Fire Walk with Me?

Rewatching the original run of Twin Peaks is an illuminating experience, especially alongside the third season. The show establishes joins the surreal and magical to an increasingly traumatic series of scenes in a way that suggests the traumatic material forms the axis of the series. More than that, it suggests that there is a kernel of suffering and cruelty at the center of the ‘mysteries’ that distract us from it.

Every time I think I have a handle on what that trauma is, it deepens and broadens itself, encompassing a wider gyre. There is a question that opens here about the nature of time that necessarily entails asking after the particular shape time takes in relationship to human consciousness. Part of the temporal patterns of repetition have their roots in an inability to confront our culpability in suffering, that we repeat certain patterns precisely because we use them as a form of distraction, a dream from which we dread waking. There is a hint of Freud in this, but in many ways Freud performs this distraction more than he is able to grasp it.

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The Cosmic Face of the Earth

I’ve come at this a little metaphorically before, but I want to address it more directly. When I talk about the materiality of the witch’s work, of the concrete alliances with the place and its ecosystem, that necessarily implies that the witch’s work is local. And it is. It needs to be emphasized, though, that it is a local operation undertaken with a cosmic force.

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The Word Lodged in Your Throat

There is a post that I keep trying to write under a half-dozen titles that revolves around the place of speech in the gnostic work and its distinction from the speech of the tyrant. It sounds nice enough, but it is also kind of bullshit. There really isn’t much difference; that is sort of the whole point. They are the same but for some subtle charge that we only rarely have the wherewithal to sense.

I want to have some line that demarcates the secrecy of the tyrant and the secrecy of the mystic, but I don’t. The words of the tyrant that choke your throat may be the words that finally give you voice. The secret words that set you free may become chains around your neck. Just as the messiah may override the giant, so too does the giant sometimes override the messiah.

When you get down to it, we are a mighty struggle between the messiah and the giant. We want to pick sides, make our oath to heaven or our pact with hell, but we don’t get that luxury. No matter how pure we are, we are made of giant stuff. No matter how broken and debased we are, the light of the messiah flickers in the mud of us. That is what it means to be an image of God, because the messiah and the giant are just aspects of God.

When we give forth light, we do not always give light to light; we also give light to darkness. That light does not overcome the darkness, but enlivens it. The giant, dead but not dead, is transformed by the dead but not dead messiah. Our life forms a stitch in this operation and so we live by sustaining the struggle rather than taking sides in it.

If there is some hope to be found in this, it is that we don’t struggle for the sake of struggling, but because by sustaining the connection, we make it ever more possible for the two to come together, for the giant and the messiah to become one, to be reborn through each other. If we live our lives well, we contribute to this process by on occasion realizing this fusion in our lives. For a moment in the span of creation, the giant-messiah lives.