How do you live for the future?

That is the question that has been on my mind. I mean the future in a big way, in the hope of a time different than this one, less walled in by the invasive repetitiveness of the current black iron prison. I mean, too, in the way that opens the door toward that future, the ground which must be forged from the world we have.

There are plenty of ancestral forces that strive to preserve, but there are also the ones that strive to forge, to make something new and better for those that follow. That is tied to the past, but in the past as it seeks outside itself.

That can’t really be about fighting the power because it the nature of the fight to invigorate the forms against which it struggles, to adapt to them even if it is in struggle. This sort of founding has to be firm without opposing. There seems to be a strong vein of this in Chinese thought and it is one of the reasons that I still turn to the I Ching, still read about blandness, and wander down some Taoist alleys. Not precisely for the substance of the thought, but for a way of thinking.

How do you hold a world that might not be? How do you hold a world so that even if it doesn’t come to be, it’s possibility exerts influence upon the one that does exist?

When I think about the afterlife, this is what I think most about, a projection into the ancestral current that keeps whispering and winding into the fabric of the street corners and forest paths.

[NB] To Understand the Ancient

I recently came across a book, The Pheasant Cap Master and the End of History: Linking Religion to Philosophy in Early China by Marnix Wells. I’m liking it a lot—my main complaint is that the book deserved better production values than it got (typos, images missing, uneven layout; nothing that prevents the text from being useful, thankfully). The core of the book is a translation of a third century BCE treatise by Heguanzi, the “Pheasant Cap Master,” but includes a lengthy scholarly discussion of the manuscript’s context. That’s useful for me, since my familiarity with Chinese material remains rather shallow.

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[NB] Esalen, Eros, Tantra

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been reading Jeffrey Kripal’s Esalen. I am still reading it–I have started reading it straight through while still dipping in and out of whatever section catches my interest. There are a couple of through-lines that organize a somewhat disparate narrative thread and I want to jot down a few thoughts about one of them: the crossroads of sexuality, liberation, and Tantra.

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