Observing the Lough (unfinished beginning from the first chapter of the first book of the ”Ulfreksfjord Chronicles”) ~ Thor E. Leichhardt

Warriors
Dawn in the late summer. Period of the year when summer silently tries to surprise autumn, to intertwine, to join with colors bright red and yellow, green and brown, almost like the play of the two beings deeply in love with each other. That part of a day in which one relishes what has been conveyed and received throughout the night. While one’s body sleeps spirit is on its travels far away from Miðgarðr. In my dreams I lie covered in moss, at my left side is a tree and on my right side is a dolmen. I always wake up when I try to touch either dolmen or the tree. Sleep, I believe, conveys the message, connecting one with the visions of the past, giving us idea what we seek in the present and may encounter in our future. Visions of ancestors who have passed away and whose presence is still largely looming over our own being, with all its wisdom and influence. As much as one may attempt to be calm regarding the fact of what may unfold in the hours to come, still there is an ominous presence of overwhelming darkness to be felt in that area, right between where human flesh meets the bones.That gloating presence which creeps inside one’s spirit, chewing slowly but surely, every single piece of human being and in the process ravaging one’s soul. Sensation when body hair slowly rises to be completely upright, touching tunic, making one to scratch nervously, followed by the unease of the complete being, questioning oneself about the purpose of existence in this cold world. However, I wouldn’t call that fear, rather it is the preparation of the mind and body for what is to come. I haven’t thought about what will or may happen in the aftermath of this event, although certain, scarce thoughts did cross my mind. There is no point in convincing anybody to flee this place any more, up to the higher ground and green hills. Vitkis, elders, children and women will be here as well, up in arms. Everybody is here, united as one. We are only waiting for the first gjallarhorn to sound to let us know that the first longships have entered our lough, on this grey misty morning, into our port of the Ulfreksfjord.
Viking axe and sword from island of Ireland

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Recent music, books and articles recommendations

Music:
https://rowanambermill.bandcamp.com/

https://owltextures.bandcamp.com/

Virginia Astley:

TV series from my childhood, The Persuaders title theme:

Articles:
Dr. Edward Butler – Bhakti & Henadology
https://henadology.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/bhakti-and-henadology-sagpssips-conference-102515/

Eddie Procter on landscape aesthetic:
http://landscapism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/towards-new-landscape-aesthetic.html

Robert MacFarlane on English countryside,article in ”Guardian”:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/10/eeriness-english-countryside-robert-macfarlane

Books:
New book by Marie-Monique Robin:
http://thenewpress.com/books/our-daily-poison

Museum Europa – use of language, literature and terminology in the postmodernity ~ Thor E. Leichhardt

big_fish_by_kleemass-d7g0dyz

Our relationship with the language today


Literature (as is the language itself) today is barely in its survival mode and that is happening since primary use of the word ‘’literature’’ is now almost forgotten. Literature today amounts, more or less, to mass production of works which are rather ‘’ factory produced’’ than published, almost as in those factories somewhere in Asia, to be afterwards shipped to West and sold in supermarkets. There are ‘’ creative writers workshops’’ taking aspiring authors through ‘’step by step’’ process in how to achieve ‘’goal and reach excellence in writing’’. What is not clear is the question of do we mean with that to rather ‘’generate a certain business’’ or actually to write. By ‘’writing’’ I certainly point at such kind of writing which stems from a deep and profound experience, research and love for the actual process of writing, which in turn gives readers something to ponder upon? Did writing become only a tool for the mass entertainment rather than learning and profound experience which elevates the human being? Democracy and Internet indeed allow us to ‘’express ourselves’’. Certainly blogs are one of those mediums to ‘’express yourself’’. Along with those who are truly word-smiths and classic ‘’men of letters’’, Internet is these days swarmed with pages and pages of those seemingly ‘’creative writers’’, who aren’t capable of writing a single cohesive line except following certain desultory fashion devoid of syntax. Indeed, that is ‘’the way’’ which helps us to ‘’express ourselves’’.

