August 7, 2015

anton krueger’s amateurist manifesto

Filed under: anton krueger,unga dada — ABRAXAS @ 11:23 am

(this manifesto first appeaed in the “laugh-it-off” annual # 3, 2006.
visit their website to talk to god: www.lio.co.za.)


…as everyone has by now, surely, become aware, the word “amateur” arises from the holy name of amaterasu – the japanese goddess of the sun who was born from the left eye of izanagi…it is to her alone that all true amateurists turn for benedictions of light and love…

aligning the field: amateurism & professionalism


…every action (drama / karma) is a creative gesture, because every action continuously creates consequences…

…if there is to be a division, then let it not fall between “bad” and “good” or “good” and “better”, but between action and non-action…

…amateurism is about action – praxis, rather than spectatorship…so the first thing to do is to GET OUT OF THE GRANDSTAND…


…the crime of specialisation is that it inhibits and prevents people from acting, because if only some can be masters, then the rest must become audience…

…professionalism thrives on expanding a passive audience…so professionalism can inhibit personal creative expression by threatening the would-be amateurist’s confidence and enthusiasm…


…professionalism involves the deliberate commodification of creative produce…

…in its desire to maximise the distribution and consumability of creative products, professionalism caters towards the mass production of objects most easily accessible to the largest audience by means of the largest common denominator…

…the curse of professionalism is that it is inevitably group-driven and committee-sponsored, that it defines humanity as swarm, as colony to be controlled…


…the amateurist is interested in singularity, not in mass reproduction…

…the amateurist manoeuvres with complete impunity towards any notions of success which might be measurable in terms of quantity…

…in whichever plain the amateurist plays, he always operates with total individual freedom…


a) amateur science
…since science became a profession at the tail end of the nineteenth century, and as it has become more and more professional during the course of the twentieth, the value of the knowledge it contributes to society has become most important as a saleable commodity, (a situation predicted by lyotard)…consequently, common curiosity seems to be on the decline, and many have willingly had their sense of wonder lobotomised…also, the would-be amateurist scientist is now co-erced into aligning his interests with areas of research which are most heavily subsidised by corporate funding…so there’s less open, naive, guileless exploration of what is…

b) amateur sports
…the professional sportsman seduces the would-be amateurist and hypnotises him with symbolic victories and illusory triumphs, keeping him firmly fastened to his couch while his belly bellows and his legs wither out from under him…

c) amateur arts
…when art becomes work, it stops being playful, and play is an essential ingredient of the artistic enterprise…the professionalisation of the arts has also lead to the packaging of arts as a means and not an end, which has managed to empty the artistic gesture itself of all inherent value…when art facilitates processes of reification and commoditisation, then it can turn deadly – then it can become advertising, education, propaganda, pornography…

d) amateur music
…since the reproduction of sound, domestic music making has been on the decline…the domination of a network which feeds the market it has created for itself with carefully packaged stars can easily terrorize the casual player into a mood of inadequacy…but playing music and hearing it are different experiences…nobody can play like you…

e) amateur academics: the case for lazy scholarship
…if one is too career-orientated, if one is too much of a busybody, if one has read too many books, if one has been too diligent, then one is simply going to regurgitate the mechanisms of the apparatus into which one has willingly sunk one’s self…one will have become bound by one’s books…

…thinking requires grandiloquent moments…to be beavering away at facts and dates and entire branches of interpretations is stultifying…for new ideas to breathe one needs the freedom to explore…as nietzsche said – one cannot call oneself a thinker unless one spends at least third of one’s time away from the company of people and books…

the bottom line

…the amateurist realises the futility of everything the
media machine manufactures…

…the amateurist doesn’t play the numbers game…

…the amateurist shuns the commodification of creativity…

…the amateurist never does anything he doesn’t want to do…

…the amateurist is free…

who were the great amateurists?

…socrates, diogenes, spinoza, william blake, the marquis de sade, van gogh, gerard manley hopkins, otto gross, aleister crowley, e.m. cioran, fernando pessoa, antonin artaud, benjamin whorf, nikolai rimsky korsakov, henry green, mayakovsky, all the beats, harper lee, hakim bey, helen martins…

…long live amateur, long live…


…after krueger’s momentous declaration of amateurism, we managed to track him down to put a few questions to him…we first raised the issue of the almost deafening silence which had hitherto greeted his proposal, speculating as to whether or not the almost total media black out of the event might have had something to do with the fact that the only person he’d shown the manifesto to was his wife, louise, (who thought it sounded “very nice”)…but he seemed put out by the question and referred us to “the bottom line”, repeating that “the amateurist doesn’t play the numbers game”…

…we then asked krueger whether he preferred to call himself an “amateurist” in order to justify the fact that he was making desperately little money out of his creative gestures…this question seemed to unsettle him, and he brought the interview to a rather abrupt end, murmuring “long live amateur, long live”, before disappearing into the gloaming…

November 23, 2012

rob nairn on the shadow

Filed under: anton krueger,i&I younity movement — ABRAXAS @ 8:57 am

(A lecture on the Shadow delivered during the November 2007 one month retreat on “Acceptance” at the Tara Rokpa Centre, Groot Marico.)
I thought what we could do now is start looking at the immediate psychological issues that are involved with varying degrees of non-acceptance. If we look at the structure of personality, I think we’re becoming quite familiar now with the fact that from a psychological, let’s say Jungian point of view – there are three discernible layers. There is the consciousness, where the mind we’re most familiar with now. Then, the subliminal (though Jung doesn’t use that term, he talks about the pre-conscious) and then the unconscious.

Now, what we call “us”, what I think of as “me” is primarily this conscious part, the part that’s rational, logical, works within a linear time-frame, functions cognitively, that is, it take in information, analyses, integrates, acts according to information and so on, so this mind has a fairly limited and rigid perspective on life. It sees life in terms of the way it functions. And it is highly resistant to anything that doesn’t fit into this way of being. So if something starts arising within the conscious mind which it can’t understand or can’t account for, or can’t control, or can’t get rid of, it becomes distressed in one way or another. That’s one thing.

Then we know a lot else about this mind of ours. It’s full of grasping and all the rest of it. So the most familiar territory is what we call the conscious, intelligent, rational mind. Interestingly, the most powerful territory is the unconscious, which is also part of us. So we have this delightful situation where the conscious mind (which is the control freak) thinks it’s in charge of the whole show, but in fact, most of the power is in the unconscious. And unconscious forces are continually playing upon consciousness, more or less determining how consciousness is experiencing itself.

But the unconscious and the conscious live within different dimensions and talk different languages, therefore, they are fundamentally incapable of communicating with each other. No – not fundamentally – they are superficially incapable of communicating with each other. And this is particularly the case in terms of the conscious mind, because most people are not even aware of the existence of the unconscious. Therefore they don’t take it into account a part of their way of being, as part of who they are. And this is a very serious state of affairs because until we take into account the unconscious, we have no hope of understanding ourselves. No hope of knowing why we experience ourselves the way we do. So now we have to ask – what do I mean by “experience ourselves”?
All day and all night we are “experiencing ourselves” because thoughts feelings, moods, mind states, broad psychological conditions, are continually arising into consciousness and being experienced, and they change. They change into the course of a day, a week a month and so on. And this is the most important part of our existence. So we know, for example, that when we’re living in the world, we do things that we hope will make us happy, or we avoid things that we think will make us unhappy, or suffer, or whatever, And that basically is the way human beings work through the world. Seeking what will cause happiness, avoiding what will cause suffering. And to a limited degree, we can manipulate that state of affairs in situations. But where we experience difficulty is that we are aware that changes come upon us. Sometimes we feel happy, sometimes we feel unhappy. Sometimes we feel depressed, sometimes we feel anxious. And often those changes are not in response to discernible states of affairs, or conditions. So particularly sensitive people become aware of the fact that there’s this changing inner environment. Like a sky – sometimes it’s clear, then clouds come over it, then a hurricane blows across it, then it’s clear again. Then it’s peaceful, then there’s a thunder storm. All outside my control.

