HOME: THE PROTOTYPE OF THE COMMUNIST COMMUNE

The Cardinal Rules

It’s become apparent to me that by faithfully following the Marxist-Leninist maxim of “From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need” –  and doing it so naturally, to boot! – my Home has come to resemble a Communist Commune/Community.

Everyone here contributes all that they can, whatever their skill and/or level of ability may be, and we all contribute through our own accord. That voluntarism, more importantly, applies to everything, even to the level of ability and skill that we want to put forth; in other words, whatever our individual trade may be, we individually – though with the strength of that entire human-network behind every decision – strive to excel at it. No decision, though in fact taken wholly individually and resolutely, is made in the name of one person, or of some interests over others, or without the consideration of the entire network – even our two dogs! Everything is debate and argument in the best sense of the word; everything is a consultation over and consideration of the ultimate goals, purposes and repercussions for everyone. But most importantly, above absolutely any other consideration – the very Essence of our Commune: Our Manifesto, as it were – is the thought of whether or not we, as individual ambassadors of our Home-Base – our own Anthill – are acting with the utmost integrity, with the most transparent sense of dignity, and with pervasive, unmasked and blunt sincerity…ALWAYS and FOREVER!…Sacred Principles violated FOR NO ONE! Not even God!

Moreover, everyone is free to take as much as they need or want. There are absolutely no restrictions, and yet, not one person dares or even enjoys falling victim to the predatory hands of excess. No one takes/buys/spends more than they really need, and whatever they want, is only within the confines of what they needed it in the first place. And curiously enough, everyone adamantly insists that the other “take more”, whether it be food, money, time, or any other thing under humanity’s shared blue skies, or within our own, womb-like abode. We never seem to be in dire need, simply because we never seem to go beyond them in the first place. Thus, there always seems to be abundance, as our very souls are seldom afflicted with true need or, worst yet, with true excess.

And it is interesting, once again, the “natural” way in which all this comes – and the way it all feels – even though it has all been learned: learned from the time we could barely walk; learned from the time when we were Knights inside our very own Kingdom, in the throes of childish ecstasy and innocence; learned throughout our young lives, through the years of school, sleep-overs and personal awkwardness; learned at every corner and instant of our lives, as the cardinal rule, that life was much sweeter when the sun’s warm and tender rays hit you, than when you’re accosted by millions of jewels; learned that the less that I had, the more I really gained; and learned that the only way to really gain that authentic enrichment, was to share from the little or the lot that I had, with he who didn’t have at all, or with he who had a little less; and learned, in my adulthood, that all those years when they were telling me those things to the point of redundancy, to the point of saturating my nerves, to the point of instilling angst and resentment towards them, was all so that it would now feel natural to do it, and, likewise, feel repulsive to do otherwise.

And yet, as with life, which so often seems naught but a paradox in itself, we also learned to have our little claws always sharp, albeit hidden – or rather tucked – under our inviting paws. We learned – as we were taught with the utmost poignancy – that precisely because we were to extend our paws to absolutely everyone who was in need of it, there would inevitably appear those who aspired to bite them, if not completely chop them off at the wrists. Yes, we were taught that with the responsibility of helping he who needed it and, at times, even he who wanted it, also came the resolute and absolute right to defend that spirit and that fight with everything, even with our lives! Particularly in a home where it’s doors are always opened to absolutely everyone, our guards, we were taught, should always be up.

We learned that peace and sharing were the Key to a happy life; and that strength of character and the resoluteness to defend it with violence where necessary and, more appropriately, against whom dares attack it, were the Locks to the doors. And curiously, it was in Nietzsche that I found the two sentences to express a lifetime of learning: “The lonely one – [free from all material wealth and pain] – offers his hand too quickly to whomever he encounters,” he says. “[But] [t]o some people you may not give your hand, only a paw: and I desire that your paw should also have claws.”

