Perhaps life is not actually a moral journey and can never properly become one? Marechera’s inverted PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, Black Sunlight, is typical of the intellectual shamanist genre in that it demonstrates the futility of the view that life has any moral lessons to teach us.
Are you morally wounded? Life can undo your individual moral soul and wreck you out of that former woundedness.
It has taken long to understand the nature of the soul according to its non-inverted cultural invention. I refer to the soul that expects to pass through different stages in life and learn from them. This cultural construct of the soul is also dying, as lifetime events more fluidly supersede each other. The rampant velocities of contemporary politics and science also wreck us out of our moral wounds
Life teaches us nothing, but perhaps we can learn from that. To fill one’s mind with content, with more musts and shoulds, opens up future wounds in an inevitably disappointed soul. Life cannot have the structure one currently imagines it ought to have. A pilgrim these days would have to proceed very slowly indeed to maintain any sense of structure where reality moves exponentially.
Life itself has nothing to teach us, for it does not take an interest in us in that way. What we have left are our experiences. These may teach us lessons, but only those we wish to learn. Supposing the ground for such learning has not been prepared, one will be left with nothing. To learn from what one is capable of teaching oneself requires good manners. One must respect the teacher, who is superbly deficient in the knowledge and ability to teach. Another must command the student, who doesn’t see the point in any of this. This knowledge is not authoritative but personal. The student requests to be nailed to a crucifix, because it’s safer to rely on the authority of others than to proceed with this highly unsatisfactory state of affairs. Eternal woundedness is the price he is willing to pay for certainty, an absolution that will be denied him.
“There’s only You and You-Yourself , so work together!”
So one regresses, since one does not know the way forward. There one is, in one’s worst nightmares, staring back at one. Experiential lessons multiply, but there are no answers as to how to live according to morality and the ideal. One’s former self stares back at one.
Perhaps then, life is not a moral journey, but an experiential one. Does one not have enough food to eat? Was Jesus hungry? Morality nails one to the sticking point, but where there are two, one is still free to wander.
“Does he find enough food in this experience? Or must he be compelled to repeat it?” Such is the reflection of the shamanic self.
Jesus in plaster-form writhes in his agony, assured that he will never eat again, but human forms march on, consuming their experiences and transmuting. There’s no meaning to this reality. But if one cannot consume one’s experiences, one remains adrift in a space where life has little meaning. Some learn to take the food and drink the drink and wreck themselves out of their woundedness.
The teacher is accursed as is the pupil, but both of them shall make their way beyond the cross and hopes of immortality.
Behold! And one and one is suddenly reborn, out of the devil’s own behind.