Internet did in turn made us knowledgeable, yet on the other hand generated literally thousands of those individuals, who rather than studying, obtain the information from ‘’copy and paste’’ Internet Forums along with other, as I call them ‘’ready meal’’ available sources. In that way internet has bring forth the malady of illiteracy, akin to what ‘’fast food’’ is to culinary art and home made cooking. Perhaps that is why there is also more and more voluntary workers who work hard for free and more and more rich individuals who are in charge of such ‘’voluntary work’’. Erm – enterpreneurs. As in the notion and equivalent of the ‘’fast food’’ (which doesn’t need much endeavour or skills in the process of preparation to make the food available to eat) such is ‘’supermarket consumer literature’’ which comes along with an array of ‘’ creative writer’s workshops’’ which give the ‘’uninitiated’’ the ‘’right and correct skills’’ to shape themselves into ‘’proper consciousness’’ while writing and ‘’developing’’ story. Congratulations, as one could dream of having his/her own book next to Dan Brown’s new book, on the shelves of the local supermarket. Those sweet dreams about success and business excellence. Oh, yes — you mustn’t forgot to ‘’reach your targets’’. Targets are of course statistical numbers of your potential readers (read: consumers). Writer in that sense becomes similar to bank worker who has to ‘’reach target’’ for the day by acquiring certain number of new, converted customers who will be the new account holders. I can prove that myself, since I did work, albeit in my younger years, in one of the biggest banks in the world. Which later got literally ‘’swallowed’’ by another bigger bank. I guess that they haven’t ‘’reach their target’’.

As we delve deeper in this age, those sacral elements which encompass the language are decreasing. That is why somebody else needs to develop story and fabula for us and teach us how to write with ‘’the mind of an author’’, because we can’t even anymore think for ourselves anymore. The sacredness of the past, when the words were uttered while chanting prayers (and by that I think of any religion in existence on this planet) is becoming subdued by all those artificial and superfluous sounds surrounding our living space.

Simplified language cuts the flow of the transmission of the tradition to us, in other words — our relationship and connection to our source origins and that which is valuable to be preserved within, what we inherited from our own ancestors. We are bound to become rootless beings, unified under the spell of materialistic hypnosis of ubiquitous neoliberal, mondialistic state of being.

Our relationship to study of life and language is one which corresponds to eternity in the cyclical understanding of the time. Previously in some of my writings I have mentioned how Cioran has left the comfort zone of his own Romanian and German languages to learn and write in the French language, making him de-facto mainly French author and writer. I often reflect on how he put aside (word ‘’abandon’’ would give this sentence quite a different meaning) writing in Romanian and German languages to rather focus on the French language. Cioran actually wasn’t preoccupied with his preliminary identity, or for that matter identity at all, and that was significantly evident in the later period of his life.

In my own writing I rather seek to further discover and elaborate with language and its meaning. In such way one could speak of honouring and giving proper respect and due to all the separate influences, instead of hodge podge ‘’melting pot’’. In that sense to mention constantly Naipaul and Joseph Conrad is becoming not only tiring, but in my own case inadequate and vastly insufficient. Joseph Conrad today isn’t an ‘’influence’’, rather he became sort of a cliché and an excuse for every new and aspiring ostentatious author who arrives from ‘’somewhere in Europe writing in the broken English’’.

Terminology and language as the tool for the domination


Prevalent in this Debord-ian ‘’Society of the Spectacle’’ is the literary ‘’fatigue of sense’’ which coupled with relentless stupor is sometimes mistaken for the ‘’novel, democratic and the fresh approach’’. That is certainly evident in the literary oeuvre of certain Croatian expatriates who write and comment for diverse English language newspapers and portals about, ah, what else than — ‘’Croatia, that country from the Balkans’’. As for those author(s) is easier instead of ‘’breaking with the certain terminology and truly neocolonial cliché’’ to continue with ‘’routine and established terminology’’ followed by certain unavoidable ‘’mythology’’. Author(s) as such, simply consider their readers(hip) as those kind of people who can’t comprehend that Croatia is actually positioned in the Central Europe and Mediterranean, both geographically and culturally, and that terminology such as ‘’Western Balkans’’ isn’t anything but a phrase coined such as ‘’business excellence’’ and ‘’company targets’’. On top of that Croatians are often depicted as ‘’tribe of tall men and women who are good only for the sports’’ and whose country is now new and hip place for ‘’elite and mass tourism’’. It wouldn’t surprise me if certain people think of Croatians almost as the ‘’tribe lost in the deep forests of Amazon’’. Merit for such kind of thinking and observation rests not in the certain colonialist think-thanks in Europe and the world, but primarily in those Croatian politicians and leaders, who over the decades had to ‘’endure post-communist transition’’, whilst hiding certain intentions, which — when exposed later, often haven’t put on display much common sense and logic. Often, quite unsurprisingly, opposite of common sense and the logic.

