Tag Archives: his dark materials

2nd of April 4th, 1984…

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From the religious thinkers who associated this intelligently complex Universe with a “believed in” entity capable of it, through Francis Crick to Ridley Scott, mankind seem to have been left with with a sense of some desperate need to reverse engineer this “miracle called life”, back to something more plausible than an accident; something their rational minds wouldn’t need to accept following only an intellectual lobotomy.
This, mankind’s continuous search for reasons, for logic where life-facts were offered for acceptance, forces the mind and the heart to doubt anything “a priori”, mainly when the authority behind the offer is the same with the one demanding unquestionable obedience, sincere submission.
If we are capable of anything worth being mentioned, then I would chose mankind’s innate incapacity for uncoerced stupidity; we just can’t freely love what’s being forced upon us.
Oh yes, we will love O’Brian and his likes, but only following a well-planned facial rendes-vous with a cage-load of hungry rats; but that ain’t love, babe…
Some time after leaving Christianity’s well designed “golden cage”, I stumbled in my tired search for raisons d’être, upon Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” famous trilogy. Liberated, but still having shackles protruding through my thoughts, I have found peace; the peace only a rather weird freedom to hate, any being, beings, God or gods, anyone claiming responsibility and/or authority for, and over this utter mess called “existence”.
Even though, for a writer’s reasons Pullmann singled out the Vatican as the Magisterium responsible for being the accomplice of a long gone authority, senile and confined by other, “ascending to authority” authorities, to a state of mental oblivion, I discovered the sublime peace which arrives only upon the sweet wings of hate, as I said, of anyone and anything having to do with injustice. Because as I also mentioned, we are innately incapable of loving injustice, and I dare say, even in a degenerate state of some doing it, injustice has always a source, an arche-place of ignition, a cause of which those acting it, are only pathetic effects…
Unfortunately and as usual, we seem to have been conditioned to “cause blindness”, which prevents us from ever seeing the true cause at the origin of the tentacle ramified effects. Because THERE IS, THERE MUST BE an arche-authority which by perpetrating itself through uncountable aeons, has fooled us into accepting any other authority instead of the adult, responsible, independent and autonomous authority of SELF…
And anyone or anything claiming authority beyond the rightful boundaries of SELF, is by its very own nature an usurper, worthy of oblivion.
Because “power’s” other name is “authority”…

-to be continued…-

“Guard your heart, above all…”

or Orwell’s 1984, revisited…

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“Who controls the past, controls the future…
…who controls the present, controls the past.”
George Orwell

It’s never been easy to return… Anywhere…
Especially to places echoing unwanted memories, long gone past times stubbornly alive and well enough to torn -always nearly- healed wounds. Then comes the bleeding, the tears, and the eagerly seeking emotional “healers”, ready to open another “friendly wound” nearby, just to reassure themselves a higher place in some heavenly Disneyland…

Having -to some degree, and to the outspoken surprise of many- successfully baptised in two (1st, 2nd) former articles, Orwell’s “1984” onto a -never intended by the author- creationist pamphlet, I decided to return for a much needed revision of the past, motivated by my newly found liberty of thinking, in a honesty driven attempt to do some justice to both Orwell and myself.

To shortly summarise it, I don’t believe anymore in a biblical creationism which’s originator is supposed to be a deity not at all impressed by the worldwide daily torture and genocide of innocent humans, with a tragic emphasis on children -all for his glory-.
I never believed either, because there’s nothing neither rational nor logic to believe in, evolutionism, having settled myself into believing in mankind’s absolute depravity, in a world where the one thing worth living for, is the love of those who love you… And if no one loves you, read Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” monumental Trilogy and you’ll see, you’re not alone!

Having said that, I shall proceed to using the introductory quote in a much more simple fashion than that of some fans, who like to over-complicate Orwell even when that hasn’t seem to have been intended by Orwell himself. Because it is as clear as an evening’s shadow, that Orwell’s statement is nothing more than a very logical statement of the obvious. Or, to have it a bit straightened, who controls the past, does that from the same present from where the future is highly influenceable too.
In my -actually our-, rather awkward case, the past starts exactly where any logical inquiry should start, at the unknown, precise moment of our collective origins, shrunk for practicality’s sake only to humankind’s.
To be frank, no one has the slightest, absolutely comprehensive idea of what and how it was, or about who has done it, I myself joining therefore the ever swelling number of the “ain’t got a clue” club, with its daily multiplying group, or individual branches, all based on fairly unclear preferences.

