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YEARNING AFTER 2000...!

A Poem of Parts & Synthesis for the Millennial Generation by Trevor Gordon French

As the old year is rung out
And the New Year sung in...
Some reflections I find
Seeking sanction in my mind...

Like fireflies at making
Fairy-gold -- the true captive
Denizens of the tentatively
Fading waxing night, having waned...

From twilight, long since
Settled, as had sought also
Some greater iteration, and finds
Sooth in, now, this anticipation...

Of faces glowing here in a magical
Light whilst still each and every
One must admit that they all are
Simply now waiting... Waiting...

Each one perhaps breathlessly hoping
That this particular epochal occurrence
This "Year 2000" rumpus and fraças
May find some true representation

As the kind of event that might
Settle in the minds of people
Everywhere as some sort of rare
Achievement, especially after a

Century of wars, of bickering amongst
Nations, of violent death, and the
Threat of Nuclear annihilation -- which
I personally remember from the day I

Was born...! -- but is there then not also
Some hint of tremulous agitation which
Nowadays we sense in everyday life as
A real and living form of human growth...!?

Of learning about living, of teaching
Ourselves by our own mistakes, even
Bravely admitting them, and recounting
The teaching so that others may learn

And not stumble? -- Is there not some
Outward breath as bespeaks a new empathy
Towards our fellow beings? -- and for which,
Other than good will, there can be no

Accounting...? And is, or does, this new
Awakening and concern for our environment
And for those living, breathing things
Gathered about us, and which constitute

Much of the beauty and the beneficence of
The wondrous world of nature all around us,
Not also fed by the experiencing of such
Bounties of culture and exoteric sharing

Of all of the rich and varied world which
We inhabit, oft trying to mould, subdue
And scape it to such designs, the consequences
Of which, as their originators, we must ultimately

Suffer, or suffer to be foisted upon our future
Children -- to the lost and ambitious generations
Beyond our parvenue -- beyond our sight even to
Comprehend the extent and unthinking results

Of much abusive tenure of such fragile and inveigled upon
Sacrosant ground as this place we inhabit -- This Earth...! --
Far older and far more regal in her graces, in her moods,
And in her demeanour, than any display of mankind in

Its temper-tantrums and most-times disorderly
Disarray! -- How then more than like to gentle
A woman, or child, should we not also courteously
Gentle her, and perhaps restore her composure,

And soothe her troubled, dissentful mumblings,
Which, for their hostility, we more often than not
Ignore her, as containing some fear of the threat of
Something unknown...! How then the inhabitants of

Any city under threat of imminent natural destruction --
Or beset, embattled, or besieged...!? At such a prospect
All the earth might equably shiver, yet who could raise a
Hand to stay such inexorability and onrush

As these, and many other phenomena, represent in
Terms of their being like some sort of fatalistic
Shudder in the fabric of the Cosmos all around
Us...? -- And who but a Holy Man might raise the

Level of consciousness of even a whole people --
As say the Mahatma Gandhi did in his long walk to
Collect the simple salt of the sea...!? -- in order
Conjointly to say "Stop...! Stand...! Wait...!?"

So who, how much more easily and humanly, could
Then so easily raise a hand to mar the lines of any
Exquisitely wrought human face -- as might a tyrant or a
Dictator out of sheer malicious pride and arrogance;

At such self-appointed station as only the most
Primitive, wanton and bestial amongst those of whom
It is usually a self-professed asset of wielding
Power by abjection under terror and intimidation

Of the human mind to see as an accolade this sort
Of distempered, egotistical and delusional rubbish...!
This sort of petty demonstration of one man's greed
And gluttony and outright flagrance of life's dignity

As has had publicly crushed the hands of a North African
Protest singer; or the bureaucracy which might see it fit to
Persecute so many conscientious artists -- progenitors of
Both beauty and truth...! -- so severely as to see them die,

Lost, leavened and broken, as aliens abroad, destitute,
Depressed, strung-out, home-sick, lost or just blind-drunk...
Weeping for the shadows of things that might have been
Had the quantities of mercy, pity and peace been more

Prevalent, or been present in amounts significant or large
Enough to preserve in perpetuity the dignity of such individuals
That in like fashion the joys of learning, and feeling, and gaining
A greater understanding of the world around about us might

Not also have been blessed with such indefatigable gain as
Mankind makes by the creation of sense in appreciation of
Truly great art, or emotion, or sentiment, or even principle,
Which also always seems like the gleaning of distant echoes...!