In that sense it is far easier (and safe of course) to use certain backwards terminology of ‘’1990es of 20th century’’, rather than to break free from those stereotypes, in turn showing that the ‘’different side of the coin’’ do indeed exist. Language of the author in such way becomes decoy for the true feelings towards one’s country of birth, which are hidden deep underneath under the pretence of the ‘’human rights’’. Haven’t they forgot, or in that sense erased from their memory, that authors such as Albert Camus and George Orwell were always against pompous elitists and pretentious highbrow intellectuals ? But as Orwell writes in his ‘’Politics and the English language’’ : ‘’Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse.It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes.’’

Language indeed has once in the past reveal dedication along with tradition, certain identity and culture which contributed to the whole, while today rather represents merely unified, lifeless monetary identity and vulgar usage in brief and the quick conveying, of the already discarded information, which once uttered becomes next second already obsolete, through the mass media scope of the ‘’information age’’. Language in that sense is ‘’purchased and owned’’ as human being and their resources already are. According to what French philosopher Claude Hagège writes, today we live in the process of the mondialisation which works on making homogeneous and unified surrounding, in which over the time all traces of diversity will perish. He names it as the certain ‘’psycho-virus’’ whose consequences could be far more reaching than we think.

The language of neoliberal mondialisation is as Hagège writes, based on ‘’dictatorship of sole or common thought’’. In that sense ‘’product’’ such as the nation-state will ‘’render obsolete’’. Instead of observing cyclical evolution we have process of involution, which makes us further experiencing illusion of the ‘’linear progress’’. Our memory, or what Dr. Jan Assmann calls ‘’Mnemohistory’’ is being replaced by ‘’new memory’’ which is being ‘’updated like an app’’ one has on the ‘’smartphone’’. Those ‘’updates’’ are serving for the future calculations. It is all about ‘’profit’’ as that is the actual ideology all while, as Claude Hagege writes — ‘’they point out at the semantic world overloaded with ethical and political problems’’.

Current age in which we all live, doesn’t need a period in time, epoch or an age. It rather seeks to force and establish permanent materialistic truth and render as obsolete primordial logos and its source of wisdom and knowledge. The ideology of this age ( we may call it neoliberalism or the consumerism) is blunt and despiritualized in its nature. Hence even holding an intellectual debate is completely futile and ineffective.

My observations could be besides supported with the observations made by French thinker and philosopher Régis Debray in his book ‘’Against Venice’’, in which he compares ‘’visiting Venice’’ not as something based on truly cultural-historical tradition and heritage, yet as rather the place of pilgrimage for pretentious middle class bourgeois people ‘’who know everything’’ and have ‘’best education’’ and on the other side those who enjoy flourishing of commercially inclined ‘’mass tourism’’. Debray doesn’t have problem with Venice of Hemingway, Pound, Paul Morand or John Ruskin. He writes against the way how those authors or artists became used along with the culture of Venice, for the purpose of artificial aggrandisement and self-inflated ego-trips. It is indeed all about ‘’culture’’ of consumerism. In that way Debray as well as his fellow French thinker Jean-Claude Michéa are continuation of the authors and writers Albert Camus and George Orwell once were in the past. Furthermore, in the book Debray calls Europe a ‘’museum’’ along with the city of Venice. Russian academic Andrey Fursov uses the same terminology by calling Europe ‘’museum’’, while describing his visit to Italy and the rest of the Europe.

