—J.G. Bennett, Talks on Beelzebub’s Tales
Esteemed Reader of Our Magazine:
Tonight I am watching as the earth passes between the sun and the moon. A bite is taken out of that beautiful closest celestial body. And as the mythical method suggests, everything we experience and perceive has a meaning within the matrix of our psyche. This meaning is not available to deduction, but can only be seen, tacitly, in the moment. This event is not an exception.
It is not a coincidence that the words “lunatic” and ‘”lunacy” are rooted in lunar—the moon. Like the earth, our bodies are 80 percent water. The moon pulls at us as dramatically as it rhythmically moves the ocean tides. It impels us to act, and creates agitation—irritation even—as our bodily and hormonal stasis is disturbed. Many women menstruate with the moon, and the lead-up to this event can be distressing. As a man I often feel the onset of PMS-like symptoms as the moon approaches fullness, and relief at the moment it begins to wane.
The moon is related to what is habitual and reactive in us. It is the realm of fidgeting, obsession, hysteria, war. And there is even a reciprocal relationship between the moon and our lunacy. Philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff said “the evolution of humanity beyond a certain point, or, to speak more correctly, above a certain percentage, would be fatal for the moon. The moon at present feeds on organic life, on humanity. Humanity is a part of organic life; this means that humanity is food for the moon. If all men were to become too intelligent they would not want to be eaten by the moon.”
The bright side is that the influence gives us something to struggle with. It produces the inner friction that is the grist for work on ourselves, as we struggle to maintain balance and equilibrium in the face of our most destructive habits.
Whether the lunar influence is real or symbolic doesn’t matter. What matters is that most of humanity is in the grips of a mass-psychosis. We have fallen prey to influences that produce suspicion, fear, and hatred, and caused us to forget what matters most—the inherent unity of life. Fear of lack has led to greed which has led us to pillage the natural world and mercilessly abuse and kill one another in competition for resources. Our collective situation is undeniably bleak. Even the independently wealthy need to live in the natural world their personal gain has ruined. You can’t eat money.
Unfortunately political activism is meaningless in a system that is fundamentally flawed. As much as I have fantasized about how different things would be if the Bush/Cheney coup d’état of 2000 had failed, and Al Gore became president, I also know that nothing can really be different until there is a fundamental shift in consciousness. If spoiler Ralph Nader helped accelerate the process of effecting this shift, he is to be thanked, not derided. Thanks to him it is now crystal clear to anyone with eyes half open that our elections are rigged and the US “democracy” is a farce.
The activism that might effect a transformation is an effort to free ourselves from the hypnosis of the world in which we live. How can we connect to and engage with what is real, with one another in a meaningful way? Our society is terrified of cults because we are one. How can we wake up and be deprogrammed from the cult of distraction and fear?
Forty years ago J.G. Bennett wrote “We speak of liberation ‘in this very life’; but this also means in this very moment, not a bit yesterday, a bit today and a bit tomorrow. If we do not work now, we never work.”
At least a few of us, who have sufficient wish, can escape from prison. Let’s go!
The eclipse is almost complete as I write these words. I feel the possibility of automatism and lunacy being subsumed into a radiant solar influence. I feel a brightness in my chest that radiates warmth. I summon the effort to sense my body sitting in the chair. As the moon goes dark, I become whole.