Now that I have cleared out my drafts folder, published or trashed everything there, and emptied the trash, I am ready to start in on the summation proper. The summation will present an organic and (hopefully) dynamic model that moves beyond the more partial conceptual frames that I have employed here over the last few years. Metaphor and metonymy, witch and wizard, gnosis and doctrine, duality and triplicity, will find their ground.
This work is based on the time I have spent working through the dikenga as a concept and diagram. I am not going to talk about that a lot here, so I want to make clear to you, up front, that without this period of work, the rest of this would not be possible. It provided me with the tools necessary to revisit older philosophical terrain and see it more clearly, order it in a way that would allow me to capture some of the insights I derived from it in terms that would make sense of my work here on this blog.
You will see me talking a fair bit about two works: Process and Reality by Alfred North Whitehead (most especially his discussion of God and World) and Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (most especially “Of the Refrain”). Just remember that as I move though this discussion, it is an examination of the dikenga that made it possible, that the unities I am drawing from those two rests upon West Central African developments in philosophical thought.
Why not end with the dikenga, you might ask? The dikenga has too much of the beginning in it for me and I confess I don’t want to weigh down that beginning by putting too much from my past on it. I needed material that would translates between the dikenga and this body of work which leads to and informs my understanding of it now. Remember that talk about formation and demolition? The dikenga is a piece of the demolition for me, but settling this blog is a work of formation (may it help others toward their own moments of demolition, whatever shape that might take).
I was going to have a post discussing some of the socio-political themes that informed my work here, discuss my relationship to ecological, woman–centered, counter-capital, and anti-racist intellectual movements. That seems like overkill, though, both because there other voices in those movements who speak more articulately and from deeper understanding than me and because my ‘political’ views themselves rest upon the ontological commitments that I am going to talk about in the summation. While they are not derived directly from them (ethical and political action should never be reduced to ontological commitments), I take for granted that any system of ethics depends upon an ontology that helps it illumine the vital nexus of action and response in which ethical action transpires.
That ontology rests on the plasticity of life, on its adaptiveness, and on its dependence on stable forms that serve as the foundation for plasticity. My ethics reflect my sense that the current trajectory of globalized late capital is inimical to this reality, that it values plasticity and stability but in ways that are antagonistic to to their expression in organic life. Racism, misogyny, ecological apathy, transphobia, and so many other destructive patterns serve this anti-life which needs beings who can be put to use (or in which useless people can be thrown away) rather than allowing beings to find their own trajectory in the movement of life.
Finding a trajectory is what the spiritual and magical movements I care most about are all about. Whether we call it seeking conversation with the holy guardian angel or communion with Chris consciousness or seating and ordering your spiritual court or consecration to the divinity that has your destiny in its hands (etc.), we are talking about coming into communication with your relationship to the whole of creation within the confines of your own life.
That this movement is so regularly subverted into the accumulation of personal power, one that often allies itself with the spirit of late capital, is repulsive, and if you take anything away from this blog, I hope it is this: destiny realized fully joins you to the movement of life in all its painful and beautiful aspects, but destiny subverted makes you complicit in the mutilation of all that is vital and good, perhaps making you better off materially, but worse off spiritually. Early Christianity definitely got this part right: you can sell your soul to the world, but it almost never looks like the deal with the devil.