Europe anymore doesn’t exist based on the previous past principles, influences and traditions, rather it is a moribund museum of those deteriorated traditional values whose surrogates are now only temporal and in certain instances vulgar principles, which bathe in all their glory under the current spotlight of the ‘’Society of spectacle’’. Devoid of the significance and importance of languages, cultures, traditions and heritage, Europe is undergoing an erosion thus increasingly going through the process of metamorphosis of the Kafkian proportions, rather into something what ‘’once was and will vanish without the trace’’ than ‘’ what is and always will be present’’. Europe of today is nothing but a museum, displaying our past for the tourists and passers-by.

Croatia, yet another sinking ship in the EU’s fleet – Thor E. Leichhardt

prisoner_of_memories_by_kleemass-d8d6fwl

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

W.B. Yeats (from his poem ‘’The Second Coming’’)

Indeed, no one can be a prophet in their own country.
Over the time I have observed how certain authors and writers, columnists write from week to week, that being on almost every single Croatian portal, on the same topics and issues ‘’ad nauseam’’ — of course, in sincere hope that somebody will note, understand (and perhaps think and start acting different) their writings, articles about those ‘’burning’’ and very significant, political and social issues, which are more than important in the Croatia today. As a result, no positive change is happening, except that articles from diverse, talented and really interesting writers and authors get shared on social networking sites, endlessly — almost like in a magic circle without an end in the sight. Perhaps, as one of the consequences people are creating, almost on a weekly basis, certain new ‘’associations of citizens’’ or likes of ‘’societies for those who have better solution(s) than those before them’’. However, it is an endless circle without an end in sight. It is a task akin to king Sisyphus from the Greek mythology, rolling ideas instead of the rock, to the top of mountain and then those ideas, as the stone in story of king Sisyphus- would roll back. Country, of hardly, estimated 4.2 million people, whose young and in the large proportions, very well educated people, are leaving the country on a daily basis, and where in existence there is even a Facebook group bearing the name ‘’Those who are youthful- let us leave Croatia’’,currently counting some 47.691 members. What is further worrying is that the number is constantly growing. This isn’t a joke and it is an official page and is, as I had previously mentioned,a worrying number — at least for those people who do truly care about their country or homeland. It is almost mind-blowing how such a beautiful country, with an amazing wealth of resources and its nature, culture,history, food, weather and people can have so much corruption, bribery, nepotism and even worse — cases of evictions from family homes, as perhaps nowhere else in the EU. It really doesn’t matter which government has been elected, circle of perpetuating similar mistakes and faults, which their predecessors already made, will most certainly continue. You can’t even blame that on the usual suspect – ‘’neoliberalism’’, similar to rest of the Europe, but perhaps rather on inherited political and social inadequacy to move society further in the ways which will benefit it as the whole and not its segments and little, isolated elitist particles. Those very, very dusty particles.

Croatia has a fair amount of NGO’s as is the case in most of the other EU countries. In many EU countries NGO’s are those groups/organizations which strive for the positive changes in their own societies. While Croatia has the certain amount of those positive ones, there is also a significant number of those who live off the governmental money, while criticizing all who could oppose them, as the ‘’far right’’ or even ‘’extreme right’’. If you wish to have successful political NGO, always try to defame the opponent as the ‘’fascist’’. It works excellent all the time. In that way it paves way for the certain groups to infiltrate and exert their influence, as it is the case in the Croatia at this moment in time, and label absolutely everything that they don’t agree with, as the ‘’extreme or far right’’. Indeed, the best recipe for success of certain agenda in these days. Thus the twenty first century rather seems ideologically confusing for those who read and learn history from the popular magazines rather than from the well researched academic literature. What seems to be the worst of all, is the fact that in Croatia rather seems to be a certain number of people in those groups, associations and societies, who wouldn’t even put up an effort to understand what is being said according to certain time, place and circumstances.Many of them openly support Stipe Mesić, ex-president of Croatia who openly mentioned ‘’birth’’ of the puppet state ‘’Independent State of Croatia’’, during his speech in Australia, while visiting there in the year 1992. I simply do not understand such logic, actually I believe that nobody does. This is so called ‘’left, liberal intelligentsia’’.