Now for the average e person, if these manifestations are not too extreme then they see themselves as normal and they lead a “normal” life (in inverted commas). If we’re lucky, we’re neurotic, very neurotic, so the forces that arise within the mind are extreme, and they are so extreme that we can’t deny the fact that something strange is going on. And then we feel motivated to do something about it. That is when powerful unconscious forces are playing upon consciousness, causing unwanted or painful; or disturbing mind states to arise or be experienced.
So that’s the conscious and the unconscious. Now, lying between those two is the subliminal, which I’ve talked about a lot, and the subliminal mind is a narrow belt. The upper level of which is in touch with the conscious mind, the lower level of which hangs down into the unconscious. So the subliminal is the mediator between those two. But it is still its own thing. The subliminal mind functions in its own way, and it performs certain functions. Our reactive mechanisms are lodged within the subliminal. Our subliminal also perceives things we’re not consciously aware of at the time.

This is how, for example we’re able to sense atmosphere in a room, or pick up body language. There are many things that the subliminal mind is picking up, and its feeding information into consciousness, very often not via out cognitive process, and it’s often only alter that we realise “Oh yes, I was picking up something”.

You may have a conversation with somebody, and you might be very busy at the time, but afterwards you might reflect and think “This person was giving off a strange vibe”. Have you ever had this sort of experience? Or something wasn’t quite right. You walk into a room and afterwards you think “there was a strange atmosphere”, or sometimes you may pick it up straight away. There may not be anything said, there may not be anything visible, or a smell or a taste, but it’s telling you this and your subliminal mind is picking it up. So it is that level of our intelligence that is not ruled by rational logical intellectual process. It’s just below that, therefore, it’s more emotionally accurate, there’s more emotional intelligence present within the subliminal. So it performs that function of receiving information, but it’s also the place where reactivity is lodged. Now, this is interesting because I was saying yesterday, when our mindfulness is not very strong, or if we have no mindfulness, we can be very reactive. External stimuli is presented to us and we react immediately and afterwards we may think “How could I have reacted like that?” almost as though I was a different person in that situation. So this is common among people who don’t have mindfulness. They often don’t realise they’re reacting, so instinctive and sudden, but as out mindfulness improves, our awareness of the subliminal grows. So the subliminal is less and less subliminal and more and more within the range of conscious. Then we start picking up what’s going on in the subliminal. And we pick up a lot of things.

We pick up for example, how the mind suppresses. The suppressive mechanisms, the upper levels of the subliminal. We pick up the reactive process. We see the reactivity, we see the mind, we see stimulus, we see the mind process the stimulus, we see it make a choice in relation to the stimulus and then we see it deciding to react.

Now the deciding to react is quite interesting. Let’s suppose the stimulus cause me pain. Pain will arise in the mind. That is outside the range of what I’m talking about. Pain will arise in the mind and it will impact on consciousness at a subliminal level (this is all happening very very quickly). The mind will scan it and realise pain caused by that person and then a decision has to be made. Am I just going to leave it and experience the pain, or am I going to do something? And the decision might be made – I’m going to do something, I’m going to lash out. How dare that person do or say this thing, I’m going to let them know, so I lash out, and that’s my reactive response, that’s my reaction. And that’s how most people work.
As we access the subliminal, we realise at that moment a decision is made, and we also realise we don’t have to follow those old conditioned reflexes. We don’t have to lash out. We can simply experience the pain. Then the situation is different, the mind is different. And that is part of the training from the immature, untamed mind to the mature, tamed mind. The mature mind becomes increasingly less reactive, and that is a product of meditation, because spaciousness comes into the mind, and the space between experiencing the stimulus and the reactive response grows, because there isn’t this immediacy to this subliminal response, there is the intervention of intelligence, and it’s the intelligence that starts to free us from these underlying reactive patterns, so that is part of that. The function of subliminal. So this then we can use as a working model for the way we are at this moment in the world.

Now that’s only part of the story. The other part of the story is what is contained in the unconscious. That’s very important, because what’s contained in the unconscious will determine what forces arise out of the unconscious and play upon consciousness. So we need to look a little at the forces within the unconscious. First of all, the unconscious is instinctive, that is it functions instinctively. It is not accessible to reason or any form of intellectual persuasion. You might as well whistle in the wind as try to reason with the unconscious. As for trying to intellectualise with the unconscious, its even less capable of success. This unconscious is like a force field, it’s like a force of nature.
But the way those forces move and manifest is largely shaped by karmic forces, of course, but also life’s experiences, and this is where we come into this realm of understanding trauma and repression. Where we are traumatised, what it means is that psyche experiences the impact of a force greater than it can withstand (psychologically), and it is then faced with the prospect (not a real one, but a perceived prospect) of annihilation, like somebody is swinging a chopper at your head. If you stand in the way of the chopper it’s going to chop your head off and that’s the end of you. So some of these powerful psychological impacts present themselves in the psyche with that sort of message, that sort of certainty. Particularly in childhood, particularly in infancy when the mind has not developed the capacity to reason, particularly when we talk about the preverbal level of our development. The mind hasn’t yet worked out that certain things have certain consequences or don’t.

So when we receive traumatic experiences, the message that the psyche gives itself is “This is going to destroy me. This is going to annihilate me”. Often we think of trauma as just one single, sudden event, but a lot of trauma isn’t of that nature. A lot of trauma is the result of exposure to a successive form of behaviour from somebody else. A classical one is a child who isn’t adequately loved by a parent, or both parents. It isn’t as though there’s one massive act of not loving, there could just be a continual sense that mother or father or both are “not there for me”. Now the parents may love, but they may not be showing the love or they may not be showing it adequately, so this infant mind has this ongoing sense of not getting what it needs, and this may create as much trauma as baby bashing. But of course, the overall effect will be different, and the way of dealing with it will be different.
This trauma can be received in a variety of ways. What happens when there is trauma, basically the mind says: “This is not happening”. And it’s extremely important to understand this, because this introduces us to the psychological term “denial”. The mind says “this is not happening”. Now, logically, we can’t understand this. If I’m sitting here and somebody arrives in the door and points a gun at me and I say “this is not happening”, I know it is happening, but at a psychological level, particularly at infancy, the psyche, when it goes into a traumatic response thinks this with such conviction that at the level of the psyche and the subliminal, it does not happen, and the mechanism that makes this possible is that the entire event or situation or series of events is encapsulated in the energy of denial and pushed into the unconscious, pushed out of consciousness. And sometimes when there’s an extreme case of this you can see this in the person’s eyes. There’s a sort of glazed look. You can look at them and realise they are not in touch with what is happening, they’re not in touch. In a certain sense you can ay “they’re not there”. Have you ever seen that with people?