So what, then, does this uniquely human celebration
Now represent in the minds of people that they find
Themselves so anxiously, almost skittishly, waiting...?
Some blindingly issued universal law or affirmation...?

Some epiphanic recurrence, vision or spiritual revelation...?
Some return to chaos, and tumult with consuming fires,
And "fire and brimstone" and ravishing and pillaging,
And anarchy and death and all humanity's annihilation...?

Some quite pedestrian end to a perfectly splendid evening...!?
Perhaps, then, it is more a case that with each of us there
Is for this New Millennium in the minds of each and all
Of humanity to secure for ourselves a greater, refreshing

And more liberating ardour in our dealings in our own and
Others' dreams, ambitions and aspirations, especially
When we speak as one in achieving some noble and worthy
Cause of imaginative and far-reaching idealism, some solution

Which benefits all who conceive of it and who build it,
And which gives enough from the heart of the self away
To ensure the sanction and blessing of not just the next,
But of all future generations who might benefit by

Such conception and execution, as may also be the
True and real achievement of humanity's abilities
And purpose -- for we have often proved that we are
Capable of doing things of this nature out of a pure

Spirit of altruism and goodwill towards our fellows
And indeed all co-tenanted beings here upon this
Lonely little planet in this obscure little galaxy
Which we affectionately term the Milky Way...

Carl Sagan has romantically suggested that in some
Sense or other we are all made of the product of
The exhalations and exudations of the stars! -- He says
We are all the product of "star-stuff," because at some basic

Level or other we are all constituted of the molecules
And atoms which have cooled and settled out of flaming
Supernovae, which have eventually resolved themselves
Into solar systems at the heart of each of which is a star...

Max Erhmann, in 1927, wrote that: "We are all children
Of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
We have a right to be here. And whether or not this is
Clear to us, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

He said that we should: "be at peace with God, whatever we
Conceive Him to be and that, whatever our labours and
Aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, that we should keep
Peace with your souls." He said that: "with all its sham, drudgery

And broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."
He warns us to be careful. He encourages us to strive
To achieve happiness, and "beyond a wholesome discipline,
To otherwise be gentle with ourselves," as with others...!

What he truly seems to have been doing is to echo what might
Almost be some sort of universal unwritten law about the value
Of a healthy and respectful outlook and attitude towards both
Ourselves and those inhabiting the environment around us.

Sentiment lies in rags and broken dreams. New hope springs
Up with new life, in some evidently endless genetic progression
Of the will and right of life to survive -- and that could be
Almost anywhere in the Universe! -- For to continue to live,

To love, to lose, and dream... -- To regain, to re-assess in value,
To renegotiate, and renew, refresh, in ourselves and revitalise
Ourselves thereby; to regain in joy what we expend in love; to
Hold to heart, to breathe life into, to cherish, to ascertain...

In realisation of being, and gaining in living, and losing to life,
Of abjection as the negative mirroring of unadulterated bliss,
In subjection to our consciences, and in administering to our
Emotions, once again, as to a freckless child which lives within...

Truly, we are "Children of the Universe," but we are also the product
Of our own natures, influences, and leanings; no man has the right
To judge! -- all men have the ability to teach or help, or give of
Themselves unselfishly, uncritically, quite unconditionally of the

Expenditure in time and energy, because a part of growth, on
A spiritual level anyway, is being in possession of the generosity
Of nature to offer such assistance where such assistance might needs
Be rendered, and where such profferance is justly and gratefully

Received and accepted as an equable reciprocity in provision
For a justifiable need in society and in the environment at large
Which needsakes such environment, such home-ground's sanctifying
After the manner and quality of what rightly might be termed living...

