Category Archives: Freedom

Gender Dissolution

We live with a great deal of confusion regarding gender and the interplay of opposites. This play is far more subtle and complex than regularly acknowledged. The two basic poles in the dance of opposites are active and passive, and the third force is the mercurial element which reconciles the polarity into unity. A basic assumption of various lazy mysticisms which has translated itself into a broader cultural assumption equates the masculine with active and the feminine with passive. This is incorrect, or at least only half correct. The feminine may be viewed as receptive, but one can be actively receptive, in the sense of enveloping another, wherein that which is being enveloped is the passive masculine. It is a fairly simple and over-looked fact of nature that the feminine is regularly active. Further more, it is totally possible for the receptive to be received and therefore to be simultaneously masculine and feminine. For example, think of a cup, a vessel which receives water. In this interaction the cup is feminine and the water masculine, but stack the cup into another cup, and the 1st cup is now being received, as well receiving. To add more complexity, we could put a spoon into the water and the water which was masculine is now playing both roles.

The point here is not to create further complexity, but to point out the inadequacy of our current means of approaching polarities. The mistake is of a predominantly linear and reductionist thinking, in which we prefer to make fixed correspondances between our continuums (male/female, masculine/feminine, active/passive, light/dark, right/left, good/evil). This mode of thinking has been very hindering to our self-knowledge, as a collective and as individuals. The implication of a continuum is that it is a unity, expressing itself in endless variations of proportion and rhythm between two poles.

If we imagine male and female sexual intercourse, as a metaphor, when the sex is good, it is like a good conversation between the enveloping and penetrating principles of the universe, both are equally active and passive, sometimes one more than the other and other times meeting one another in perfect balance. In this way the sex act itself is the mercurial third created by the union of opposites. This is not to purvey some sort heterotypical sexual fundamentalism, but it is the mode of sexual expression which fascinates the author most.

We can translate this metaphor to look at the forces that make up an individual. Masculine and feminine principles are never fully predominant in a human. We are gendered only to the extent that we behave as a particular gender and that that behavior forms our identity. Being genderless does not necessarily imply that one changes one’s preferences regarding attraction or start dressing a different way. One can be heteronormative in behavior, and express oneself within the cultural norms and still have a fluid relationship with gender. However, our cultural norms are proving inadequate in dealing with the whole person regardless of sex or gender identification. And if, in order to express oneself authentically, a person must behave outside of gender norms, then they must feel safe to do so. We must express our sovereignty authentically. And that which is sovereign within the individual is genderless. Sovereignty, in this case, is the continuum itself, expressing itself in an endless transmutation of the masculine and feminine principles.

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Bruce Lee – “Be Water, My Friend.”

Bruce Lee shows us a practical application of the via negativa: The Way that is no way. Whether or not practicing the “combative arts,” we can see ourselves as vessels through which force is expressed. In here, we have the union of opposites: the vessel and the force, each giving expression to one another.

Many folks seem so quick to reduce the phenomena of life to a mechanical process and give up on becoming intimate with the incomprehensible. We understand how the body functions, but we still don’t know what life is. Materialism’s assumption is that all that is conscious relies on functioning organs and tissue to exist. However, when we observe a light bulb, we do not confuse the physical apparatus of the bulb with the force that is electricity.

In geometry the point is put into motion by force and becomes an endless straight line, which is curved into the spiral by the force’s opposite (inertia). This play of opposites complexifies and draws the spiral out into three-dimensional space and further transposes itself into time, giving itself it’s own causative reality in the conch shell and all patterns of nature. Expressing oneself authentically is artful living. It requires no prerequisites, and nobody and no circumstance can subtract from the potential to live authentically.

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Nina Simone- What is it to be free?

Be wary of the easy truth. Listen to Nina and her music and let her shake you to your core.

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Alchemy and Inner Transformation

Frédéric Lionel was an author and teacher of the Western Esoteric Tradition, a loose term that describes a set of teachings that is an amalgam of, among other influences, ancient Egyptian, Judea-Christian, Chaldean, and Babylonian sources, handed down from teacher to student.

Frédéric was also the teacher of my parents. Although, I never remember meeting the man, he performed my christening as a baby, and I remember my parents journeying to France and Germany to see Frédéric. At the time, I didn’t really know what sort of teachings they were seeking from Frédéric, but it was clear that he seemed important to them.

My late father wrote in the comment section of this rare YouTube appearance, “Frédéric was a master teacher. Think for yourself. -So Will, Love, Wisdom reflected by Charity, Hope, Faith are the petals of the Rose, symbolic of the sublimation of matter, blossoming at the center of the Cross, revealing the mystery of Life in the crucible of the world.”