So the power of denial is complete, and what is so fascinating is that it is so powerful that in a certain sense it is true to say that the person does not experience the experience. A time-warp is created, where the person encapsulates the experience and it’s pushed into the unconscious and there it stays, inexperienced. And this is why very often when people access trauma through lets say analysis or some form of therapy and catharsis takes place, when an old experience is brought into consciousness. So I may have been traumatised when I was one year old, and I’m now 90 and I have a cathartic experience I will be the one year old. The voice will change, the mannerisms will change. They will become the voice of the one year old. And more interestingly, in that catharsis I will be where I was at one. I will have a total recall of the place, the room, the sky, the window, the person standing there. I will have a total recall of the smell, the sounds around. Everything will be there. So it’s completely encapsulated and held in the unconscious.

So this process of denial produces what we call repression. Repression is characterised by total not knowing. Let’s take a very simple thing – “I was baby bashed at the age of two, went into denial, the memory was repressed and I get on with life. I have no memory of the experience at all.” This is characteristic of this level of trauma, this level of denial and repression, so there’s no knowledge of it.

So that’s all very well, it enables the conscious mind to get on and function; but all is not well, because repressed material doesn’t lie dormant. It remains active, and it sends out pulses into the psyche and the nervous system all the time. It never stops. And as Janov says, it sets off reverberating pain circuits, so you get this inexplicable movement of pain into consciousness, and this is the root, this is where we begin getting our definition of neuroses.
Jung says “every neuroses is a substitute for legitimate suffering.” So, straight away what we see is the material that was repressed send out its pain messages, i.e. it sends out the suffering. Now this is very interesting: as it sends out the suffering, what it’s doing is, it’s saying to consciousness, “All is not well. If you listen to, me, and – most of all – if you feel me, we will heal.” (And I want to move onto that just now); but consciousness is a control freak and consciousness is convinced that it can manage the situation and control it according to its likes and dislikes, and what consciousness says is “I don’t want to feel pain, I don’t want to experience suffering” so it blocks it. So we’ve got a double thing now. There was the original denial and suppression (number one. Then (number two) the reverberating suppression comes into play and consciousness once again denies that. Do you see that? So this is where we get Jung’s comment: “Neuroses is a substitute for legitimate suffering”.

What we do is we devise all sorts of forms of other behaviour to deal with the suffering, the pain. And this is why so often neurotic behaviour is symbolic. We do things that have no relation to the external world, but which are a response to this inner force, which might not make sense in the rational world, but which is an instinctive response by consciousness to try and deal with this pain. So it sets up substitute behaviour.
Then we get the clinical definition of neuroses. Neuroses is a subjective feeling of suffering which is incapacitating. This is the characteristic of full-on neurosis. So this is why I could become agorophobic, my suffering might be so great that I project it onto the idea that going outside will be so bad. That is to say it contains repression, denial and so on, but this we now already know. Then Cornell says a very interesting thing, he then moves on to include in this whole area of depression. Do you know that a study showed in America that over 85 % of people were shown to be clinically depressed? “Depression lasts as long as ego clings to pretensions of absolute control and avoids coming to terms with its inner partner” – he’s talking about inner complexes.

So as long as this idea of being able to control it all is there, we are in line for depression. So this then helps us understand why we are the way we are, and why most of us have some or other degree of neuroses, and what we can see is the key mechanisms are denial and repression. The denial and the repression are initially experienced as absolute blocks. Absolute in the sense that we can’t access them. The avenue of access is the pain and if we want to start integrating neuroses we start by allowing ourselves to accept and experience the pain. This then brings us to the next important issue which is healing and integration. (And this, of course, is the field of psychology: healing and integration.)
There’s a very simple principle – the situation can be healed through integration. Now, where the traumatic material remains repressed, the psyche is fragmented. Its energy system is fragmented for two reasons. One – the energy of that experience is locked into the unconscious. Number Two – a lot of energy is required to keep it down. So if you want to take the image of a government. You’ve got a government in power with a strong revolutionary force secretly operating. And, therefore, the government has to develop an increasingly large secret service to combat it, and hold it under control, otherwise it fears being overthrown. So neuroses saps the energy.

And that is why a lot of neurotic people experience loss of energy – psychological energy, not physical energy necessarily. (Physically, their energy will be very nervous and driven.) So the healing is the integration. Now how does integration work? The principle is very simple. Doing it is very difficult. The principle is to allow everything back into consciousness. But that’s the last thing the conscious mind wants to do. So, therefore, we need somehow to prepare consciousness, and we prepare consciousness in two ways – first of all, making it aware of how the whole thing came about in the first place. So we become aware of repression (number one). Number two: we become aware of the pain. We start to acknowledge – yes, there is pain, there is suffering. And even this stage is difficult, because often we’ve surrounded the whole thing with all sorts of secondary complex psychological mechanisms which confuse the field enormously.
We might surround it with guilt, all sorts of symbolic substitutes. We might feel that we’re greatly evil, that we’ve been condemned or damned to hell and that we should never go near this area – many secondary responses that add onto this underlying situation. So we get a tangled web of psychological and emotional confusion that make it very difficult for people to approach the fact that they are in pain. That’s the bottom line – in pain and suffering.

So, that’s the first step, to prepare the conscious mind to accept the reality of the situation. The reality of the situation is – being in pain and suffering. It’s as simple as that. The third aspect of the situation is “in pain and suffering and don’t want to be in pain. Don’t want to suffer. Damnit why should I? I’m after all the supreme control freak. I’m in charge. I say ‘I’ll not suffer’.” You can do that. That’s the psychopath – “I will not suffer”. How do I achieve that? I totally sever all emotionality. It’s a very logical thing to do. Emotion leads to suffering – no more emotion. Huge steel box. Put it all there and lock it. Then you’ve got a psychopath who can no longer feel. But we’re not there, we’re just ordinary neurotics.

So we acknowledge the pain, we acknowledge the suffering, and we acknowledge we don’t want to feel it. Now “don’t want to feel it” is the screaming two year old, and that’s where we start working. We start retraining the two year old, saying first of all, “Pain is alright. It’s not going to destroy or annihilate you”. Because that’s the first fear, that if I allow or acknowledge the fear and pain to come into consciousness, I will be destroyed. So the first thing is “No, you won’t be destroyed.” And that’s a rational response. And this then deals with the fear which characteristically attends neurosis. Most people won’t go there because they fear the pain, and they think it will destroy them. So we come to terms with that first. Pain is alright. It’s not wrong, It’s not bad. It won’t annihilate you.

So you can reason with yourself a little bit in this area, you can say “If it wanted to destroy me, or if it was capable of destroying me, would it not have done so by now?” And the answer should be “Yes, it would have done so by now”. So perhaps it doesn’t want to destroy me, or perhaps it’s not capable of destroying me. Or perhaps both? After all, it’s me. Not somebody else, it’s me.

It’s interesting, only once has this line of reasoning not worked and that was with an Irish woman. The Irish are so intelligent it’s breath-taking. She was having this problem and I said to her, “Well, if the pain could destroy you, wouldn’t it have done so by now?” And straight away she said in this charming Irish accent “Ah – but maybe it’s waiting”. And I had no answer to that one…
Anyway, so to some degree we can reason with ourselves in this area, where slowly we bring ourselves to the point where we realise that we do not have to fear ourselves. Then we take the next step which is learning to accept and allow that situation to be completely. And this is what this course, this retreat is all about. So slowly now you’ll be getting a better and better picture of why this accepting and allowing is so important. Because when we reach that point of accepting and allowing, the defensive barriers which are holding the pain in place can start relaxing. Consciousness stops feeding energy into maintaining this secret service. And then, little by little, repressed material is permitted back into consciousness so that the process of healing and integration can start taking place in its own way in its own time. And this is then where huge change begins to come about, within the psyche. This is healing, this is growth, this is maturation: all those things.