As the main reason of this “revisit” is an utmost determined attempt to change the present-influencing past, I have to humbly remind my reader that the “YouTube” called devilish invention (cursed be its name), stubbornly stores hours of my past, of which as much as I would dream about, I can’t dissociate myself. As a matter of fact, some of the issues discussed there still occupy the “convictions” shelves of my intellectual stand, those having to do with what Pullman called “experimental theology”, as they deal with both scientific and spiritual matters, an otherwise just fancy terminology for the seen and the unseen…
Unfortunately still, probably several thousands of gullible Christians are still being spoon-fed by interested groups and individuals with things I’ve honestly said in a recent past when I believed and vigorously defended every single thing I’ve said; nevertheless, that’s not the case anymore…
It was exactly the rigour of facts against make-beliefs which convinced me to take everything I’ve adhered to, down to those infrastructural basics where not even Paul the Apostate’s “hopeful belief” could paint over the plain, factual truth.

What can I do about it, now?

Well, exactly what you Dear Reader can see for yourself: writing out my heart, the one about I’ve so painstakingly learned it is not the root of all evil, but the one true fountain of anything left good in us, oftentimes so stained and tired that it does nothing but wrong, thus hopelessly crying out for help…

Do I control the past? Yes, by all means, if I am at any subsequent time able to take a stand against anything I’ve done in it, I am controlling it.
Can I repair the wrongs I’ve done in the past? Yes, by all means, if I am able to -at any possible level- address what I’ve done in it, I already started repairing the damage caused… All of it? Oh, come on!
We’ve got a problem, us humans, with this “all” concept of ours, which robs us of the so many, literally infinite satisfactions, sacrificed at the feet of our self-made gods of an inexistent “perfection”.
Nothing’s perfect, no, and sorry all you religious folks, your gods are no exception, otherwise how do you think we’ve gotten all this, historically proven c**p? Out of something “perfect”? Oh, please, would you grow up?
Any “all” has a start which none of us knows where and when it will end, bearing within like a seed’s germ, what’s going to grow of it.
There’s no wholeness, no perfection, just parts of an unknown infinite, where nothing has any meaning without it’s vicinity, where right and wrong have become mere points of view, and one’s life seems to always be, someone else’s death…
There is nevertheless a beautiful common sense of good, the one reflected back through the eyes of innocent little children!
They haven’t learned to lie yet…

Life sucks, my friends, or as the wise uncle Solomon has put it, “All is vanity.”
As a matter of fact, I should start a “new” religion based entirely on the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes…

Unfortunately for me, “There’s nothing new under the sun…”

“Northern Lights”, (“His Dark Materials”) by Philip Pullman – The Liberty of Thinking 2

2. On Mind Tricks, Lyra’s Oxford, Northern lights, Daemons and Dust

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“The trick […] is not minding that it hurts.” David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia”

I must confess I haven’t seen this movie, “Lawrence of Arabia”… The quote caught me from within Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, and wrote it down -as soon as I could- on one of Pullman’s Trilogy’s first cover pages, without knowing at that time the “rational” reason for doing so. It just felt right, as some sort of meta-communicative bridge between worlds hiding within their cores the same thought-old questioning of our own origins. And even if clarity/ transparency may lack from the wrapping crust of these worlds, or even if the movie quote may fail to show at first glance any bridge-likeness, the fact remains: mankind has become a conditioned mass of cyborg-like creatures, endlessly repeating irrelevant but more and more convincing mantras aimed at numbing the hurtful obsession about “why does it have to hurt”? Because you see, facts demand factual explanations, and since hurtful pain IS fact, it cannot be dealt away by tales made in the twilight shadowed rooms from above Vatican’s even darker archives…

