Postscript to “For Those With Visions of the Apocalypse”: Eschatology, Organic Memory, and Anarchism

Hello good people!  Summer is here.  I hope your gardens are doing better than mine.  I’m sure the government is thwarting my efforts.  Even if it isn’t spies peaking over the wall to spray pesticides, the strange and unwholesome climate is doing the system’s dirty work on a large scale.  Bad juju is in the air!  Anyway, I want to write a post-script on the recent zine For Those With Visions of the Apocalypse: Hopi Prophecy and Revolution.  I imagine not too many who have read it understand what it’s all about.  First and foremost, it wasn’t about any hoity-toity 2012 crap—although the time is very ripe for this subject, considering.  Secondly, it didn’t have anything to do with trying to create any kind of sensationalist, pseudo-spiritual fear about the end times.  Rather, it was a call to recognize the nature of our universal captivity so that we might work to transcend it.

One of my favorite conversations, and one that has come up countless times over the years with all different kinds of people, is the When the Shit Hits the Fan conversation.  Of course those on the underground are the foremost scholars on the subject, but it seems everyone’s got some kind of theory.  My Mormon uncle, my disillusioned Democratic madre, and even my conservative Iowan grandmother all have some sense that things are seriously off the charts.  Whether it’s the relentless war, the brutish and technified encroachment of the government, or just the feeling that things aint what-they-used-to-be (for the young that’s aint what-they-should-be), everyone’s had enough.  Even the mainstream media can’t help but flush out the ubiquitous sense of apocalypticism.  Do you think that zombie movies, disaster flicks like “The Day After Tomorrow”, and such poignantly pertinent shows as History Channel’s “Life After Humans” and “Doomsday Preppers” have nothing to do with our barely-unconscious feeling that we are in the midst of a silent, worldwide catastrophe that violates our most essential sense of being?  But this sense of devastating corruption isn’t a fantasy, and it isn’t always silent or even hidden by the slightest film of bloodstained earth.  It pervades every aspect of our lives, and taunts our patience by continually postponing the watershed moment we are all waiting for.  The above examples might seem trite—they are, after all, manufactured unreality—but the fact is that they reflect a sensation so widespread and volcanically pent up that even in these shallow commercial venues they seep up like oil through the rock.

But this is just postmodern eschatology—kid’s stuff.  It demonstrates how in even the most ruinous postmodern wastelandscapes, America in this case, our organic inherited perception—that knowledge which composes the most incorruptible strata of our being—still cries out against the totality.  And it really does cry.  It laments like a Lakota crying for a vision on a lone mountaintop, it wells up in rage in the ghettoes, and at our best moments it overwhelms us suddenly with an epic sense of crisis, of oceanic desires yet to be fulfilled, and ultimately of ecclesiastical transcendence.

Kazimir Dabrowski, a Polish psychologist turned Nazi prisoner during WWII, came to the conclusion during his internment that depression and anxiety—two of the most prevalent afflictions in our society—come about when one begins to develop a system of values that is at odds with their socialization.  The isolation and crucial introspection that results delivers crushing blows to one’s sense of self, resulting in the intense psychic pain that is the hallmark of the road towards transcendence.  He called this process of existential breakdown Positive Disintegration.  That is, positive dis-integration from cultural conditioning—this baptism into the truly spiritual, in which the suppressed memories of our ancestors, our genetic knowledge, our organic connection to the cosmos devastates through heartbreak the indoctrination of a system which has forgotten and done away with these things (or so it thought).  You can take the wo/man out of nature but you can’t take the nature out of the wo/man!  So I say.

I believe that this psychic drive towards cultural disintegration and spiritual renewal is not only personal but cosmological.  Why else would we find this same doctrine pervading every religion to its very root?  Apocalyptic sentiments are nurtured by oppression, and the oppressive structures of civilization become the focus of the cycles of devastation and renewal.  John’s Revelations, for instance, in which life on earth is destroyed and symbolically resurrected through the rapture of all souls, came to him when in forced exile on Patmos.  And look at the Ghost Dance—Wovoka the Paiute had a vision in which the encroaching darkness of empire was wiped away and the spirits of the dead returned to earth to live in eternal paradise.  In these visions the resurrection might not be literally about the return of loved ones lost, but rather and expression of spiritual understanding.  Our ancestors are here beneath us—just as the seeds lie in wait beneath the concrete—and each handful of earth contains their breath, their bodies, their blood—just as each living tree and young deer contains the spirit of all life; just as the mountains and the valleys will the return of a long lost organic balance by their very nature.  The prophecies of the Hopi, the cyclical eons of the Mayans, and the Hindi cycles of Manvantara share the same knowledge in different expressions.  Their common message is that the systems of oppression are not in harmony with natural law, and so are destined for destruction at the all-pervading hands of cosmic cycles.  Can anyone deny this reality?  That these walls will inevitably become ruins?  That salvation waits beyond the chains of this doomed, forlorn, empty deathmarch?  That the sacred is our only way forward?  Rise up ye mighty people!  Claim God in your hearts.  Live for the spirit eternal.  Join hands with all life.  It is the good way, the good road.  And nothing less will save us.

No kingdom
just freedom.


3 thoughts on “Postscript to “For Those With Visions of the Apocalypse”: Eschatology, Organic Memory, and Anarchism

  1. Human civilisation needs a new direction, and for each step in progress there must be a death or destruction phase. Those that consider that humanity will be destroyed, thus end of story, miss larger picture that creation comes after destruction. Humanity will survive and progress onwards and upwards, though it will be bloody and destructive at times.

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