THE REAL WAR AND THE REBIRTH OF EROS (dedicated to Shakti, in all Her forms)


"If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don’t do it in ghastly seriousness,
don’t do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun."
DH Lawrence

"Reactionary concepts plus revolutionary emotion result in Fascist mentality." Wilhelm Reich

Whenever a group of people takes on a collective identity, there is the danger of a clique forming. If this clique starts to take itself too seriously, it will soon think that it can ‘save the world’. Then it will see the rest of the world as enemies of itself and humanity. What started out as a band of starry-eyed idealists will sooner or later degenerate into a fanatical army, dedicated to realising the limited vision of its prophet. Come what may.

The greatest danger to human survival doesn’t come from super-villains, but the hypocrisy of the ‘moral majority’. Every time a massacre or other atrocity is reported on the news (ie almost daily), the media always pretend that murderous violence is ‘inexplicable’! This nauseating lie is a legacy of the days when we used to blame the devil for any human actions that didn’t tally with our self-image of being holier-than-thou.

As long as you believe that people are born either controllers or spies for love, elect or damned, good or bad, you deny humanity’s ability to understand and cure its own sickness. To see this, try the following thought-experiment: suppose that somewhere in the universe there were satanically-cold beings who wished to turn the universe into a machine governed by their computerised control-centre. In the game of cosmic espionage, how could they win humans for their cause? Not so easy! Their problem is that it’s impossible for a warm-blooded being to enjoy control and subjugation. Unfortunately for them, it’s in our nature to be motivated by joy, and to feel empathy for the pain of others.

Therefore, it’s evident that we can only be co-opted for a control agency if our emotional life has been somehow sabotaged. It’s equally evident that this has been done on a global scale. The greatest part of our social structures is designed to perpetuate this sabotage. If the mass of ordinary people stopped supporting this process, especially in the education system, every ‘secret organisation’ would become powerless. As powerless as a pusher in an area with no addicts.

Leaving aside, for now, the somewhat sci-fi question of whether there really are any soulless controller-robots, it’s clear that, in human terms, the control mentality is parasitic on emotional illness. The best, and saddest, illustration of this on record is that of greatest single author in the Western Tradition who, through his powerful, imaginative, tormented psyche, has inadvertently brought grief to millions of other people in the last 2500 years...


"we shall treat him with all the reverence due to a priest and giver of rare pleasure, but shall tell him that he and his kind have no place in our city, their presence being forbidden by our code" Plato (Republic 398a, speaking of poets)

"There is a war going on between those who love poetry and those who don’t" Neil Oram, lyric poet, author of The Warp

Plato is the seminal writer in the western intellectual tradition. His ‘Republic’ elaborates a totalitarian state controlled by an elite of mathematically-trained philosopher-rulers, who are assumed to be able to administer the state according to pure logic.

It is still shocking to find an Athenian of Plato’s time (5th Century BCE) banishing the poets in the name of totalitarianism and state-approved vision. After all, in the century of his birth, Athens had produced three of the greatest poets in history (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides), and pioneered democracy.

But there are reasons, and the story of Plato is a tragedy on a par with any to be found in Greek myth. This sensitive ex-poet (!), traumatised by the decline of his beloved Athens and the trial and death of his teacher and hero Socrates, grew to hate and fear emotion. He had certainly seen enough ugly passion in Athens. But he didn’t see that there is no true contrast between ‘reason’ and ‘emotion’. The real contrast is between a EMOTIONALLY-LIVING psyche and a TORTURED psyche. The former always produces healthy thought; the latter is incapable of it.

Bearing Neil Oram’s quote in mind, we can see how poetry and life are really two words for the same thing. Plato’s ‘suppression of poetry’ in himself and his fantasy state is identical with a repression of life. Although you wouldn’t know it from the state of poetry today, the whole history of the humanities revolves around Neil’s war. To put this more radically, and honestly: the whole FATE of the ‘humanities’, and thus of humanity depends on the war over (true) poetry, which is life!

Once you lose your love of life, you can retreat into fantasy of better worlds: the perfect afterlife ‘beyond’, the utopia of a rational-mathematical republic, disembodied states of fake ‘samadhi’, practised as a mere mystic ego-trip. But strangely, the disembodied dreamers always become controllers in the end. Because, any fantasy of another world involves the frustrated wish for happiness in this world. But this world is unpredictable, free and doesn’t want to be forced into quantity and producing a particular ‘yield’. Therefore, unless you can retreat utterly into suicide, including emotional suicide (misunderstood Buddhism), you will grow to envy and hate the free world. Then wish to control and exploit it.

Consider just one example from history to see how this works out in practise. Several thousand years ago the Aryan peoples, coming from the north, invaded ancient India, which was inhabited by the Dravidian races. The Dravidians had a polytheistic religion, with many animal gods, reverence for the female and a love of life in its ecstasy of constant flux. From them India got the doctrine of reincarnation, the secrets of body-centred yoga especially Kundalini teachings and their wonderfully vibrant art. But the Aryans were more technologically ‘advanced’ and had the controllers’ mentality. Little surprise, it is from the Aryan traditions that the life-denying streak of Indian philosophy comes: a tendency that teachers such as the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi have condemned.

Likewise, for a religion that seeks bliss in the afterlife, the Christian Church has sure been militant in this world. In a near perfect imitation of the Aryans, they overran pagan lands, and cheated the natives with a process of assimilation of old goddesses and gods to Christian saints.

