Just now, I’ve been searching the Internet for a quote by Rumi that I only half-remember. If you are to be satisfied, it’ll have to be with the gist of a fragment of it, which runs something like this:
Pay attention to which birdcage your’s is brought next to
I’m tempted to say that nothing is more difficult to distinguish than happenstance and Divine Intervention. In our Materialist Age, here in the Kali Yuga, it is a forgone conclusion that there cannot be, as Hamlet put it, special providence in the fall of a sparrow. It’s all just blind chance and the patterns we impose on it. And yet, some blind chances prosper and others do not. Some blind chances are poetry, as Shakespeare demonstrated in the first exchange between Romeo and Juliet, which taken together completes the form of an English sonnet.
This is the point I’ve reached in argument with my latest Muse, for whom there is now a song.
This blind chance to prosper is what I have, in this argument, referred to as “becoming a butterfly.” When the caterpillar dissolves in its cocoon, there’s only one path to manifestation of a butterfly. Outside this Golden Path the dissolved caterpillar is just a biological soup on its way to being mere chemistry. Crisis is our test, as the Bene Gesserit say. This crisis involves the dissolution of what has come before, as a necessary precursor to the next stage of life. This next stage is the marriage the conservatives defend, if mostly out of a blind allegiance. Traditions change, Stil.
So, I introduced her to what is called the Anna Karenina principle, stated by Tolstoy like so:
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
The happy family is the butterfly, that there’s only one way to. But, she protested, so you have your old book, but what if I don’t want to be a butterfly? What if I want to be a fruitfly?
So, a butterfly and a fruit fly walk into a bar…
I’m not sure what the punchline is yet.
The Tarot warns that it’s the 5 of Pentacles – which I have to say, doesn’t look very funny. I think the joke has something to do with the fact that these two figures once lived in that house. They’re Adam and Eve, long after having been cast out of Eden, into the Domain of Time & Space, into the experience of their own sensual beings. The Pentacle. Maybe the joke, in this interpretation, has to do with the fact that they still do live there, and somehow they lost their key.
It’s tough joke to tell, successfully. In fact, we can revisit the Anna Karenina principle through this lens:
Good tellings of this joke are all alike; whereas every bad telling is bad in its own way.
It’s not surprising that anyone would rebel from this strict of a rule. Most everyone does. It’s what we do, as humans. We build shit to change the shape of necessity. We imagine. We fall in love. And only after a time, after we find ourselves shivering on a sidewalk outside the security we once willfully squandered, do we start to crawl back into the good graces of Providence, slouching to Beth-Elohim to be born.
That literary allusion notwithstanding, I prefer to bow, rather than slouch. And so the focus of this exchange has, on my end, become the act of bowing out, as a martial artist bows out of the ring, so as to depart without denying the sacredness of the space.
I realized as we arrived at the Bier Stein, prior to articulating the Butterfly/Fruitfly Divide, I was struck by a clear understanding of the danger of projection inherent in Musedom. For the Muse lives as an archetype within me. When someone strikes me as Muse, I enter back into a deep, long-term, discussion. A discussion I’ve been having with some higher part of Myself for my whole life. My Better Half. The her who reminds me gets painted, for a time, as Her. This act of projection is like stepping into a ring, within the context of which, the other is the Enemy.
Indeed, since spending time with her, I’ve been dreaming of Her. This may seem a sad thing, but I am glad to even dream of Her, in some way that is other than, yet powerful as, pain.
The Once & Future Aristocracy
Romance is the truest aristocracy. This is the Troubadour creed. This is why the knights of the Langue d’Oc forfeited their gold and castles to enter into wandering service of the Muse. This wasn’t a renunciation of aristocracy, in the manner of the relativists, for whom all beauty is merely in the eye of the beholder. This was the embrace of aristocracy in its truest, most humble, form. The rejection of form so as to embrace essence in a more perfect union.
The martial art and the marital art are one and the same. The Bedchamber is the practice room floor. You have to bow in and bow out, so as to maintain the sanctity of the space, while yet giving yourself the freedom, and the limitation, of your mere humanity. A nation is the same.
So, I’ve been trying to bow out, because I can’t see how it authentically works. It’s easy to feel too much and too little. Hard to feel rightly. Fortunately, circumstance will intervene. Most likely, she’ll go her way and I’ll go mine, and I won’t have to figure it out. I’ll just go back to what I was doing, with the added blessing of a new song, and these episodes.
More than that, she showed me how close and vulnerable I am to addiction. How willing I am to throw away the whole for the pleasure of the part. We might consider this a primary occupational hazard of Troubadors… if troubadory could be properly called an occupation.