Croatian reality is still deeply embedded in the certain mythos of the 20th century and eternal, debilitating, strife between the ‘’communists and ustashas’’. Left and right political options often capitalize on those all pervasive illusory divides, as well as above mentioned number of so called ‘’non governmental organizations’’ and self proclaimed ‘’citizen groups’’ (who also have in their ranks questionable people as their supporters).

One of the unfortunate issues in Croatia today is the fact that there is hardly any, or whatsoever no newspapers, or the news-feed portals, who would, or could possibly, have a truly much more diverse, unbiased, non-aligned approach to subject and issues in the current Croatian society. We also have to keep in mind that Croatian democracy, if one could call it as such, a still very transitional post-real-socialist country, is still young and only 25 years old. Some would say it is rather 15 years (counting rather end of president dr. Franjo Tudjman’s era). Nonetheless, either at the display, or the backdrop (or programme) is the hard religious, or on the other hand, rather neoliberal agenda (even though most of them would rather claim to be very progressive, left leaning liberals). What is then their unifying factor? The fact that both sides in certain ways proclaim to be those long sought after, awaited ‘’saviors and protectors of the people and the nation’’, ‘’those who will finally change Croatia for the better’’. So called ‘’left’’(non governmental ‘’left’’ which is in the opposition) with their online portals and agenda, are far more akin to neoliberal bourgeois (BoBo – Bohemian Bouorgeoisie) lifestyle one could perfectly spot/find in rest of the EU, than they would like it to admit, while living pretense of being ‘’there with and for the people’’. Most of the so-called-left in Croatia still believes that leader of SFR Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito was in overall a positive person and not the dictator. If you believe that East German Honecker, Romanian Nicolae Ceaușescu or Pol Pot were very positive people, then my guess is, that you would like Tito a lot. On the other hand, certain parts of the so-called-right are pushing other kinds of agendas, some of them related to the conservative religious stance, completely obsolete for this time, age and circumstances, which, as far as I understand, are still embedded deep in the past, while refusing to become more ‘’those of today — truly for the future’’. New Croatian government was only assembled last week and hopefully, this may change or may not, the status quo, depending on what actually will be done in the reality.

Emil Cioran wrote: ‘’We no longer have a past; or rather, there is nothing left of the past which is our own; no longer a chosen country, no lying salvation, no refuge in yore. Our prospects? Impossible to disentangle them: we are barbarians without a future. Expression not being of a stature to measure itself against events, to fabricate books and appear proud of doing so constitutes a spectacle eminently pathetic: what necessity impels a writer who has produced fifty books to write still one more? Why this proliferation, this fear of being forgotten,this debased coquetry? Only the literature of need deserves our indulgence these days, produced by the slave, the drudge of the pen. In any case there is no longer anything to construct, neither in literature nor philosophy. Only people who live by them, materially I mean, should take them up. We are entering the period of broken forms, of creations in reverse. Anyone can flourish now. I am scarcely anticipating. Barbarism is accessible to all: it is sufficient to develop a taste for it. Blithely, we shall dissolve the centuries.

What your book will be, I can guess only too well. You live in the provinces: insufficiently corrupted, possessed of pure anxieties, you are unaware how much any “sentiment” dates. The inner drama is reaching its end. How dare a man venture once again upon a work that begins with the “soul”, with a prehistoric infinite?

And then, there is the matter of tone. Yours — I’m afraid — will be of the “noble”, “reassuring” variety, tainted with common sense, proportion, or elegance. Get it through your head that a book should address itself to our incivism, to our singularities, to our lofty turpitudes, and that a “humane” writer who sacrifices to ideas which are too acceptable signs his own literary death warrant.’’