Lyra’s Oxford resembles way too much to the labyrinthical corridors of all earthly powers, where feverish minds decide what’s “heaven’s” best for us, somehow always forgetting to ever ask for some sort of delegation of interests and authority, from those in whose names they pretend to be acting.
Interesting enough, Lyra’s private “little” world seems to have stretched from grim sculls hiding catacombs, through servant swarming kitchens and robe hanging wardrobes, to her favourite heights, innocent little fiddler on the rooftops of unseen -soon to be cut open- new dimensions…

Northern lights have been my life-long favourites, being utterly convinced of their angelic origins. They were -all through the religiously devoted period of my life-, dimensions transcending robes of angels, standing guard at the gates of forbidden worlds. The more time went by, and the more I watched pictures and documentaries about them, the more my convictions became stronger, in spite of condescending looks from my rather scientifically trained friends and colleagues. Regardless of my own theological training, little have I known prior to reading Pullman’s trilogy, that in Lyra’s Oxford “experimental theology” is the equivalent of science, with a seemingly clearer understanding of the much more personal -than thought- forms and identities of the unseen…

It is truly relevant to notice that Pullman settles the first part of his Trilogy in a world he seems to be knowing more about than his/our own “scientific” one, shown throughout in the detailed understanding of the intimate relationship between men and their daemons, which must be stemming from depths where few have ventured, and even them, fringe-landers of a rather psychoanalytical sort…
Humans, witches and armoured bears, all have in common either their daemons, or as revealed about armoured bears, their longing for them…
Pullman’s lexical choice for naming the soul-entity of these characters, bears the true mark of any revolutionary with a cause-flag worth bringing its bearer right in the middle of ecclesiastical crossfires, because nothing rings a more unpleasant set of bells than the word “daemon”, archenemy of any New Testament heaven daydreamer, even though the original benevolent concept gained its ill famed “contemporary” meaning in the inquisitorial crucibles of Christianity…
The daemon is one’s very own, inner being, that part of all of us from where sometimes congruent, other times divergent thoughts emerge, usually our “opposite sex” side, with which we should learn to communicate in a much more intelligent manner than the occasional curses thrown following a missed hammer hit… Lyra’s horror reached its climax every time she saw a person without a daemon, exactly because of the tormenting thought about the loneliness awaiting anyone without this perfect, most intimate match for their souls, soul-mate(s) indeed…
Unfortunately, humans have forgotten to communicate with their own depths, arriving at the (painfully well-known for many) dead-ends of themselves, condemned to what some have called “cosmic loneliness”, desperate remoteness of psychotic existences, treasuring what’s left to them: scattered anti-depressants smelling of dirty sock and condoms used long ago, desperately stuck to bottoms of filthy drawers…
Pullman has done what not many dared before him (except for denominational protesters and others alike…), that is to free himself and all those ready to follow his heroic example, onto the liberty of thinking his own (not anyone else’s) thoughts about both his private and also his collective existence…
Lyra’s second name, Belacqua, regardless of any Dantesque echoes, means “beautiful water”, which makes an absolute portrait of not only Lyra’s translucent, “heart on sleeves” character, but also of its adaptability to extremes, impossibility of containment outside something truly suitable, with metaphoric hints at this beautiful water’s vital role, to become much clearer by the Trilogy’s end.
Having said these, I’ve arrived at this all important, yet utterly secretive meta-existent entity called Dust. I apologise for the rather more confusing than clarifying just-previous attempt to pre-define Dust, calling to my defence nevertheless, no other than the Trilogy’s author himself, who in a recent interview about an approximate date for the publishing of his next, final follow-up volume, confessed that in this volume everything concerning Dust, shall become clear…
And if the author’s own life-line thrown unto all who still struggle to understand this all-important entity/concept still lays half-length in his hands, I shall do no more than stating for now, that Dust is existence itself, both before and after it rose to different levels of consciousness, cause and effect shaper of everything seen and unseen.

