“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, April 22, 2016

TANTRIC POP: From Prince to Björk on Earth Day

Before there was Björk there was Prince. That's a very simple encapsulation of my personal pop life.

Happy Earth Day by the way. I tweeted that I was in the wrong universe yesterday, because it was the Queen's birthday and Prince's death day.

And I wondered what that really meant...and now for all kinds of reasons I know something: Eye No. It's not all bleak.

We're talking about gnosticism. We're talking about tantrism. We're talking about fusion of spirituality with sexuality, a magical combination that can truly eject you from the cycle of suffering, and something sadly lacking in the metallic plastic sex pop of now. On the whole.

Both of these artists are so explicit about the body, but it's a body complete with subtle body and chakras and orgasms that aren't just in that one particular sex organ center. Or rather, you are covered in multiple sex organs and to some extent you are a great big open flower like that one Prince is sitting in, like a sexy sideways Buddha, on the cover of Lovesexy. Chakras are imagined as flowers with petals not because it's cute but because they can open, and the Greek for opening is orgasm.

Lovesexy happened the same year that Blake happened to me. If Michael Moore is the reincarnation of Wordsworth, then Prince is the reincarnation of Blake. Which do you prefer? hahaha

The genderqueer Jesus vibe, the one(s) they edited out, scared of the implications, stripping it all down to a homophobic patriarchal breeder machine. Interestingly, the one where he had sex with women, rather than the pedophilically sexless official homosocial (and misogynist) mother cult. The one where he says you have to abandon your mum and dad.

Consorts. Using sexuality to explore reality. In some Gnostic scriptures God is called The Silence: “and together we'll stare into the silence [post orgasm]...and we'll try to imagine what silence looks like...yeah...we'll try to imagine--what silence looks like.” (“If I Was Your Girlfriend”)

That symbol of his, so obviously with ankh-like qualities, his band of basically multitalented Marys of Magdala, the Jehovah's Witness quality adding that feeling that this reality is about to be rent asunder and we're going to see the real one, which in this case is not a sterile heaven but palpitating and palpating actual bodies.

That i want to know what the fuck is going on, right now quality that you find in all tantric practitioners on Earth. Björk thinks about it through esoteric Sufi. Prince has his flavors.

That top level of hedonistic consumerism that is (sorry eco puritans and Platonist Marxists of doom) a magic gate to somewhere. Including ecological awareness, caring for other beings. On this Earth, which equates to refining and expanding pleasures. 

The i want to know now, in this life quality, which is so close to just greedily grabbing stuff in the (spiritual) supermarket...close to basic libidinal energy, it could all go a bit wrong, but what other energy do you want to use, is there any? Paging Björk's Kate Bush's Wilhelm Reich.

That feeling of being in the wrong universe, indeed...one wants to burst out of it like one of Blake's Glad Day type people.

That what's wrong is a misplaced spirituality, an anti-sexual Spooky Electric Sound that cuts like a knife and tries to get in you. An evil heaven. Gnosticism.

Heaven is evil. Hell is just energy. Earth is where it's at. Tantric pop.

I'm just going to keep writing this post as things occur to me. Happy orgone accumulation day!


If we really have gotten global warming very very wrong, like so wrong we are going extinct and all that, like if the world is actually ending and this is indeed an apocalypse theism style, just like I haven't been arguing all this time (!), then isn't it better, instead of collapsing into stoical despair, to party like it's 1999? I mean it shouldn't just be heard as a cliché at this point. The world has got a bomb, we could all die any day. The world is not the Earth. The world is the human project(s) and for sure this world has got a bomb, and is a bomb, exploding slowly for 12 500 years, now faster.

So assume the worst. Does that mean you have to acquiesce in basically oil culture mode? Hanging on in quiet desperation, so that everyone becomes English, English being the world that pays to have a queen over its head, everyone knows their place? Or shouldn't you be partying in solar mode?

Is it the Queen's birthday, or Prince's death day, which bleeds into Earth Day? Which?


D. E.M. said...

I kept checking for Prince post here.
Thank you.
I want him & Bowie back ....

Dave Pantos said...

Love this.

J. Ahlroth said...

I am copypasting this all over the place:

"Heaven is evil. Hell is just energy. Earth is where it's at. Tantric pop."

Tom Beckett said...

Beautiful post!

ARP said...

Interesting post but as an economically poor and disabled person the access issue to magical gnostic paradise via top end hedonistic consumption can only be a memory. that's a critique but i think it was poet Stephen Spender who said "the poor want you to be happy" the joy you're having is a good buzz, notwithstanding the habitual parenthetical

kalleconatus said...

Love this, Tim!

Nick Guetti said...

The lyric is "everybody's got a bomb", not "the world". I listened to 1999 enough times to kill a herd of Mammuthus spp. Prince has always been into bodies more than worlds. Anyway, the body of art, music and outrageousness formerly known as Prince. Interesting that to most of us, that's all he ever was.

I remember being just 14 and completely hooked when the commercial came on the TV: "PRINCE...in his FIRST MOVIE!!!" And there's this guy in a glittering purple mylar frock coat and saffron frilled shirt. Do you know where my mind went? "Is this guy the next Doctor Who?" Seriously, that's what crossed my mind.