the offering of images

by robert ashley

a stresslimit html5 audio experiment

the offering of images as a spiritual activity
replaces the impulse to find a personal vision, an icon
as a spiritual activity it distracts the individual
from finding and recognizing a singular true path

the offering of images categorizes human activity and offers
the sum of the categories as a sum of possibilities and alternatives
each one of which must be equally good and equally valid,
else this system of categories breaks down

like modernism, science, and theatre as we know it,
the offering of images and protestantism hand in hand
are egalitarian, democratic and communistic

the offering of images is a secular spiritual activity
the offering of images has in our era attached itself as a spiritual activity
to judaism as a secular corrective to mysticism and individualism

the offering of images is the secularization of judaism
as protestantism is the secularization of christianity,
modernism is the secularization of taste,
science is the secularization of memory,
and theatre as we know it is the secularization of experience
there are other examples but you get the idea

remember that we have yet to find a language that is common
to the occident and orient
except for the language of technology

consider then the difficulties in speaking to the fourth world,
the world of those who are different
for the difference that is independent of geography

for instance, the mentally different.
secularization must exclude the mentally different by definition.
the mentally different share no images with us
and they share no history with us.
the mentally different cannot be modern
the mentally different cannot be trusted in science
the mentally different cannot appreciate theatre as we know it

one supposed that other differences than mental difference
separate the fourth world
from the three that communicate with such difficulty now

for instance, feelings.
suppose for a moment that beginning this instant,
while nothing in you changes mentally,
you enter into a state of permanent rapture
[maybe not more intense than the feeling you feel while
standing in the meadow of your imagination and being addressed by name,
without the ambiguity of distance
by some animate being or knowing system in an elevated position]

to simplify the image a great deal without changing it structurally,
but as intense and without the incumberance of the image
I think this is what is meant by pure bliss
the feeling without the image

you could not be modern
you could not be trusted in science
you could not appreciate theatre as we know it
you would be in the same relationship to the real worlds one, two and three
as if you were mentally different
and you would never be able to communicate to those worlds
that while intent upon a state of permanent rapture you are mentally ok
you could do it by reference to the dream
but remember, you would not have had the dream
might not know what dreams were
and to try to communicate through the image of the dream
would reveal the passing nature of your rapture

the fourth world is different from the other three
otherwise we wouldn’t need words at all,
and it is different in the words

now the problem you will have in dealing with your dream
as a yardstick in your life
is that it will fade
the greatest of the prophets, moses, the first jew we can remember,
was very discouraging about the use of images
he thought that any attempt to animate the world in one’s imagination,
to give it any meaning at all is a big mistake

if you for instance think of dogs as little
because they are smaller than you think you are
you have a long way to go before you rest

traditionally, when imagination becomes too strong,
cultures resort to very strong chemical treatments,
usually from the vegetable world,
to burn off the waste, which is where the imagination arises

i think you must do some of that

don’t be frightened of the first stage,
in which the imagination is purposely inflamed
remember who you are stay near help and don’t give up
eventually you will come to pure bliss
the image will disappear
dreams will stop
you won’t need me