Not long ago I found it expressed again, but this time in a popular song by a hip-hop group called Calle 13, where they say, much like we were taught as kids: “No le tengo miedo a las confrontaciones/Porque yo me crié con invasiones/Y como las hormigas si tengo mala suerte/Defiendo mi hormiguero hasta la muerte” (Loosely Translated: “I’m not afraid of confrontations/Because I was raised amid invasions/And like Ants if misfortune should befall me/I’ll defend my Anthill till Death herself Calls me”).

However, despite that militant nature and constant vigilance over our own little Revolutionary Gains, the very coveted and seemingly evanescent virtues like Harmony, Peace, Love and Fulfillment are always constants, never variables. And though the building may be shaken by violent winds from time to time – by the “invisible hands that ben[d] and [torture] us the worst”, as Nietzsche puts it – the core of the structure remains as real as the sun’s daily rise. But, perhaps we have an advantage, because more than jewels, green-backs or vacation get-aways into the various oases around the world, satisfaction in our life consists on the harmony of the system; on its self-fulfillment; on its perpetuation of itself. As I see it, as long as the Sun continues to rise, our days will be bright, even the nights; even the unavoidably dark times that life cannot be without…The Sun always seems to shine inside our home.

The Individual Within the System

Moreover, in regards to our family dynamics, more specifically about our individuality within this seemingly enveloping organism/system – and much like the revolutionary guerrilla fighter Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara points out in one of his works about the New Socialist Man – I’ve noticed that we have not only not ceased to be individuals – lost our personalities, as if to say – but we’ve, in fact, gained much fuller ones, much sharper ones, much more creative ones that, while being entirely unique in each one of us, nevertheless naturally converge with the goals of and expected repercussions upon the entire system. In other words, though we are wholly different as individuals – with our own likes and dislikes, habits, hobbies, interests and even vices – our course of action in everyday-life seems to naturally opt for the most harmonious results for the home. Thus, we seldom have fights (though seldom does not mean never, and that is precisely due to the fact that some differences are simply irreconcilable, and thus, sometimes a clash occurs; however, the clash is no more – and goes no further – than the immediate parameter of that specific issue, then it is dead and over forever; it is all, in fact, quite therapeutic).

The most obvious example of this is between my brother and myself. Anyone that meets us and knows us for more than a couple of hours will readily admit that we are of extremely opposite temperaments: whereas I am more impulsive with my decisions and in my general behavior, perhaps even somewhat ‘neurotic‘ (quite like my dad), my brother is as calm and laid-back as a leaf floating through the air, though precisely knowing where its going to land (quite like my mom). Moreover, our artistic talents and hobbies differ a great deal: he is a musician who learned to play the guitar and drums almost instantly, as if he had always known how to do it, even though he had begun rather late, and yet, he does it extremely well; I, on the other hand, only remit myself to banging on the drums, mostly to let out some of that neurocity, but my real talent and interests are in writing.

These obvious differences – particularly in our temperament – have indeed led us through quite different ways at times, giving us each a different and unique set of obstacles to overcome and circumstances to deal with; we’ve likewise had different taste in women, different kinds of fights with our parents and friends (even different kind of friends), even different vices (though we may sometimes not admit them as vices but rather as hobbies). In any case, the point is that, though we have at times appeared to walk through different ways, at the end of the day, we have both – as well as our parents – traveled inside the same forest. And ultimately, it seems, in this time we’re living of apparent awakening – a time when it appears that we have all opened our third-eyes – we effectively have individually, though simultaneously, emerged from the forest at the other side, fully aware of our individual trek towards our communal future.

Communism, it seems, has seeped into my home.

The Home Must be Revived

Therefore, as I see it, the first point of departure for the type of Socialist Education that is to build the individual that will not only be receptive to but the protagonist of the communist world, must come even prior to formal schooling; it must come from the Home. As such, we must find projects that aim at restrengthening the real essence of family-values, the core of what is to become the Communist Society: a Free, Selfless, Creative, Moral and entirely Harmonious Community.