Now, while the material is locked in the unconscious and is playing on the consciousness from that point, the mind is distorted. It is not able to function normally. It may be able to function normally intellectually, but it is not able to function helpfully emotionally, and the emotions are connected to that deeper part of ourselves that connects with the area where we grow spiritually. So, effectively, the neurotic condition obstructs spiritual growth, and it becomes directly an issue when we meditate, because when we try to settle the mind, the underlying, unresolved repressed material will immediately recognise a chance to come into consciousness, so you will have intimations of it coming into consciousness. And instead of having experiences described in the books we will experience neurotic conditions. And this is what bewilders so many people who start trying to meditate, because so many people come to meditation because they’re neurotic, because they have unresolved material, and they think “Ah, meditation will be the ultimate aspirin, it’ll fix it all”.

This is what everybody who doesn’t know about meditation thinks. They all think that if you meditate you sit and bliss out for hours and hours on end. They all think that. And a lot of the books support this. On the front, there’s always a person sitting who looks very peaceful and happy; usually dressed in white or luminous clothes, usually young and beautiful. And you look at the book and think “I want that. That’s what I want to be. Gimme.” So you rush off and meditate and the very opposite happens, and this is exactly why. So starting immediately at a psychological level, we can see why acceptance is such a crucial issue in our practise.
Then there’s another area I want to mention now because tomorrow and the next few nights I want to go into it in detail. There’s an even more interesting thing that happens. In life we have our preferences. That is, we want to experience the nice, we don’t want to experience the “not nice”, but there’s another area and that is my control freak conscious mind wants to be “nice”. It wants to be squeaky clean, so it’s got the message from society basically the message is: “Mummy and daddy and everybody else will only love you, and you’ll only be accepted if you’re always good, if you’re always polite, always smiling, always saying ‘I’m fine’. Always have your hair properly combed, always properly dressed. Never fart.” So this message is there. That is how I am acceptable. But the embarrassing thing it, I do experience things that don’t fit this picture. For example, I experience anger and jealousy and all the things we’ve been revealing in our reflecting. So what am I going to do with this? Don’t tell your mum, don’t tell anybody, most of all, don’t tell yourself.

So we start pushing things down again. Now, this isn’t trauma. This is a whole new other dimension. We start pushing things down and this starts creating a new entity within the unconscious which we call The Shadow. And this is the marvel. The average child does not have a shadow, The average adult has a shadow. And the more fundamentalist we are, the bigger the shadow. The more rigid, judgemental, authoritarian we are, the bigger the shadow.
Well it becomes the dark side. No, not super ego – the shadow is a complex. It’s created through repeated acts of denial and rejection of my unwanted characters, emotions, everything. And it gathers force and power and momentum in the psyche and becomes an even bigger obstacle to spiritual growth, because it grows and impacts on consciousness, just like any other repressed material. And I start to develop a sense of a hostile entity constantly following me, coming at me from outside. But it’s nothing like that, it’s just a product of my refusal to accept all the things about myself that I don’t like, and the things about myself that are very positive that I don’t feel equal to, so the shadow has a positive and a negative aspect, this is the fascinating thing about it.

Yes, many Christians have it. All fundamentalists have that. They’re a very easy case study. I mean, anyone with fundamentalist mentality. Buddhists as well.

So, this is what we bring to the party. Well, it’s part of what we bring to the party, and what we see more and more is it all depends upon non-acceptance. So the key that locked the door is “Refusal to accept”, and the key that will unlock the door is acceptance. But of course it’s not easy because the non-acceptance has permeated down and become conditioned reflex and in order to reverse the process of denial repression and suppression, we need to start where we can, with the pain, with the things we don’t like, with the feelings we don’t want, at an immediate level, and start seeing at a moment to moment level – those are the things we just push out of consciousness without quite realising we’re doing it. And slowly, as we do that we come more and more into consciousness…it goes deeper and so we’re able to expose increasingly our patterns of non-acceptance. And always there will be fear with it.

And so we learn to live with fear. We have anyway. We’ve lived with fear anyway, but now we let it into the open, understanding that by letting it into the open it’s not going to rage, run rampant with us and destroy us. But this is the preliminary of entering into negotiations. Then the healing can commence. It’s terribly simple, isn’t it?
People with a huge amount of unresolved material would usually not come into meditation. This is why they would go into something more like a very rigid belief system, something like fundamentalism which encourages and supports projection of everything onto something external, so you don’t have to look within. You know the worst thing you can say to a fundamentalist is “Look at yourself”, you know at the fundamentalist mentality, because their whole survival is dependent upon blaming everybody else. They’ve always got to have an enemy.

As this material is integrated and permitted into consciousness, we get a double return of energy. First of all, the repressed material – particularly in the shadow – has within itself colossal energy that we need. So that comes into conscious, so we become stronger with that. The revolutionary army joins the government. Then the energy we use to hold it in suppression also becomes available, so we can disband a whole lot of secret service, so that energy also becomes available.

The shadow is all the things about myself I don’t want to have – positive and negative. Shadow isn’t part of the repression of the first thing I talked about, which is trauma and all that stuff. Classically they look at the shadow as being the product of a different psychological process. I’ve talked about two clearly defined stages – first repression, and denial and neurosis. So that’s one issue. Shadow is a totally different story. So we’ll go into it in detail, but it’s not the same as repressed trauma, for example. But make no mistake it builds up into something enormous in some minds.

The subliminal is the meeting point, it’s the interface and the meeting point. My understanding of it is it doesn’t perform an intelligent function, it’s just a stratum that makes certain things possible, like a gearbox. It’s got mechanisms, and the mechanisms are activated in relation to consciousness, and also in relation to external stimuli. It’s the interface between conscious and unconscious.

It’s this old thing of can we compare terminologies. Let’s use “subliminal” in the world of psychology. Let’s use “observer” in the world of meditation. “Observer” and “undercurrent” go together. “Subliminal” and “conscious” mind go together. There might be a correlation, but that’s as far as we can go. The shadow will impinge upon the observer. It’s one of the forces that the observer will experience coming upon it.

A mind that totally accepts everything would not develop a shadow.

The repressed material will reverberate directly into the body because it plays upon the nervous system. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest connection between certain forms of repression and disease, even heart attack can be associated with mind states. People die of shock or they die of fury, they die of rage. Everything, of course is very intricately interrelated, no doubt. It looks as though that’s happening in the west, the neurotic forces are growing stronger. And this is particularly evident with parenting. So each generation of children that’s further away from healthy parenting would manifest great neuroses, greater disintegration of healthy forces socially and within the family.

Interestingly, Tai Sittupa said in the West we are losing our family lineages, so families no longer pass on healthy ways to their children, so their children grow up dysfunctional, which is a further neuroses, more and more into society. So it looks as thought the deterioration gains momentum from generation to generation at the moment. There are a lot of other factors as well, there’s rampant greed and destructiveness along with it. We’re a great bunch, aren’t we? Staggering figure of Americans on Prozac and Ritalin, hyperactive children. More Prozac is sold in the world than SA’s entire GDP. What a marvellous time we live in.

