I want to leave this series of posts with a brief consideration of the horizon against which all of this plays out. The faculties of will and intellect, mask and body of fate, are not unique to the human world. They can easily be traced into all of the corners of animal, suggested in vegetal life, and even glimpsed in the physio-chemical mechanisms that underpin them, though this is more subtle.
The work of life described by the Yeatsian spirits is not unique to human life. The machanisms by which things are born, die, pass into incorporeality to be reborn, winds through all things of time and space. The patterns that can give shape to ‘human arcons’ (arcons born of human life) surely operate at other levels, too, though in radically different fashion as the substance of the faculties changes.
We can talk of something like xeno-spiritualism as long as we appreciate that this also changes the sense we have of (anthro)spiritualism. The resonances that join people over time and space? They find expression, too, in the way people and places, people and forms of existence, develop over time and between space.
The scientific study of animal life isn’t just a human concept playing out against animal life, but animal life itself playing out within human life. We are the thought of molecules and bacteria, not just the thinkers of them. Forms of desire criss-cross our existence in ways we are still only dimly coming to apprehend.
Mask becomes will becomes mask becomes fact becomes fate becomes intellect becomes alien mask…
That is the really strange thing about the eschaton in the Yeatsian system. It is always on the move, making inside into outside, outside into inside. The souls are thresholds as much as actual entities. We are thresholds as much as anything else.
Like the cosmos is some great darkness in which tightly coiled strands of spiritual substance wind and unwind, exposing their hungry mouths to all that moves between them, joining, breaking, rejoining. Unruly DNA rather than blood. A molecular madness often invisible unless heated to contagion.
Whew. And I am back in the midst of Populus. Or, rather, I am seeing myself in the course of this week in the midst of Populus, writing it through Yeats material, working it as I traced the tail of a spirit through the darkness. Seeing it manifest in the random spike in page hits on this blog, a faceless crowd passing by (oh, the funny synchronicities, right?).
This knocking at the door, what is it?
The package that awaits you on the doorstep, from whom was it sent?
What are you to do with what you find inside?
Who are you that receives such things?
Who are you that you will become such things to be delivered to another’s door?
Or, perhaps, you are the door.
Hello Strangers, Am I Stranger Still?