As Wilhelm Reich observed in 1930s Germany to his dismay, Hitler appealed to many through his talk of ‘duty’ and the importance of emotional-sexual repression. A world-denying hatred of life and a fanatical need to repress it are inseparable. No wonder Hitler was obsessed by the Aryan supremacy myth.


"You’re all so jealous of anyone who’s capable of experiencing a mental event" Marty Mission, The Warp

Throughout the ages, the poets have been servants of living miracle, instruments of ecstasy. The early Greeks understood these powers as revelations of the god Eros (secretly known to be the highest god of all). Obviously, the fundamental expression of Eros is sex, but physical lovemaking is just a part of it. What Marty says of ‘mental events’ is at root a question of Eros, because true thinking is an erotic event. The ‘mental event’ is an extinct species in the academic establishment. Most intellectuals have no idea that true thinking is as much fun as true sex, and has nothing to do with mere concept-shuffling.

But then, our culture does everything it can to deny Eros. Instead of sex, we are offered a brutalised, mechanical FUCKING. As in this hypothetical conversation from 2084:

‘I’ve had 33 magazine-assisted, state-approved orgasms today. I must be a well-adjusted member of society...’

On the one hand, sex without Eros is thrown at us, with a hefty price-tag, by every glossy magazine and advert, and ever more TV shows. On the other, we are sold a syrupy sentimental fake-love, which masks evil possessiveness (I love you, so I own you).

As joyous and natural sexuality becomes ever more taboo, we see the horrible prospect of people turning ever more to sado-masochism, electrical stimulation and computer-controlled orgasmotrons in a desperate attempt to feel something!

Once you feel how sex has been corrupted, you can understand the plight of the academic world, and especially that of ‘spirituality’. Without Eros, all the knowledge of consciousness-modification surfacing in the New Age is just a load of ‘technique’, of methods leading to fundamentally empty experiences.

What the Greeks called Eros is very close to the Spanish understanding of duende, which the poet Lorca has celebrated in our century. Without the power of duende, any art is mere ornament, mere mechanical cleverness. In searching for a definition of duende, Lorca quoted these words of Manuel Torres: ‘whatever has black sounds, has duende’.

These ‘black sounds’ are life: sometimes sweet, sometimes terrible, but always ecstatic. Most of what is called spirituality is starved of them, and the New Age will fail unless its techniques are touched by life.


They have killed the academic mind, they have attacked and corrupted poetry, and they have desiccated spirituality. Will we allow them to take away sex? And pleasure in eating? And beauty in general? If so, the human race will have to kill itself in a ‘war of all against all’. In a grotesque pseudo-sexual release, they will finally feel in touch with reality as their blood flows to the earth, and experience human contact as their corpses are piled together for the great incineration.


"You only become alive when you give up trying to survive — at the expense of others! Yes man, you don’t come FIRST in importance, when it comes to survival" Billy McGuinness, The Warp

Sex is the domain in which humans give pleasure to each other. Life is meant to be shared: transmitted, received, passed around. Eros, as the ‘sexual dynamic’ is fundamental to all human interaction, and is crucial wherever groups of people are concerned.

This generosity is best learned as a child, in the primal experiences of touch, warmth, enjoying food, and the sheer joy of being alive. Kids brought up in a sensual, generous environment have every chance of experiencing ‘mental events’ later. That is, if they’re not fucked-up by being mechanically sexualised by pop-videos before they’re old enough to protect themselves.

This is a chief reality behind the teachings of Kundalini, which is essentially a natural process. The flame of Eros, which flickers in our basic sensual-sexual nature, in the fullness of time, grows into a fire warming all of body, mind and soul.

The health of our root-sensuality is equally essential in space as in time, as a kind of warming aura enfolding the members of any group of people that love each other. Therefore, the success of any scene turns on the most delicate calibration and nurturing of the basic Kundalini fire. Any ‘screw-ups’ in the fundamental energetic interactions between humans throws everything off, and no durable art or creativity will result. It needs to be nurtured, tended like a slow-simmering cauldron or a hearth-flame.

Many idealistic group-projects have failed because sexuality was mishandled. Often it’s repressed and channelled into blood-lust, pseudospiritual hallucinations, or the crazed desire to ‘convert’. Or else the energy proves too much, and a free-for all of ‘fucking’ results which ultimately leaves everyone confused and empty.

The gnostic sects knew this, and hence were slandered by the Christian Church as being sexually-permissive. Correspondingly, the gnostics were scorned for the creativity, evident in their many poems and philosophical tracts. (The Church prided itself on having precisely one book, to be interpreted in one way)! And they were especially hated for their worship of the divine in female as in male form, and their reverence for Mary Magdalene.

Although physically persecuted by the Christian Church, the spirit of gnosticism lived on, especially in such groups as the Cathars (see following interview with Jeff Merrifield, Ed). The gnostics will be central to future studies of erotic-intellectual life, but as a pointer, the words of King David and of Billy McGuinness in The Warp are the purest gnosticism you will ever hear (in this dimension).

In the light of the above, we can give a new twist to Neil’s earlier quote:

There is a war going on between those who love generosity, and those who don’t.

Generosity and ecstasy, or self-importance and the hatred of life? Your choice.

© James Cavendish 1999