After all: Do we really wait alone...!? Are there not now a multitude
Thronged to celebrate in mind the idealised culmination of this age...!?
Is there not rejoinder or retainder or recourse to be had to saying:
"Stop...! Hold...! Wait...! Stand to order, there...!" to the edifice of

Time as it rushes inexorably and irrevocably past us towards what
Potentiate in the minds of all Mankind...!? Is this all really just about
Having that "Total Blowout Party of a Lifetime...!?" Will we feel the
Monumental thrill, like the aftershock of an earthquake or volcano

As it ricochets across the globe from East to West; from that remote
Concert held on that tiny Pacific island right down South in the bottom
Right hand corner of your map, a bit of a distance North of New Zealand
And on, for 24 hours more as it circles the globe, back to its starting point...!?

And if we are waiting, in such anxious dubiety about what the future
Might hold or bring, are we then also ready for that "wave" as it reaches
Each and every one of us; and as this thrilling shudder embraces the globe,
Of mankind's wonder at having reached this pinnacle of sobrietous civilisation,

This stanchion-pin of unequinimical near-parlance with beings maybe a
Little more civilised even than we, maybe even another "intelligent race;"
-- As though we should be so very priviliged and so very very lucky...! --
Maybe we should also take a moment to speculate on the very barbarism

Of that roughly two thousand years ago this very day, mankind were
Celebrating the grim achievement of nailing one man amongst their number
Upon a Cross at Calvary, and probably for no more intimidating a reason
Than that he knew too much, and could not be controlled in how to think...!

I think we owe much to the interim of years that we have perhaps forgotten
Too much of why we owe it to ourselves to have learned from this lesson...!
I think, too that in many ways mankind, far from finding its place amongst
The stars in any "Space Age" has much to learn in order first to fix itself

Before attempting to take on such far-flung star-spattered galaxies and nations,
Who may, in any event, be far too distant or far too preoccupied even to bother
With the locally overstated and far too well-established fact of humanity's
Internecine and rather suffocated existence on this third benighted orb from the sun...!

Terence McKenna, the Twentieth Century mystic says that this generation will
Witness the arrival of history at a certain pre-ordained "attractor-point" He says:
"That if the truth can be told so as to be understood, it will be believed...!"
He suggests that: "The message that nature sends is: 'Transform your language...!

"'Through a synergy between understanding and intuition, and by
Dissolving the boundaries which our culture has sanctioned between us;
Become part of this dying supermind!' ... History is ending...! We are to be
The generation that witnesses the revelation of the purpose of the cosmos..."

He says that "the youth-culture that is emerging in the nineties is an
End-of-the-millennium culture that is actually 'summing' up Western Civilisation
And pointing us in an entirely different direction, so that we're going to arrive
In the Third Millennium in the middle of an archaic revival, which will mean ...

"A new art, a new social vision, a new relationship to nature, to feminism, and to
All of those things which we perceive as being 'evil.' All of these things are
Taking hold..." he says, "And not a moment too soon..." The pagans of old
Believed that the Yuletide celebration signified the "Ice Maiden's capture by the

Green Man." In other words: nature's re-awakening, mid-way through Winter,
In the turning back of the seasons; in the changing of the Earth's raiment;
They believed that the auspiciousness of the occasion would naturally determine
How the earth would respond in the coming year's sowing and reaping of harvest...!

Perhaps we should then take heed of this invigorating notion: that the events
Of today determine the outcome of tomorrow -- Cause and effect...? -- but take
Parlance also with ourselves in taking our lives in hand and learning how best
To judge the course which will best resolve itself in our lives and our actions...

Perhaps, too, it is time to put a little bit of that blind faith in the magic of
Nature which our antecedents practised back in action in our lives again,
And begin to see life as a direct train of thoughts, actions and occurrences
Which are the product of our own decisions and wills and dreams and desires...!