My article at the Paradox Ethereal Journal

Travelling memories & our age – vis, croatia

On the May day ~ poetry

Maypole in the ground
in the middle of the field
at the sunset of 30th April
The Summer has cometh
scent of Hazel in the air
touch the May-tree
take a hawthorn flower
smell the creamy Rowan
gather all Ye folk
to make a circle
to spin together
for our fertile land
and to try and touch the sky
dance and awash yourself
in the Mid-Spring’s rays of Sun
up until the starry skies appear
at the horizon
cast the spell in the woods
with your loved one a-maying
in the forest green
as the Moon will change the Sun
whose warmth will retire to
bonfire made with force-fire and need-fire
throw the Juniper in bonfire
leap the fire with your loved one
for a blessed land and purification
share the bannoch Bealltainn
and wait for Beltaine to arrive
with merry song,rose petals in fresh elderflower juice, cider and ale
eat the good food, remember the ancestors and weave stories of old

The Plant as Autonomous Power ~ Ernst Jünger

Ernst Junger chair

The following excerpt is a chapter from Ernst Jünger’s book Annäherungen ~ Drogen und Rausch (Approaches: Drugs and Ecstatic Intoxication), first published in German in 1970. It is a wide-ranging, loosely organized account of the author’s experiences with ether, alcohol, cocaine, hashish, opium, mescaline, LSD, and psilocybin, along with more speculative reflections on the nature of ecstatic intoxication. Although the book as a whole has not yet appeared in English, the immediately preceding chapter, entitled “Drogen und Rausch,” was translated as “Drugs and Ecstasy” in Myths and Symbols: Studies in Honor of Mircea Eliade, edited by Joseph M. Katagawa & Charles H. Long, pp. 327-342 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1969).

Jünger is best known for In Stahlgewittern (In Storms of Steel), first published in 1920, which is a narrative of his experiences as a front soldier in World War I. A prolific essayist and diarist, he was a prominent figure in Germany’s right-wing opposition to the Weimar Republic. Although a foe of parliamentary democracy, he was never a Nazi. During World War II he served as an officer of the German army in occupied France. His allegorical novel Auf den Marmorklippen (On the Marble Cliffs), published in 1939, was read by many as an attack on the Nazi regime.

For the most part, Jünger doesn’t demonstrate or even seek to convince–he observes, muses, reflects. Therein lies one of the obstacles for the reader: his style, despite its outward form, is fundamentally aphoristic rather than essayistic. In the chapter translated here, I have not attempted to amend the original, except in one case of an obvious misprint. Otherwise, in two instances, I have indicated with the notation “[sic]” passages that are problematic for other reasons.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

When juices of vegetable and animal origin intermingle, new molecules come into being, chains and rings of the most varied sorts are formed. Only recently have we been able to look into this fine structure a bit–were we not able to, then little or nothing would really be altered. This insight, as some suppose and many suspect, probably distracts from more important things.

That some molecules nourish the body and others pass through it naturally is as little disputed as the fact that still others trigger mental effects. The American Indian distinction between everyday and divine nourishment is based on this perception, as is, in the higher cultures [sic], that between natural and sacred substances in general.

The question as to whether these effects are merely triggered or whether they “ensue” leads beyond the problems of the psychologists and the chemists. If we recognize the plant as an autonomous power which enters in order to put forth roots and flowers in us, then we distance ourselves by several degrees from the skewed perspective which imagines that spirit [Geist] is the monopoly of human beings and doesn’t exist outside of them. A new world-picture has to follow the planetary leveling; that is the task which the next century will take up. The nihilistic and materialistic theories are called upon to prepare the way for it; thus, their persuasive power, so incomprehensible to their opponents. Of course, even in a storm which uproots forests and tears the roofs off of houses, we don’t see the pull of windless distance–the same is true of time.

We are moving here at the edge of quarrels about the Lord’s Supper, which occupied minds for thousands of years, occasionally intensifying. It is a matter of bread and wine, of differences between presence and approach. When something really happens, the rough and the fine differentiations collapse. After all, they don’t penetrate into the “interior of nature.” We can give the widest possible scope to both “that is” and “that means.” Basically, they meet in one point. Even on the evening of its establishment, the Supper “meant” something beyond its actuality, although as a high stage of approach.

Today, we are plagued by other worries. Above all, this: that on this path gods no longer steal in.
———————————————

Around 1806,1 cocaine was successfully prepared in Wöhler’s famous Göttigen Institute, one of Pandora’s boxes for the world. The whole nineteenth century is interspersed with this precipitation and concentration of active principles from organic substances. It began with the extraction of morphine from the juice of the poppy by the twenty-year-old Sertürner, who thereby developed [entwickelte], or rather, unwrapped [auswickelte] the first alkaloid.

