarchy, that I recently read, from Noam Chomsky. Actually, it was more about the spirit of Anarchy, and where such forms of action should lead.

I was reminded of how well-suited these ideas are for the inner journey as well, and the ongoing desire for greater creativity and freedom and awareness—which may or may not involve dark chocolate. I can never make my mind up.

Either way, it’s interesting to hear an honest attempt at describing a word. Most words these days, like God, conservative, democrat or liberal, cease to have much meaning, save as a tool for manipulation of citizens who believe they have meaning. I mean Republicans are supposed to be, get this, fiscally responsible. Ha ha ha, oh my sides, make him stop!

And I think President Obama is already getting in a mess of trouble with these inconceivably back-breaking (for the tax-payer) bailout plans. I don’t think he will be able to dig himself out of what seems by instinct, at least, to be ludicrous economic theory and planning. Worse off, the theory comes from the economic theorists who contributed so blindly and ignorantly to the recent collapse in the first place. I hope not, but I think so. Trillions of dollars, literally. Insanity, no?

But anyway, the journey goes on, in body and spirit. From Chomsky:

“…since childhood, when I was haunting Anarchist bookstores and offices in New York, since from then to today, I’ve essentially understood Anarchism to be not a specific recipe for how the world should work, although it has principles, but rather as a kind of tendency in human affairs towards trying to identify structures of hierarchy, oppression, domination, wherever they may be.”

I like that phrase, “a tendency.” What isn’t? No matter how fundamentalist we get about and ideology of any form, we don’t really know that much—although I think the truth involves very dark chocolate.

“From the family to international affairs: identifying them [hierarchy, oppression, injustice etc], insisting that they justify themselves, they are not self-justifying. And if they can’t meet that burden of justification, moving to dismantling them.”

Does that not work for one’s own mind, too? The non-self-justifying comments that arise from the fire is truly astounding.

“Hence, moving towards a more free world.

Exactly where it will lead, I’m certainly not smart enough to say, and I don’t think anyone is.”

No wonder solidarity, communion, friendship, conversation, is so beautiful and important. Imagine sports, politics or direct marketing conventions without a group of people. Not pretty. But not that pretty anyway.

“Political activism is, I think, a little bit like mountain climbing. I mean you work hard, you climb a peak, and you discover to your surprise that there’s another peak back there that’s even higher that you hadn’t even known about, and you start to work on that one.

Well, yeah, that’s what things are like. There a lot of peaks out there that have not entered into our consciousness. I hope we’ll get to them but there’s a lot of work to be done before we do. As this proceeds we move kind of closer to an anarchist vision.”

How free can a person be? How clear yet filled with even more love and compassion for sisters and brothers, indeed all beings. That’s a journey. Christians and Muslims get salvation. According to the Vedas (Hinduism), we go through 8,400,000 lives (400,000 human lives) to get liberated.

That’s a lot of living, and a fair amount of dying.

Any tips, let me know. And please be kind to yourself, by occasionally making strange barking noises and tickling your own arm-pits whenever you get too serious.

Pete xox


Leave a Reply