We tend to embrace newer criticisms, if not because they serve our professional interest in having marketable positions, than because their new ways of reading offer hope for cultural change not found in older vocabularies.
—Charles Altieri, Canons and Consequences
I never felt comfortable in academia, where book knowledge was routinely mistaken for wisdom. Some of my most powerful lessons occurred in the ivory tower that was graduate school—not least among them that insights can be, and often are, wrong.
It was the people who got under my fingernails like a hot blade. Many of them were friendly and kind enough, but the community I found was tainted by obsequious students and self-aggrandizing professors—these smarmy sycophants and the passive aggressive flakes worshipped at the feet of a god called Tenure.
The wine-and-cheese breath of these sour-tongued academics was mostly vocalized to defend and preserve the bourgeois culture of what amounted to personal disparagement—which generally took the form of criticism or theory. I couldn’t watch or take part in the moribund intellectual acrobatics which constitute, ultimately, the process of exclusion.
Professors are the appointed purveyors of an idealized culture, which is kept breathing with the bellows of stale philosophies, and contained by restricted self-awareness. Most take great pleasure and derive a sense of power from teaching these philosophies, methods, theories—molding young minds rather than opening them—and in many respects do not differ greatly from religious zealots.
What we need in all aspects of society today—politics, economics, religion, academia—is an authentic and fruitful chaos— and it is into chaos where we as a planet are indeed heading. Whether it will be fruitful or not depends upon how willing we are to tear down the systems of belief which have kept us from seeing everything we’ve been trained to miss. We must dispense with corporatocracy, with fake science, with polls and data and all the other mechanisms used to control the species and shame and terrorize us into learning what and how to believe.
The only authentic power comes from within each unique and awakened gut, and when that gut works in harmony with the discriminatory tool that is the mind, these two elements of awareness balance in the heart, where we unlock and give birth to our true energetic potential, a reality that cannot be imagined with a fearful, reactionary mind.
We, especially the women among us, were trained that our intuition is shit, when it happens to be our most powerful, albeit disgraced, ally. We must forgive the parts of ourselves that were coerced into trying to murder other parts of ourselves. We need to guard against our training that has shaped us into something similar to the sour-tongued academics I refer to above; this training has led us to preserve and protect the adopted beliefs that keep us small.
It’s a genuine conundrum, one quite difficult to understand with just the five senses and the reactionary nervous system, but the revolution of the planet is, in the most sublime sense, an internal job.
I leave you with the words of Seth, from The Nature of the Psyche:
One animal chasing and killing its prey serves the greater purpose of preserving the balance of nature, wether or not the animal is aware of this—and again, the animal's intent is not evil. Man consumes ideas. In doing so he contributes to a different kind of balance, of which he is usually unaware. But no man acts out of the pure intent to do wrong, or to be vicious. Storms rend the summer sky, sending forth thunder and lightening. Earthquakes may ravage the countryside. You may deeply regret the havoc worked, knowing that neither the storm nor the earthquake is evil. Not only did they have no wrong intent, but the overall condition corrected earth's balance.
This requires some unique understanding. I am aware of that—and yet the destructive storms worked by man ultimately cannot be said to be any more evil than the earthquake. While man's works may often certainly appear destructive, you must not blame man's intent, nor must you ever make the mistake of confusing man with his works. For many well-intentioned artists, with the best of intentions, produce at times shoddy works of art, all the more deplorable and disappointing to them because of the initial goodness of their intent.
Their lack of knowledge and techniques and methods then become quite plain. By concentrating too deeply upon the world of newspapers and the negative reports of of man's actions, it is truly easy to lose sight of what I tell you is each man's and each woman's basic good intent.
That intent may be confused, poorly executed, tangled amid conflicts of beliefs, strangled by the bloody hands of murders and wars—and yet no man or woman ever loses it. That represents the hope of the species, and it has ever remained lit, like a bright light within each member of the species; and that good intent is handed down through the generations. It is far more potent, that illumination, than any hates of national grudges that might also be passed along.
It is imperative, for any peace of mind, that you believe in that existence of man's innate good intent.
It is shared by all of the other animals. Each animal knows that under certain conditions the other may fight or posture aggressively, or defend its nest. Each animal knows that in time of hunger it might be hunted by another. Except for those situations, however, the animals are not afraid of each other. They know that each other animal is of good intent.
Grant your own species the same.