Repressed material comes up through the nervous system, so if you close down more and more areas of the nervous system you’re cut off more. I mean that’s all these drugs do, isn’t it? It’s this quote from Cornell – “Depression lasts as long as the ego clings to ideas of control.” So all these drugs cling to the idea that we can control.
But all these drugs do is anesthetise us, that we further don’t feel the pain. Give me something to stop feeling the pain. And it’s a progression of the Woody Allen syndrome: “Give me a lifestyle that doesn’t require my participation.”

So, we accept the whole circus, and the important thing is – it’s all okay. It’s all completely okay. So we start correcting this message that’s in our mind. The neurotic mind is saying “It’s not okay”, and it sets up a cycle of convincing itself that it’s not okay. Then we start looking at it and start accepting that it’s okay to feel pain, it’s okay to suffer, doesn’t mean we wallow in it. We say “Little bit of pain, little bit of suffering. Little bit of pain, little bit of joy”. So when we reflect on these terrible things that have happened to us and all the fear and pain associated with them and the idea that we will be destroyed if we allow any of it into consciousness, we realise that this is simply not true. Lama Yeshe Rinpoche made a lovely comment once. He said, “It may have been true then, but it’s not true now.”

October 29, 2012

the parents

Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 9:58 am

August 23, 2012

Literary anomalies

Filed under: anton krueger,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 6:21 pm

Resensies / Reviews
Literator 32(3) Des./Dec. 2011:149-199

Krueger, Anton. 2011. Everyday anomalies.
Grahamstown: Aerial Publishing. 57 p. Price: R60,00. ISBN: 978-0-9814052-6-1.

Craig MacKenzie
Department of English, University of Johannesburg

This collection of poems by Rhodes academic and dramatist Anton Krueger (formerly of the English Department of the University of Pretoria) is headed by an epigram by American poet and humorist Don Marquis: “Publishing a volume of poetry is like dropping a hand-ful of rose-petals down the grand canyon and waiting for the echo.”

Most sources render it thus: “Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.” Whether Krueger is taking poetic liberties with the original quotation or not, the most significant shift is from verse to poetry, and this is an important distinction indeed. Is Krueger‟s work poetry or mere verse, and will there be any echo after he has thrown this handful of rose petals down Ecca Pass (a scenic cutting hewn by Andrew Geddes Bain on the road between Grahamstown and Fort Beaufort)?

The collection starts well. I was caught by the wry self-deprecation of the opening poem, “cold”, in which the poet likens himself and his poetic enterprise to an increasingly cold and failing Scott of the Antarctic.
The second item, “traffic”, is a concrete poem about mad consume-rism and traffic mayhem which reduces in triangular shape down to the last line, containing the single word cars. Very apt indeed. This struck a responsive chord in this non-consumerist Johannesburg-bound reviewer, and made me wonder whether the poem dates from the writer‟s days in the metropolis, rather than his more recent sojourn in a town that features all of a dozen traffic lights.

“naked” introduces a gentler, more intimate tone and is intentionally self-ironic in that it is a set of words (a poem) in which words are increasingly seen to be getting in the way of a romantic relationship, which blooms only once the words dry up and wordless sensuality takes over.

Two fine poems on Russia follow, in which the country‟s merciless exploitation of the underclasses is the theme, and then we are in Lisbon, where the city is rendered in a series of terse but evocative glimpses.
Krueger revels in stripped-down, minimalist poetry in the imagist style (at the level of typeface this is reflected in the use of lower case and ampersands throughout). Take this fragment from the Lisbon sequence:

6. on the subway

in the mottled population of the carriage,
two suits gravitate towards each other‟s orbit

There can be no doubt that Ezra Pound‟s emblematic imagist poem “In a station of the metro” looms large in its brevity behind these lines, and indeed behind much of the poetry in this volume. Impressionistic glimpses of Spain (Gaudi, Goya, Dali) and Munich follow, before the collection returns to the more introspective and do-mestic mood of “naked”.
We do have thus poetry rather than verse in this collection. The poet knows how to evoke images and emotions by the way of tantalising fragments. On occasion he drops into a highly effective folk style as in “got a dog called sue”, the opening stanza of which goes:

got a dog called sue, & a cat called rex.
bought myself some braces, youdon‟tknowwhenyou‟llneedthemnext.

Irreverent, funny and caustic he delights in the incongruity of things, as when bored in a committee meeting at the university, he notices on a painting of “days of yore” the trail of a snail smudging the “pres-tige / and propriety of one prof‟s paraphernalia” (“in the council chamber”).
The poems occasionally appear too hastily assembled – even inconsequential. In “last of the highway tales”, for example, which captures an episode of getting fast food on the motorway before rejoining the madness on the road, the medium is the message (fast, slick and unsatisfying), but perhaps a little too glibly so.

In general, though, I was impressed with this debut collection. It is jaunty, funny and fast-paced, and yet has enough incisiveness and gravitas to draw the reader in.

Will this handful of rose petals have any echoes, though? Self-publication is increasingly being resorted to these days, and when the material merits public attention I have no problem with this. Here Krueger is following in the footsteps of the late great Don Maclen-nan, fellow Rhodes academic and poet (and other accomplished writers are now doing the same). I am immensely grateful that Mac-lennan, for one, resorted to this, as I would not otherwise be able to enjoy a half-dozen very rewarding collections of poems, some of which contain his finest mature lines.

Given the increasingly marginal position of poetry in South Africa today, and the fact that this collection probably would not be dis-tributed widely (perhaps the biggest drawback of self-publication), Krueger is unlikely to receive many echoes for Everyday anomalies. However, if he can elicit from a few others the appreciation that he received from this reviewer, I suspect he will feel that, unlike Scott, he had accomplished his mission.

Veertien monoloë deur skarminkels, losers en idiote

Filed under: anton krueger,pravasan pillay,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 10:55 am

Literator 32(3) Des./Dec. 2011:149-199

Krueger, Anton & Pillay, Pravasan. 2010. Shaggy – 14 rather amusing rambles.

Pretoria: BK Publishing. 131 p. Price: R135,00. ISBN: 978-0-620-50458-4.

M.L. Crous
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Port Elizabeth

Tradisioneel is ‟n shaggy dog story ‟n besonder langdradige relaas vol kenmerkende irrelevante insidente en die slot grens dikwels aan die absurde. Dit is wat die skrywers van hierdie veertien monoloë probeer nadoen, maar dis opvallend dat hulle stories kort en soms op die man af is. Hulle hou doelbewus nie by die oorspronklike pa-troon nie.

Die outeurs spot met die akademie, lewer kommentaar op uitbuiters en manipuleerders en soos wafferse nasate van Horatius en Juve-nalis val hulle bepaalde swakhede in die samelewing aan. Die spre-kers in die monoloë is figure wat ‟n mens in die alledaagse raakloop: die afgeleefde akademikus, die uitbuiterkunstenaar, die grapjas, ‟n eertydse satanis en die skottelgoedwasser-cum-taikoen wat die spot dryf met die Kambodjaanse bevrydingstryd en soos ‟n wafferse see-rower Jenny in besit is van verskeie besighede in Margate. Margate in Natal en Germiston aan die Rand speel ‟n sentrale rol. Margate spog selfs met sy eie M.I.T.

Soos dit ‟n satirikus betaam, dra die skrywers ook deeglike kennis van die konteks wat betref dit wat hulle bespotlik wil voorstel. “The Beans” handel byvoorbeeld oor iemand wat ‟n bemarkingsvergade-ring toespreek en dan die beeld van ‟n blikkie bone gebruik om sy punt oor te dra. Uit sy reaksie op die onsinnighede wat die groep kwytraak, lei ‟n mens af dat alles op dowe ore val en hy sluit sy voorstelling met ‟n kragwoord af.

