ARE WE DANGEROUS, WE POETS: entering the discussion

(C Kruger, in response to MYTHBUSTER)

There are forces of evil at work in the world.

Always, there have been governments or individuals in power who wish only to consolidate their power and their control over those who do not have resources and power of their own.

I don’t know if this is human nature, but I am certain it is the nature of some sorry excuses for humans and some sorry excuses for human society.

But not every human and not every society.

It has been observed that American Indian society was one in which the needs of individuals and of the people were in balance, in which spiritual values predominated, and the white man’s idea of “ownership” was recognized as the insanity it is.

Ownership: there are two types. Ownership of one’s own soul and ownership of “property” and “resources” that is essentially power over others. (This is, in a way, what wealth ultimately gives us. Right?)

Nothing is more dangerous to “power over others”—and facism in all its ugly variations is the most extreme and inevitable form of this, once it takes hold—than individuals who own their own souls. Nothing. Soul ownership, or self-realization, or enlightenment, or authentic faith, or whatever you call it, is the ultimate tool of engaged humanity (engaged with one another and engaged in the universe we inhabit and which inhabits us).

Not only people, but societies and all sorts of institutions have souls which can be abandoned or stolen. When people, societies, or institutions have lost track of their own souls, they feel empty, spiritually impoverished, hollow and often desperate.  In their desperation to find themselves once more and to experience themselves as complete (having a soul, being whole, holy) they try to take ownership of everything outside of themselves, including other people. Having lost a sense of identification with their own souls, they seek to attach themselves to others’.

To such individuals and institutions, those who successfully insist on owning their own souls are the most dangerous enemy. Dangerous because such persons will not act—will refuse to act—in ways that threaten another’s ownership of their own soul—whether that other is a person or a nation or an ecosystem. Soul owners are free; they just won’t get with the program.

We are those individuals, the artists, the poets. We are in the business of establishing soul ownership. And we are dangerous. Because not only do we become increasingly dangerous ourselves as we gain ever more ownership of our own souls, but we set an example for others that it is possible – even desirable – even wonderful – even satisfying – to devote one’s life to ownership of one’s own soul in preference to ownership of anything else. What does it profit a man to win the world at the expense of his own soul?

Artists are, therefore, just by being artists, aligned with the poor and the alienated of every kind. Poverty is terrible—we know. So is racism and so is homophobia and so is colonialism. But of all the terrible and disgusting things that these evils visit upon us, it is the loss of soul that is the worst. To be told that one’s love is evil and sinful: soul theft. To be told that one is inferior because of the color of one’s skin: soul theft. To be told that one’s culture is doomed to hell: soul theft. To be told that one’s lack of material resources means that one is lacking as a human being: soul theft. To be told that one has no spot of one’s own to sit and lie and take in the day: soul theft.

Oh, yes, we artists are dangerous because we are the rescuers of stolen souls, our own and others.

Paul, we do not have to make ourselves dangerous: our very existence is dangerous.

Evan, the friendships of which you speak are the very danger which Paul is seeking: NOTHING is more dangerous than the friendship of free souls and the love of comrades.

Viva la revolución of the human soul against all the enemies who would steal it from us!

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3 Comments on “ARE WE DANGEROUS, WE POETS: entering the discussion”

  1. cc says:

    nothing is more dangerous than playing it safe.

  2. Well, I put in my two cents earlier on the notion of being “dangerous”, the gist of my thoughts that danger is about power, the ability to exert influence because of power- and as we know, power is not always earned. Often, it is taken.
    When we, the exploited/marginalized/disempowered, get organized, we become “dangerous” in a sense because it gives us the ability to push back, to be a threat to the status quo can be a positive thing.
    Here’s my bitch, if you don’t mind: Often I see people who want to be independent of commercialism, for example, doing their damnedest to emulate commercial ventures. They say they have to, because that is their competition.
    To me, it is like a small family owned gallery trying to compete with The Smithsonian. I think from a literary/indie press point of view, we need to embrace who and what we are and our scale, and not chase the corporate gloss to the point where we render our efforts unsustainable.

    See I don’t see it as a matter of being a threat, but more like offering alternatives. Where one community offers a rat race, we can offer that sense of vehement soul-defense, as described in this post.

  3. […] time since last June I left the Bay Area for more than a week, landed in Georgia with thoughts of danger still in my mind, commingled with the family elders and the cousins’ little children while […]


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