The Science of Spiritual Debt

Newton was fond of alchemy, in fact he wrote more on alchemical formulae than he did on the physics or mathematics that we remember him for now in hindsight. Of course, there are still hints: our color wheel has 7 basic shades (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). This is because in alchemy 7 was one of the numbers of perfection. See it’s the number of sides in a triangle added to the number of sides in a square (the shape of a square being how we get the word “square” when we multiply a number by itself) which represents a circle since you have to know squares to calculate circles. Since those are the 3 most basic shapes, squares, circles, and triangles, the number 7 contains the universe or somesuch. Thus white light, “pure light”, had to contain 7 colors. In fact the human eye can differentiate over 16 million shades, the Japanese have a word for ‘blue-green’ which they list in their rainbow, and printers have no idea what blue or violet are and use cyan. In other words, Roy G. Biv is total bullshit, but we’ve kept it because that’s what we do. We take ideas that have no basis in reality and squeeze the life out of them only to tell ourselves they’re now just the way it is.
In other words, some ideas from alchemy have become pervasive and lost all their context. Even wonder why the opposite of ‘man’ is ‘woman’? Because one fertilizes and one is fertilized. For some cultures, like my own tribe, the opposite of ‘man’ is ‘boy’. Because one can make babies, one can’t. How did I do that just now? Easy, the Ancient Greeks had an idea of ‘opposite’ that meant something’s opposite had to be another thing outside itself, up/down, left/right, man/woman. For other cultures a thing can easily contain its own opposite, old/young, bare/leafy, cool/warm. Thus you say man/woman, I say man/boy, and we both mean by that ‘opposite’. Are we really saying the same thing in that case?
Unfortunately the Greek ideal of opposites and the values of alchemy have pervaded Western European and thus Modern American thought to such a degree that it shapes the very discourse and values. When we hear people talking about Israel and Palestine for example, the discussion is frequently about who is owed the land, the debts that have accrued. This is an alchemical formula debt/repayment. When what’s happening is people are dying right now, no matter whose book of ancient amusing anecdotes we use to justify it. Or whose great grandfather killed whose great aunt.
The formula being established is a 1:1, life for a life. But for some of us that formula doesn’t work, life is not a constant. One life is not equal to a life taken three or four generations, or centuries, or eons ago. One life is equal to one life only today, right now. Meaning the void left by a murder is filled by that murderer being brought to justice, otherwise the void simply remains. The equivalent exchange that alchemy demands is simply not required by some of us. More importantly, for alchemy the universe is constant and unchanging, there is perfection out there somewhere. Which means time is not a factor in balancing their equations. A life taken now can equal a life taken at any point in history.
Those of us, however, who view time as a variable, who see the past as malleable and the future as unknown, cannot treat murder as simply the redress of grievance. It becomes itself a new murder, which then must also be avenged. It becomes a cycle, not a terminus. In that formula, the only way to end the circle of violence is to exit. To balance the equation for some of us is to present the thing’s opposite, where -1+1=0. The only way to answer a death is with life. And the universe does that every day.

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The Piebald One

The Dark Fool dances like a harlequin, like a rabbit in a field when no one is watching. His diamonds are so deep they’re embedded in his very skin. He spirals and hops and he makes jokes that hide and reveal more and less than he knows. Here he records some of what plays in his mind, his own little mark upon the stones, like those who came before and have left us with as many questions as answers. Oh, and there’s gonna be a lot of sarcasm, some irony, and way more than enough absurdity to go around.

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