Deurgaans word ook met eietydse studente se verwysingsraamwerk gespot. Hulle kan assosieer met popkultuur en is dikwels in staat om die belangrikste literatuurteoretiese begrippe uit te spu, maar tot meer as dit is hulle nie in staat nie. Ook feministiese herskrywings en herlesings van byvoorbeeld die geskiedenis word onder die loep geneem. In “The Director” word ‟n Jamie Uys-gedenklesing gelewer en spot die spreker heerlik met die Suid-Afrikaanse filmbedryf met sy toilethumor.

‟n Satirikus is nie altyd te eksplisiet nie. Hy spot deur middel van die taal, deur middel van ironie en deur onderspeling en ‟n mate van oordrywing. Soos met alle goeie satires is dit belangrik dat ‟n mens dit in lewende lywe sien afspeel. Om Nataniël of tannie Evita op papier te lees, is nie naastenby so snaaks soos om hulle op die verhoog te sien nie. Myns insiens is dit ook die geval met hierdie “nogal amusante” stories – die subtiele humor ten spyt.

July 25, 2012


Filed under: anton krueger,politics,richard pithouse — ABRAXAS @ 9:23 am

July 4, 2012


Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 4:06 pm

June 26, 2012

Eugène’s Dream (3:24 min)

Filed under: anton krueger,poetry,south african theatre — ABRAXAS @ 5:48 pm

by Anton Krueger (2006)

Appearing daily at The Arts Lounge
17a Somerset Street, Grahamstown
for the duration of the festival,
(28 June-7 July, 2012).

Eugène Marais’ seminal poem “Diep Rivier” (1926) is a lyric suffused with lament. Within its unsettling, tortured beauty one finds
clues to the poet’s addiction to morphine. It’s also eerily prescient of his suicide, speaking of his endless longing (“die groot verlange”),
of the blade of love wedged into his heart (“Die lem van liefde wroegend in my hart”), and of the pain which will be eased by the embrace
of the dark river (“In jou omhelsing eindig al my smart”). The last lines exhort the river to rise, to come quickly (“Kom snel”), to wash away
the pain of love.

But “Eugene’s Dream” turns this darkest of poems inside out. Here the murky river seeps through the pores of the individual’s shell, and
flows, brooding, through the valley of a strenuously pixelated Pretoria. Instead of referencing an inner emotional landscape, the poem
becomes about the mass, about the social structure embodied within the architecture of the city. This is a cityscape dominated by the
looming presence of the Reserve Bank, the highest building in the capital city. The building towers over all the other constructions, dwarfing
mosques, temples, and churches.

In this video you won’t see the famous historical sites synonymous with the capital city; no Voortrekker Monument or Union Buildings.
Instead, the viewer is thrown into a wild melange of ugly urban constructions from the 1970’s, juxtaposed with the Hindu temple in
Marabastad and the mosque in the city centre. These images are woven together with scenes from a farm outside Pretoria – the windswept
silhouettes of trees, the dark pit of a barren spring, a sick rose – creating an hallucinatory vision of instability within the shadow
of the tower.

In this way the dark river of dread becomes equated with the flow of money, with the imposing behemoth of the Reserve Bank, flowing
through a multitude of social streams, buffered against a swirling melee of contesting systems of value, over which it, eventually,
presides. A dark tower. Mordor. A temple to Moloch.

With music and voices by Werner Mouton & Brendon Roelofse.


O, Diep Rivier, O Donker Stroom,
Hoe lank het ek gewag, hoe lank gedroom,
Die lem van liefde wroegend in my hart?
– In jou omhelsing eindig al my smart;
Blus uit, O Diep Rivier, die vlam van haat; –
Die groot verlange wat my nooit verlaat.
Ek sien van ver die glans van staal en goud,
Ek hoor die sag gedruis van waters diep en koud;
Ek hoor jou stem as fluistering in ’n droom,
Kom snel, O Diep Rivier, O Donker Stroom.

June 23, 2012


Filed under: anton krueger,south african theatre — ABRAXAS @ 10:19 am

A series of five extraordinary performance art events on the National Arts Festival Main Stage.

Performance Art meets Thinkfest. A collaboration between international artists and local academics.

Includes: historical battle re-enactment with a blazing cannon, a pole dancer, a monk, a boxer, a runner, a blind woman, a child, a geographer, a general, metaphysical traders, live installations, performance games, opera, films, live music, artworks, confessional booths, and loads of innovative inter-disciplinary debate involving leading intellectuals from Departments of History, Politics, Anthropology, Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Drama and Music.

Limited seating: only 45 tickets are available per show. Secure your seat at computicket: http://online.computicket.com/web/

The POLIS Series consists of five completely different events:

Tuesday 3 July 18:00
Arena: Arenas are spaces where forces contend and events unfold. Historical re-enactment, and museum exhibits frame Elizabeth Salt’s pursuit up a pole, as six leading Grahamstonian intellectuals discuss the vexing question of “what is to be done?”

Wednesday 4 July 18:00
Cell: The cell is the arena divided; a place of captivity and meditation. Via the route of, Narrative Therapy, Trudy Meehan finds a way into the personal story of a boxer and an ex-convict, while a monk relates the story of his cell.

Thursday 5 July 18:00
Spring: Springs have always been places of temporary gathering. Penny Bernard, a sangoma with a doctorate in Anthropology speaks on the springs of Grahamstown and the sources of knowledge in the dreamworld as children in hammocks dream our future into being.

Friday 6 July 18:00
Border: The border separates and secures identity. Grahamstown’s past and present borders have created a landscape fraught with real politic. What is the border’s effect on senses of self, mobility and other? Jeff Peires and Julia Wells talk about the fraught borders of these spaces in a terrain criss-crossed by visual and metaphoric conflict.

Saturday 7 July 18:00
Market: Public sites of exchange are crucial meeting points for South Africa’s newly democratized citizens. A real market surrounds the chapel, where some are selling wares, and some trading in more esoteric fare. Inside the chapel a sacred space allows votive symbolic offerings. Economists Gavin Keeton and Geoff Antrobus discuss Grahamstown’s money in the world at large, with a guest appearance by Lesego Rampolokeng.

See the whole series: 3 July – 7 July, 18:00 – 19:00 in the Nun’s Chapel. R40.00 a shot. It’s nothing.


June 20, 2012

The Room – Wonderfully bad

Filed under: anton krueger,film,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 9:49 am

by Anton Krueger

After being tipped off by Tom Bissell’s excellent essay about this monumentally bad movie in Magic Hours (McSweeneys, 2012), I took the first opportunity of streaming it for myself.

The Room was released in 2003 and bombed spectacularly at the box office. The Washington Post called it “A train wreck of almost incomprehensible proportions.” And yet, Tommy Wiseau (writer, director, producer and leading man) inexplicably kept paying the rent on a massive billboard of his inscrutably pockmarked face, which glowered from a Hollywood hill for a solid four years after the premier.

Somehow, Wiseau became the Florence Foster Jenkins of cinema and people are now packing houses across the world to see for themselves how bad this movie actually is. In the last few years it’s been shown as a cult classic at midnight showings all over America (and more recently in Europe and Australia) where fans dress up as their favourite character and partake in odd rituals like tossing bouquets of plastic spoons at the screen. The Onion has called The Room “the first true successor to the Rocky Horror Picture Show”.