Whatever, one thinks about alchemy, western esotericism, and it’s symbols is not important to Mercury Rising, these are secondary to the awakening of all available modes of perception and the ability of the individual to think on one’s own two feet, free of concept, opinion, and belief.

There is no one, no text, no teaching, no set of beliefs that give you the ability to think for yourself. There is no need or requirement to enclose yourself in a concept, you don’t need to ask an expert or authority if it is so, be still, and find out for yourself.

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Death is a Force of Nature

Youth: “Jammon, you know, I’m really afraid of death.”

Elder: “Death is a force of nature just like lightning, jah. The righteous face it every day, and pass it by. But those with evil in their hearts fear it. That’ is why there is no need to slay the wicked. Just leave them to face death, and they will perish.”

A scene from the 1982 film, Countryman.

 

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Your Behavior Creates Your Gender

fe/male

When considering the difference between male and female, and masculine and feminine, consider the Yin Yang, the Taoist symbol of the union of opposites. In this symbol there are those two dots in the middle of the two shapes representing male and female. This implies a simplified fractal nature of “the whole.” We could imagine the dots inside the yin and the yang as microcosms, yin yangs within themselves.

In our society we have chosen to identify ourselves with one or the other sides of the yin yang. But if we were to recognize ourselves as reflected in the total system of this symbol, than we would not see ourselves as predominantly masculine or feminine, but as a totality of equal and opposite forces maintaining a perfect tension, so as to exist in the embodiment that we do, on this earth.

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“Can the Content End?”

Via Negativa

From the religious mystic‘s point of view, the “negative way” or via negativa, is at the core of all world religions. The work of which is absolute self-abnegation. This concept is regularly combined with selfless service, abstaining from pleasures, or in its extremity, self-abuse. These types of positive expressions are not what Krishnamurti is discussing here. Rather, K proposes entering into truth without method.

Self-abnegation, for Mercury Rising’s purposes, is the understanding of what one is through the understanding of what one is not. In this, one is empty of a sense of self and empty of the drive to draw meaning from events. Identity and meaning are self-projected images, or the story we tells ourselves after the events happen, rather than reality as it is happening. It is through the lens of the self that we distort reality. This does not imply a denial of the content of the self, but rather a plain and simple awareness of the content in its totality.

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Choice and “The Good Life”

We are always trying to change the outer condition, in order to change the inner condition. We are always doing this with very little success for our quality of life. We develop mechanisms to save time at work and at home, so that we will have more time to live “the good life.” However, we rush around day to day, we buy the new thing, because the old one is obsolete. In our society, there is immense anxiety, in part, because we have accepted endless choice in the place of freedom. Endless choice in inane matters is not freedom, it is compulsion and madness.

The over-the-topness of our world often creates such remarkable tension, unhappiness, and a profound sense of boredom, in the first-world citizen, that it often feels preferable to lull ourselves into a hypnotic state, moving from entertainment to entertainment. The dominant aesthetic of this entertainment is instant gratification.  Our neuroses make it very easy for our choices to be driven by market influences, rather than our choice driving the market.

Under this aesthetic, all people, information, and activities are a commodity to consume. Even eastern spirituality is not exempt from this type of consumption, in many cases modes of spiritual materialism strengthen the capitalist assumption. We can see this in the proliferation of self-improvement methods that hit the market every day. In a frightfully uncertain world, this gives us the feeling of control and predictability, which adds to the first-world citizen’s false sense of security, and this only furthers our guilt for not fully engaging in the reality of our times. When one method of happiness fails, we seek the next, assuming it is the fault of the the method and not ourselves. So, our methods of escape and self-improvement are not successful, because they are born out of our cultural anxiety.

Transformation occurs by rigorous self-reflection, a capacity unique to our species, which peels away our layers of personal, cultural, and specie-al  identification until we realize our underlying sovereignty. We have to undertake this each for ourselves, because if we turn this task over to anyone else, we open ourselves to brain-washing that can lead to authoritarian abuse. In this sense we are not the victim of abuse, but rather, by our own actions, we have turned our brother or sister into the authority and given them the opportunity to abuse power, an opportunity humans have been known to take.

This line of thinking can be taken as a sort of victim blaming, but what I am talking about is the inward establishment of soverieignty, and I fully acknowledge that in some circumstances in our world that asserting this sovereignty is an offense, to certain parts of our society, that is punishable by death.

And of course it is our choice whether to take on such a task or not.

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