As is everywhere the case with the approach to the world of the Titans, concentration and radiation increase here as well. In this world, forces and substances appear which, to be sure, are obtained from nature, but are too strong, too vehement for natural powers of comprehension, so that human beings have to rely on increasing distance and greater caution, if they don’t want to destroy themselves. These forces and substances are visible modifications of the entrance into a new world of spirit.

Fermentation, distillation, precipitation and finally production of radioactive matter from organic substance [sic]. With that, the twentieth century begins–1903, discovery of radium and polonium; 1911, Nobel Prize to the Curies for the purification of radium from immense amounts of Joachimsthal pitchblende. In 1945, the Americans handed over this Joachimsthal to the Russians, who extracted large amounts of fissionable material there.

Every transition is at the same time a break, every profit also a loss. When that is felt in the depths, even if not comprehended, the pain is especially great–above all, when there is still suffering due to the retreat of the gods from the Titans. Opinions on it differ like day and night. Pierre Curie was among the first victims of motorized transportation (✝ 1906). Léon Bloy gloated over the news about “the crushing of the infamous brain.”

Just as Goethe views color as one of the adventures of light, we could view ecstatic intoxication [Rausch] as a triumphal march of the plant through the psyche. The immense family of nightshades thus nourishes us not only physically, but also in dreams. For a study of them, systematics would have to be combined with the vision of a Fechner. Their name, “Solanaceae,” is presumably derived from “solamen,” consolation.

Just as the plant turns toward us not only physically but also spiritually, it did this much earlier erotically, toward the animals. To see that, we of course have to recognize them as on an equal footing with us, even as the stronger partner. Among the most noteworthy phenomena, the true wonders of our planet, is the mystery of the bees, which is at the same time a mystery of flowers. The love-duet between two creatures so immensely far removed from one another in their form and development must have once been attested, as if by a stroke of magic, through innumerable acts of caring. The blossoms are reshaped into sex organs which adapt themselves in a wondrous fashion to completely foreign creatures–flies, hawk moths and butterflies, also sunbirds and hummingbirds. At one time, they were pollinated by the wind.

That was one of the short-circuits in the ancestral line. A Great Transition. In such images, the veil of the iris becomes transparent. Cosmogonic Eros breaks through the separations of the educated world. The thought that such a thing might be possible would never occur to us, were it not palpably confirmed in myriad ways on a walk through a spring meadow, at every flower-filled slope. Nonetheless, it was not until our era that a human being solved the mystery. Again, a rector: Christian Konrad Sprengel–The Revealed Mystery of Nature (1793).2 What we call mysteries are, of course, only manifestations; we come closer to them in the bell-like buzzing under the blossoming linden tree. Knowledge is correspondence.

This plant, although itself hardly mobile, casts a spell over what moves. Novalis saw it in his hymns. Without the plant, there would be no life anywhere. All creatures that eat and breathe depend on it. One can only guess how far its spiritual power extends. The parable refers to it above all, and not without reason.

What is wakened, for instance, by tea, tobacco, opium, often just by the mere scent of flowers–this range of delights, from indeterminate dreams to anaesthesia–is more than a palette of conditions. There must be something else, something new which ensues.

Just as the plant forms sex organs in order to mate with the bees, it also weds human beings–and the contact gives us access to worlds we would never enter without it. The mystery of all addictions is concealed here, as well–and whoever would cure them has to give a spiritual equivalent.

References #

1.Sämtliche Werke, Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta. 1978;11:42-45.

Notes #

1.The original has “1860” here, which is clearly a misprint.
2. Das entdeckte Geheimnis der Natur.

Citation: Jünger E. “The Plant as Autonomous Power”. A chapter from Annäherungen. Drogen und Rausch (1970). Translation published in The Entheogen Review. 2000;9(1-2):34-36. Online edition: Erowid.org/plants/plant_article1.shtml
translated by Stephen Slater translation 2000 (from 1970 work)
Originally published in The Entheogen Review