In its new guise, the film is being pitched as a “black comedy”, but it’s really sui generis, a completely unfamiliar creature. It’s been accused of having terrible production values, but actually the sound and image aren’t too bad. What really sets this film apart is its heroically appalling script presented with acting of legendary feebleness and directing which could euphemistically be described as random. It ambles along, scene after scene, trying to imitate a good movie: the actors stand, sit and move about; but there seems to be no intelligent design behind it all. In every scene the principal cast seem surprised to see each other, and one of the catch phrases of the film has become the “Oh Hai” with which characters cheerily greet each other, irrespective of any given context.

“Oh Hai Mark” – On the rooftop http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ4KzClb1C4

What sets this film apart from other films vying to be the worst movie ever made (like Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny) is that it takes itself seriously. There are any number of films trying to be quirky; but The Room isn’t trying. And because it was made sincerely, it manages to be unpretentiously awful, and it allows unfettered access to a very peculiar mind. Not since Robert Wilson made high end theatre with scripts by autistic kids have audiences been given such wholesale leeway to a clearly sub-normal mind.

Reading interviews with Wiseau, he sounds brain damaged or on drugs, comparing his film to Citizen Kane and his own acting to James Dean. One feels sorry for him, and yet, he’s clearly relishing the attention. The astonishing thing is that he refuses to be laughed at. When an interviewer asks him how he feels when people say that his film is “so bad, it’s good” it baffles him. He refuses to believe it.

Original marketing interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=UMTZFpaq9bk

Here are some of the oddities of this marvel: characters, themes and sub-plots unaccountably drift in and out of the story quite haphazardly. One character reveals that she has breast cancer, but it’s never brought up again. Later, a therapist trips while playing football in a tuxedo (don’t ask), and then disappears from the film altogether.

The manipulation of the author’s lazy hand is palpable throughout. When he wants to move everybody out of a room he simply has a character say “let’s all go outside to get some fresh air”, and the room clears with marine-like precision in a matter of seconds. When he needs them back in the room, she says “let’s all go inside for some cake”, and everybody returns. It seems that Wiseau is unfamiliar with real social interaction, and perhaps he imagines that this is what a real party might be like.

The Room uses standard Hollywood tropes: tossing about a football shows all-American camaraderie; candles and roses signify romance; a guy sporting a van dyke and a beanie is clearly a drug dealer. But these are used in such a ham fisted way that one realises the absurdity of the gestures themselves. The misalignment of the meme reveals how thin the formula is, and the film mixes up its clichés to such an extent that it becomes a joke about the industry itself.

Denny’s inexplicable drug trouble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoS3eDIsgGM&feature=related

Cult films are an odd phenomenon. What is it about a movie that makes people go for Klingon lessons and order white Russians? In many cases these films attract a following due to a desire for community. People are drawn to the idea of belonging to a counter culture (like in Withnail and I) or an alternative slacker society (as in The Big Lebowski) or to a mythical community (such as the Trekkies). There are few cult films, however, which explore a romantic relationship. Why have people never dressed up as Ethan Hawke and slept outside cinemas for screenings of Before Sunrise? Perhaps it’s because romance concerns the individual, whereas wars against aliens (or the status quo) demand a team effort.

Since The Room is ostensibly about a failed relationship, it makes it an unlikely candidate for a cult movie. So what keeps people coming back for more? Perhaps audiences are united in realising how badly its made, and their coming together is an expression of their knowledge of the norm. And yet, the fact that it’s so far off the mark also makes this film startlingly original. And very funny. We’re so used to market-driven, audience-tested scripts that to see something which looks like a movie and sounds like a movie, but which is utterly outlandish, is a refreshing experience.

Whatever the case may be, The Room has become so popular that fans have created a flash fiction game of it: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/547307. Wiseau claims to be adapting it as a novel and a play for Broadway, with a 3D version in the works. It’s unmissable. If you’ve got the bandwidth, there’s no excuse not to see it.

Hitler watches The Room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w59fZNDTMAg&feature=related

June 17, 2012


Filed under: anton krueger,south african theatre — ABRAXAS @ 10:51 am

June 15, 2012

Just Walkin’ in the Rain – The Prisonaires (Sun 186)

Filed under: anton krueger,music — ABRAXAS @ 6:04 pm

May 20, 2012

behind the exhibits

Filed under: anton krueger,south african theatre — ABRAXAS @ 10:16 pm

villain @national arts festival

Filed under: anton krueger,south african theatre — ABRAXAS @ 7:04 pm

the polis series

Filed under: anton krueger,richard pithouse — ABRAXAS @ 12:22 pm

May 3, 2012

sweetest fanny

Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 10:51 am

March 31, 2012

a shaggy interview

Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 10:05 am

keep reading this interview here: http://www.jhblive.com/kultcha/interviews/meet_germiston_satanists_in_shaggy/101892

March 19, 2012

i burn paris by Bruno Jasienski

Filed under: anton krueger,literature — ABRAXAS @ 2:57 pm


translated from the Polish
by Soren A. Gauger & Marcin Piekoszewski

artwork by Cristian Opris

I Burn Paris has remained one of Poland’s most uncomfortable masterstrokes of literature since its initial and controversial serialization by Henri Barbusse in 1928 in L’Humanité (for which Jasienski was deported for disseminating subversive literature). It tells the story of a disgruntled factory worker who, finding himself on the streets, takes the opportunity to poison Paris’s water supply. With the deaths piling up, we encounter Chinese communists, rabbis, disillusioned scientists, embittered Russian émigrés, French communards and royalists, American millionaires and a host of others as the city sections off into ethnic enclaves and everyone plots their route of escape. At the heart of the cosmopolitan city is a deep-rooted xenophobia and hatred — the one thread that binds all these groups together. As Paris is brought to ruin, Jasienski issues a rallying cry to the downtrodden of the world, mixing strains of “The Internationale” with a broadcast of popular music.

With its montage strategies reminiscent of early avant-garde cinema and fist-to-the-gut metaphors, I Burn Paris has lost none of its vitality and vigor. Ruthlessly dissecting various utopian fantasies, Jasienski is out to disorient, and he has a seemingly limitless ability to transform the Parisian landscape into the product of disease-addled minds. An exquisite example of literary Futurism and Catastrophism, the novel presents a filthy, degenerated world where factories and machines have replaced the human and economic relationships have turned just about everyone into a prostitute. Yet rather than cliché and simplistic propaganda, there is an immediacy to the writing, and the modern metropolis is starkly depicted as only superficially cosmopolitan, as hostile and animalistic at its core.

This English translation of I Burn Paris fills a major gap in the availability of works from the interwar Polish avant-garde, an artistic phenomenon receiving growing attention with recent publications such as Caviar and Ashes.

Jasienski’s novel is, after all, primarily a fantastical one, combining the two most critical elements of social literature in those restless times: Catastrophism and the belief in a miracle — in this case, the miracle of the Revolution. … We are affected by this visionary fantasy with the extreme, sometimes even brutal realism of its texture, its innovative literary form, and the ambitious courage of its concept. Above all, however, the novel grips us with its eternal — forever old and forever new — story of the human heart that dreams of a better tomorrow.