Above all, we should have faith in ourselves, and keep our own counsels,
Always applying much qualitative thought to each and every action in which
We partake, and for each and every situation in which we find ourselves...
To take hope from the very prospect of tomorrow, and have faith in finding

An outcome to your ambitions and fulfilment of both our own needs
As also the needs of others, because it is only in generating goodwill
Towards others that we, in return, may deserve or expect any kind of just
Acclamation, or recognition, or vindicable soulsease and reward, ourselves...!

An anagram which recently I was fortunate enough to hear
Has the word "FEAR" replying to itself in form and sort as a
Kind of explanation that sustains a more practical and politic
Arrangement of reason founded in the natural workings of the

Human mind which always seems to have "False Evidence Appear Real...!"
"To live in harmony is to live without fear, and man's greatest fear is death.
There is no such thing as death! Life is continuous, love is everlasting.
This I know...! For I exist, as to you, my friends, together and forever..."*

Frank Herbert, in "Dune," his mythological epic of a future of mankind scattered
And still in conflict amongst the stars, says that: ""Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. Therefore, I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will

"Turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain." All of which once again seems to echo the sentiment that
On a purely psychological level, perhaps, after all, the greatest thing that we, as
Individuals, really have to fear is "the fear of fear" as a concrete object itself...!?

But were we to succeed in conquering our fears perhaps then we
Might also attempt to live in harmony by the reassessing of our
Own modes of action as motivated by our thinking. First principles
Of logical deduction incorporate the notion that if your conclusion

Is ineffective, or faulty, that you should then return to the very
Precepts upon which your argument is founded in order to assess
The level at which the interference at achieving the desired answer
Is to be found. The same is true of Human Nature, and in living

Humans seems to lend themselves blindly to a deference for truth
In order to save and preserve their own self-saving and self-
Sanctifying aims, which is faulty reason, which cannot sustain
Itself, or any being whose existence is founded on such self-delusion...

Hermann Hesse, in his beautifully portrayed depiction of the life
And mind of a "would-be rebel-saviour" who, eventually succumbs
To a conflict in interests between intellectualism and the dictates of
His reasoned and instinctual conscience,* speaks of truth thus:

"It is treason to sacrifice love of truth, intellectual honesty,
Loyalty to the laws and methods of the mind, to any other
Interests, including those of one's country. Whenever propaganda
And the conflict of interests threatens to devalue, distort, and

"Do violence to truth as it has already done to individuals, to
Language, to the arts, and to everything else that is organic
And highly cultivated, then it is our duty to resist and save the truth,
Or rather the striving for truth, since that is the supreme article.

"We may sacrifice ourselves, but never our fealty to the life of the mind.
The mind of man is beneficent and noble only when it obeys truth.
As soon as it betrays truth, as soon as it ceases to revere truth,
As soon as it sells out, it becomes intensely diabolical.

"Then it becomes far worse than instinctual bestiality, which always
Retains something of the innocence of nature." Dave Clarke, in his
Rare meisterstuk "Time" had Alec Guinness, perhaps one of the greatest
Oratory speakers ever, speak of the life of the higher mind in this way:

"Stand before me on the sign of infinity all you of the Earth.
With the granting of the law of provenation comes the application of change.
I will give you the key. And with this knowledge, please realise, comes the
Responsibility of sharing it. I will show you the way. It's very simple!

"Throughout the universe there is order. In the movement of the planets,
In nature, and in the functioning of the human mind. A mind that is in its
Natural state of order is in harmony with the universe, and such a mind is
Timeless. Your life is an expression of your mind. You are a creator of your

"Own universe, for, as a human being, you are free to will whatever state of
Being you desire through the use of your thoughts and words. Ah...!
There is great power there... Can be a blessing, or a curse! It's entirely up to you.
For the quality of your life is brought about by the quality of your thinking.

"Think... about that! Thoughts produce actions. Look at what you are thinking.
See the pettiness, and the envy and the greed and the fear and all the other attitudes
That cause you pain and discomfort. Realise that the one thing that you have absolute
Control over is your attitude. See the effect that is has on those around you...

