The problem is not that too much has been revealed, but that every revelation finds its sponsor, its CEO, its monthly slick, its clone Judases & replacement people.
You can’t get sick from too much knowledge—but we can suffer from the virtualization of knowledge, its alienation from us & its replacement by a weird dull changeling or simulacrum—the same “data,” yes, but now dead—like supermarket vegetables; no “aura.”
Our malaise (January 1, 1992) arises from this: we hear not the language but the echo, or rat her the reproduction ad infinitum of the language, its reflection upon a reflection-series of itself, even more self-referential & corrupt. The vertiginous perspectives of this VR datascape nauseate us because they contain no hidden spaces, no privileged opacities.
Infinite access to knowledge that simply fails to interact with the body or with the imagination—in fact the manichean ideal of fleshless soulless thought— modern media/politics as pure gnostic mentation, the anaesthetic ruminations of Archons & Aeons, suicide of the Elect…
The organic is secretive—it secretes secrecy like sap. The inorganic is a demonic democracy—everything equal, but equally valueless. No gifts, only commodities. The Manichaeans invented usury. Knowledge can act as a kind of poison, as Nietzsche pointed out.
Within the organic (“Nature,” “everyday life”) is embedded a kind of silence which is not just dumbness, an opacity which is not mere ignorance—a secrecy which is also an affirmation— a tact which knows how to act, how to change things, how to breathe into them.
Not a “cloud of unknowing”—not “mysticism”—we have no desire to deliver ourselves up again to that obscurantist sad excuse for fascism—nevertheless we might invoke a sort of taoist sense of “suchness-of-things”—”a flower does not talk,” & it’s certainly not the genitals which endow us with logos. (On second thought, perhaps this is not quite true; after all, myth offers us the archetype of Priapus, a talking penis.) An occultist would ask how to “work” this silence—but we’d rather ask how to play it, like musicians, or like the playful boy of Heraclitus.
A bad mood in which every day is the same. When are a few lumps going to appear in this smooth time? Hard to believe in the return of Carnival, of Saturnalia. Perhaps time has stopped here in the Pleroma, here in the Gnostic dreamworld where our bodies are rotting but our “minds” are downloaded into eternity. We know so much—how can we not know the answer to this most vexing of questions?
Because the answer (as in Odilon Redon’s “Harpocrates”) isn’t answered in the language of reproduction but in that of gesture, touch, odor, the hunt. Finally virtu is impassable—eating & drinking is eating & drinking—the lazy yokel plows a crooked furrow. The Wonderful World of Knowledge has turned into some kind of PBS Special from Hell. I demand real mud in my stream, real watercress. Why, the natives are not only sullen, they’re taciturn—downright incommunicative. Right, gringo, we’re tired of your steenking surveys, tests & questionnaires. There are some things bureaucrats were not meant to know— & so there are some things which even artists should keep secret. This is not self-censorship nor self-ignorance. It is cosmic tact. It is our homage to the organic, its uneven flow, its backcurrents & eddies, its swamps & hideouts. If art is “work” then it will become knowledge & eventually lose its redemptive power & even its taste. But if art is “play” then it will both preserve secrets & tell secrets which will remain secrets. Secrets are for sharing, like all of Nature’s secretions.
Is knowledge evil? We're no mirror-image Manichees here—we're counting on dialectics to break a few bricks. Some knowledge is dadata, some is commodata. Some knowledge is wisdom—some simply an excuse for doing nothing, desiring nothing. Mere academic knowledge, for example, or the knowingness of the nihilist post-mods, shades off into realms of the UnDead—& the UnBorn. Some knowledge breathes—some knowledge suffocates. What we know & how we know it must have a basis in the flesh—the whole flesh, not just a brain in a jar of formaldehyde. The knowledge we want is neither utilitarian nor “pure” but celebratory. Anything else is a totentanz of data-ghosts, the “beckoning fair ones” of the media, the Cargo Cult of too-Late Capitalist epistemology.
If I could escape this bad mood of course I’d do so, & take you with me. What we need is a plan. Jail break? tunnel? a gun carved of soap, a sharpened spoon, a file in a cake? a new religion?
Let me be your wandering bishop. We’ll play with the silence & make it ours. Soon as Spring comes. A rock in the stream, bifurcating its turbulence. Visualize it: mossy, wet, viridescent as rainy jade-faded copper struck by lightning. A great toad like a living emerald, like Mayday. The strength of the bios, like the strength of the bow or lyre, lies in the bending back.