(to be continued…)

Philip Pullman, “His Dark Materials”, “The Golden Compass” – The Liberty of Thinking 1

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1. Introduction

his Dark Materials”, would have been my original title’s twist on Pullman’s own naming for this centuries changing, monumental trilogy.
It’s always rather complicated to explain emotionally driven decisions in a world where “law” has become a pathetic replacement of politically correct mathematics, yet the twist is something imposed by our deliberate reduction to a child’s limitations; but by who?
Milton’s famous line bears the mark of a both personal and -for that time- social respect for a divinity inherited far and remote from any “sacred” text, agnostically unknown therefore, feared and revered not for anything “he” has provenly ever done, but for something “he” could supposedly do if hurt in his quest for his own “glory”, built all over nearly any earthly religion upon the blood, sweat, agony and death of infants, children and adults, high on monstrous pedestals of an ever unmerited, torturous attitude, called “god’s love”; and as for such, I decided to refrain my majuscules respect within the use of “his…”.
Hoping by now to have been forgiven by my reader for the rather lengthy preamble, I shall disclose the dichotomy forcing me to write what I hope to progress into a longer series eventually leading to a book, about what I -again- hope to become a -as much as possible- comprehensive attempt to make Pullman’s trilogy clearly understandable even to those who by the nature of their own allegiance to systems of thought uprooted by, would hopefully be drawn to reading it (or about it, as it often happens first…), and thus be given the chance to exercise their true, liberty of thinking…
This dichotomy of mine stems from my own, former theological training combined with two decades of (hyper)active Christian faith, shattered to painfully sharp slabs of hurting memories; all these and my newly discovered liberty of thought…
“The Golden Compass” (originally published in the UK as “Northern Lights”), is not a compass at all, to begin with…
Lyra’s “instrument” is truly less than a north-pointing compass, yet so much more; it is as it’s Greek borrowed name reveals, a measurer of truth.
Yes, I know, have mercy on me by forcing me not to derail into the age-old dilemma of what exactly is “truth”, because I don’t want to end-up establishing the hot-bed of some new religion of “love”, providing incentives of fertility for the always ready seekers of holy reasons to behead, chop, cut ‘n further punish “heretics”…
The alethiometer is a worlds transcending pointer into the true content of anything asked about, regardless of who the inquirer, and who or what the object of the inquiry, is.
Made by “people”, incapable of choosing between inquirers, allowing access to otherwise hidden truths to either the skilled by “nature” or to those by “trade”, this strange tool isn’t at all the central theme of the trilogy’s first book, as suggested for some by its title.
The alethiometer is nevertheless a first clue into what the book is all about, namely the standard for truth. Pullman’n genius resides in a rare capacity of transforming stereotypes into the measurable reason for acting them, as brilliantly shown later in the trilogy by Lyra’s astonishing reassurance at finding out through her velvet wrapped “toy”, that Will is a “murderer”, judging as all should do, with a child’s remnants of innocence, that this truth combined with her own heart’s analysis of Will’s “that something” about him, means she should trust him in spite of all circumstantial facts and appearances.
For those of you who hopefully haven’t have had the chance of seeing the movie before reading the book(s), please refrain from doing so -in spite of its awesome cast, play & all-, because unknown to many, the producers, probably driven by some unusual religious tolerance, decided to emasculate the movie of the novel’s clear and healthy anti-Christianity message, reducing thus the whole, to a eunuch’s attempt to join a male choir’s baritone stand, before he’d open his mouth… The trilogy’s clear message is exactly this: that men are nothing less than victims of an ongoing, cosmic conflagration, where the parts fiercely compete over exclusive ownership rights of a species wrongly thought of as slaves, having no other inter-dimensional rights and duties besides the glorification of the one(s) to be found at the end of the boot(s), eternally smashing the broken teeth from behind their bleeding, boot(s) kissing lips; and where Christianity’s magisterio-inquisitorial boards are supposed to be the agencies translating all these as “god’s love”, ultimately leading to a redemption of which everyone knows everything, yet actually nothing…
Having -quite lengthily- said all these, let me remind my honourable readers, that even though my writing might resemble a rather academic book revue, it’s never been my true intention to write any such, regardless of how much -given it’s nature- should it look like one.
What you are about to read, is actually a manifesto calling for a new, well deserved liberty of thinking, based upon the very first literature wrapped philosophic attempt to provide humans from all existence’s dimensions with the field guide to regain a dignity so deeply lost at the bottom of their lives’ depths, that nothing else less than the utmost desperate attempt to destroy the “authority” usurping their throne within, would be just the pathetic carrying out of a death sentence involuntarily signed with the blood spilled from the severed ends of their own, umbilical cords…

(to be continued…)