"For each life is linked to all life. And your words carry with them chain-reactions
Like a stone that is thrown into a pond. If your thinking is in order, your words
Will flow directly from the heart, creating ripples of love. If you truly want to change
Your world, my friends, you must change your thinking. Reason is your greatest tool...!

"It creates an atmosphere of understanding, which leads to caring, which is... love...!
Choose your words with care...! Go forth with love...!" Other words of this calibre can
Be found in the Holy Scriptures of all of the worlds' religions -- words of inspiration;
Deep words, and pure, which bear to fruition some clearly discernible beautiful truth...

But, at the end of the evening, and when all of the fireworks are well and truly spent,
When we've leaned over to our lovers to kiss them goodnight, or end up weeping, repenting
An imperative to some higher order or expectation of ourselves within our very own lives;
All alone in the crowd, all alone in the woof and warp and ebb and bent, still you alone

May have seen it through; though you alone may still awake, arise...! How deeply affected
And how bereft might seem our own vainglorious hold on reality as a subjective and
Interpretative objective after the event...!? After the evidence of our lives has resurrected
Itself, how else, but by our own capitulations to some new objectivity might we truly try

And test the very fabric from which is woven our lives, our hopes, our most precious and
Embattled, solitary dreams and indebtedness to the safe and secure little "cocoons" of "self"
Which we invariably seem to find ourselves sinking back into in order that reality itself
Might not gain too tenacious a hold!? But what, save perhaps our very own moral and

Righteous self-consciousness might again and again dispossess us of potentialities which see
Quick and amenable freedom, relinquishment, and maybe even "re-appropriation" through some
Sharp, easy access to purely self-serving death, or sacrifice, by re-dissemination of vital
"Soul-stuff," when what actually happens is that the environment and the "ether" themselves
,
Retain and trap the impression of such souls' attempts at regaining access to the essence of the
Epicene in divine serendipity, effectively barring and trapping them from almost any attempt
At "reconnection" with the "Cosmos" or "Heaven" or "God" or whatever impression of the
"Afterlife" of which they may capably, consciously, and even subconsciously, conceive...

If there is any true purpose to our lives and to our conceptions of what they and reality
Respectively should be, then surely the answer may be found by the same sort of "recycling"
Which occurs daily and seasonally, generatively, again and again, in nature...! If in a
Previous incarnation you have not found surcease, or have not found the path to refinement

Of the energy of which your conscious being was comprised, does it not, sensibly, seem to
Suggest itself that you, and perhaps, strangely, for the same reasons which see the like ends
Of two magnets repel each other, that you might not find acceptance, or find that you are
Adjudged to be under-accomplished in terms of the natural cycles of energy already observable
And which see themselves founded in existence as established through our own conscious awareness...!?

So does that mean that if it's "lights-out" for us, whether severally or individually,
Say, for instance, the day after tomorrow, in ordination of some long-purported apocalyptic
Tract, that with the blinking out of our own personal or collective consciousness that
Instantaneously and simultaneously the entire scope and sweep of infinity will cease to exist...!?

Somehow, this seems doubtful, because if we were to find a common symbology between the
Cosmogony of the heavens, and the relative microcosm of even, say, the solar system,
On a universal scale, the significance of such an annihilating event, would probably prove
No less disastrous in the greater order of things than, say, the loss to ourselves of a nail-paring...

Or even of a single particle of skin, of which we shed literally millions in the course of
Just one day, and besides, even if we don't eventually make it to that grand old "Gig in the
Sky" of the reality contained within our own minds' eyes in expectation of this "Millennial
Event," who then could reasonably claim to ascertain, realize or perceive any loss by this...

And, likewise, any gain...!?
 

* From Dave Clarke's "Time" -- LP deleted from catalogue.
** From Joseph Knecht's Circular Letter to the Supreme Castalian Council in Hermann Hesse's
"The Glass Bead Game."
 

December 14 - 21, 1999 by Trevor Gordon French
Durban, South Africa.