— Anatol Stern

This is a superb text of astonishing modernity, a veritable manifesto of the wretched of the earth …

— Marianne

December 19, 2011


Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 6:43 pm

ek voel magteloos


wag maar net

vir die volgende dag,

vergeet om te lag


one hundred and sixteen

Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 6:40 pm

shipwrecked…lifetime to lifetime…washed ashore…blown away…every time…trying to find each other again…the flotsam of life after life after life…looking for something to hold onto…trying to remember what went before…trying to recall….all the other times we met…again and again…as daughter, mother father lover brother…every time unfinished…try again…try again…maybe this time we can get it right…maybe this time stop making mistakes…stop hurting..stop stumbling….stop falling…stop.

seem to mirror instinctively…

Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 6:33 pm

even watching television or a movie,

i find myself adopting an interesting gesture

or facial expression i see…

imagine what happens then

when with someone i love –

i mimic them / become them

& then when i lose them…

i’ve lost part of my face…

one hundred and ten

Filed under: anton krueger,literature — ABRAXAS @ 5:21 pm

writing has become a way of reading…i hardly ever read the paper anymore…the only reason i bought ArtSA last month was because i’d been lead to believe i had an article published in it (i was wrong)…i then glanced through it and read only the pieces about people i knew personally, or people who i knew knew, everything else just looked like promo material to me, i.e. faceless…

your cut and paste prank is funny, but why should it be strange that it wasn’t picked up? most writing on art is cut and paste…and in a way, yes, you’re right than no-one’s reading…but more people are writing…and writing is a way of reading…(or assimilating & editing)…to write you have to be able to read…even if this is as vague as reading the world around you…perhaps barthes’ proclamation means that by becoming born again as readers we become writers…so it’s really the death of the reader, since now we’re all writers…

or is it that the pool is slowly closing? that the circle of readers is getting smaller, ever more localised?

let me try to explain myself better – when i write something: an assignment, an article a review, a letter, i tend to read up a bit on what i’m writing about – i.e. at the moment it happens to be isiXhosa dance…so there are all these texts i’ve never noticed before which suddenly become apparent, visible…and i read them for info and quotes and so on…i would never have read them if i wasn’t going to write on them…they only become visible by the process of my writing…

when i read a journal or magazine or a paper or whatever, and it has an article i’ve written, i generally read it first of all and in that way i read the assimilation of other reading i did to write the piece…perhaps it sounds solipsistic, but it’s also a very intimate access to text…

to read “blindly” i.e. a random article by somebody i’ve never heard of or know nothing about, happens only rarely…in a way then i only read what i know and the knowledge is expanded or grows in terms of the reading i do for my writing, or the reading my friends did to write their pieces…

it’s all about community really…writing is being part of a reading community…and almost everything, is an excuse for communitas…definitely art, certainly language…it seems the most obvious thing to say, really, that – all culture is an excuse for community…

November 20, 2011

a letter from anton krueger

Filed under: anton krueger — ABRAXAS @ 7:11 pm

hi aryan,

when i saw the “fuck god” headline you gave to the osho piece i forwarded you,

it made me feel a little unsettled and i immediately wanted to ask you if you

could change it or drop the clip…

instead, i thought i’d think about it for a day or two, to try to investigate why i felt this way…

does it amount to a kind of censorship? is it my ego? because, i mean, i don’t really believe

in “god” as such, or the idea most people associate with the term, so why should it matter?

on the other hand, i do respect people who do, and i do think that a puss like richard dawkins

is just creating another dogmatism where he’s substituted a new evil as god and i don’t

go for his style at all…i also thought about the furor caused when the guy from fokoffpolisiekar

wrote “fok god” as an autograph…and suddenly they wanted to boot the whole band from

the kknk programme and they couldn’t get accommodation anywhere…i guess it’s lucky

not being popular, coz then nobody notices these infractions and they don’t want to

make a fuss about it if they do…i guess you’re so way out beyond the pale you can

do whatever you want to…

so anyhow, well, perhaps there is unavoidably a tinge of ego and fear of approbation and

not wanting other people to dislike me, and so on; but i do think that another reason i don’t

want to be associated with the headline you wrote is because of love…i mean, love for my

family and friends who would be deeply hurt by seeing that title, you know? they might

want to read what i wrote or check out my page on the blog and they’d think it was me

saying it or having written it, as if i was throwing it in their faces…it would only cause

anger and negative emotions and what’s ever the point of that? it’s not my intention

ever to hurt anyone…

anyhow, i was wondering whether, as a favour, you could please de-link my name from

the headline/ osho clip…



October 18, 2011

kaganof and krueger in conversation on osho

Filed under: anton krueger,i&I younity movement — ABRAXAS @ 10:00 am

kaganof: looking back on my life i have been consistently inconsistent, thus fulfilling and contradicting osho’s precepts. which is at it should be.
fuck osho.

krueger: for myself, i’ve only managed to be inconsistent very inconsistently; so have been a better and worse disciple of the dude in the star trek space suit w/ the outlandish shoulder puffs…

Don’t Be Consistent

Filed under: anton krueger,i&I younity movement — ABRAXAS @ 9:14 am

Have you heard anything like that – “Don’t be consistent”? When you hear it for the first time or read it for the first time, you will think that there has been some mistake, maybe a proof mistake or something. Because your so-called saints have been telling you just the opposite: “Don’t be inconsistent”, they say. “Be consistent.”

It is here that Atisha is superb. He says:


Why? What is consistency? Consistency means living according to the past. With what will you be consistent? If you want to be consistent you can have only one reference, and that is the past. To be consistent means to live according to the past, and to live according to the past is not to live at all. To live according to the past is to be dead. Then your life will be just a repetition.

To be consistent means that you have already decided that now there is no more to life, that you have already come to a full stop; you don’t allow life to have anything new to give you, you have closed your doors. The sun will rise, but you will not allow its rays to enter your room. And the flowers will bloom, but you will remain unaware of their fragrance. Moons will come and go, but you will remain stagnant. You have stopped being a river.

A river cannot be a consistent phenomenon. Only a pond can be consistent, because it is non-flowing.

The consistent man is a logical man, his life is one-dimensional… And the logical man is the poorest man in the world, because life consists not only of logic, but of love, too. And love is illogical. Only a very small part of life is logical, the superficial part. The deeper you go, the more and more you move into the illogical, or to be more accurate, the supralogical.

Atisha is giving you something tremendously valuable. Live all the moods of life, they are your own and they all have something to contribute to your growth. Howsoever comfortable and cozy it looks, don’t become confined to a small space. Be an adventurer. Search and seek all the facets of life, all the aspects of life.

Live, and allow all that is possible. Sing, dance, cry, weep, laugh, love, meditate, relate, be alone. Be in the marketplace, and sometimes be in the mountains.

The consistent man is a very poor man. Of course the society respects the consistent man, because the consistent man is predictable. You know what buttons to push and how he will act. He is a machine; he is not truly a man. The society respects the consistent man; the society calls consistency “character”… A real man cannot afford character, because character can be afforded only at the cost of life.

The saint has character, hence he is respected. The sage has no character, hence it is very difficult to recognize him. Socrates is a sage, Lao Tzu is a sage – but they are very difficult to recognize, almost impossible, because they don’t leave any trace behind them. They don’t fit into any mold, they are pure freedom. They are like birds flying in the sky, they don’t leave any footprints.

It is only for a very few sensitive souls to find a sage as a Master, because the mediocre follow the saint. Only very very intelligent people attune themselves to a sage, because the sage has no character and he cannot fulfill any of your expectations. He is bound to offend you, he is bound to disappoint you, he is bound to shake you and shatter you in many many ways.

Slowly, slowly, he will make you as free as he himself is.

From The Book of Wisdom : Discourses on Atisha`s Seven Points of Mind Training, by Osho
Used by kind permission of Osho Foundation International

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