THE DUSTY TRAIL, THE WITHERING JUNGLE, AND THE LONESOME YOUTH: REMEMBERING ZARATHUSTRA

dusty path…And it happened that as I was traveling on the Dusty Trail, as I weaved through the denseness of a thick, Withering Jungle that had long ago begun to decay, I noticed how much of the flora this deterioration had infected, withering once-colourful flowers into black lumps of crispy, dead petals. My heart quivered with sadness; my hands trembled with rage. I looked around desperately, hoping someone was around with whom to share my great discontent: my panic at what I was seeing in front of me, my fear of the possibility that I too may begin withering and crumbling, leaving nothing but broken pieces of a man to carry my name and breath into the auras of the future. But I saw no one; I was alone.

But I knew that I simply could not go on my own selfish way after having seen this, just leaving it to continue to rot,  hoping someone else may find it so that they may fix it. There had to be a root: there had to be an infected piece at the base, where the nutrients flowed into the soil – a reason why Color and Freedom had been taken away from these jungles, and why Darkness and Dullness had taken their place, reigning over the Living. So I veered from the dusty path on which I’d been walking and broke through a thick net of jagged branches and black lumps to my left that had once been flowers and leaves — when Freedom still reigned — but which were now void of everything…even Death.

But it happened that as I walked deeper and deeper through this swamp of branches and dead trees, I began hearing ghostly whispers and even macabre howls that sounded like tortured souls emanating from within the bowels of the jungle; at other times they sounded like vultures or demonic creatures screeching far in the horizon and swooping down on me.  But there was nothing there. At other times I’d see shrubs shaking or swaying, and I’d feel something run past me but, again, there was nothing there. Panic was taking hold….My Solitude in this place became magnified, which made my goal – to reach the root of the problem and fix it – seem ludicrous and suicidal, and my faith wavered as my knees buckled with fear in the face of the utter lonesomeness in which I found myself.

I felt like I wanted to turn back, like I should let the demons scare me…like I should let them win, for I knew they were purposefully scaring me; that they wanted me to turn back so as to let them continue to Absorb the Life of this Wonderful Jungle and to Control the Freedom of Growth and Evolution. And just then, just when I’d reached the climax of my horror, my mind had a flashback to an earlier time – to a time of formation – when I had read a tale that, until then, had only seemed like wonderful poetry lauding the soul…like beautiful words…But at that very moment, the words were actually the catalyst I needed to renew my strength and faith and to finish that Great Trek I had started…if not for myself, for the ecstasy that is seeing Life Grow…

And so it happened that I remembered a tale that had found Zarathustra walking “alone through the mountains surrounding the town which is called The Motley Cow,” where he’d suddenly found the same young man who had been avoiding him on days past, leaning against a Lonesome Tree Atop the Mountain, and “looking wearily into the valley.” Gripping the “tree under which the youth was sitting,” Thus Spoke Zarathustra:

“If I wanted to shake this tree with my hands I should not be able to do it. But the wind, which we do not see, tortures and bends it in whatever direction it pleases. It is by invisible hands that we are bent and tortured the worst…But it is with man as it is with the tree. The more he aspires to the height and light, the more strongly do his roots strive earthward, downward, into the dark, the deep – into evil…”

And with these words I began to feel anew. Then, upon realizing that I’d have to cut and maim some branches – get rid of what wouldn’t let me pass, and even sacrifice some remaining, seemingly healthy petals to avoid further infection of the blooming ones, that is, of the Future to Come – my hands became heavy with doubt. And then again I remembered Zarathustra’s wise words:IMG_20130412_111235

“Some souls one will never discover, unless one invents them first.”

My situation, I noted, was not unlike the young man who had been sitting by the tree, who’d wavered after having climbed so high that he found himself entirely unaccompanied, even spiteful of himself and confused at his choice to Fly so High and so utterly alone; after having received the full brunt of those he’d left Under – with the Herd – and who now casted aspersions at him for having dared questioned and shaken their complacent and dormant acquiescence. There, isolated, bedevilled and mentally exhausted, he Thus Spoke to Zarathustra:

“I no longer trust myself since I aspire to the height, and nobody trusts me any more; how did this happen? I change too fast: my today refutes my yesterday. I often skip steps when I climb: no step forgives me that. When I am at the top I always find myself alone. Nobody speaks to me; the frost of loneliness makes me shiver. What do I want up high? My contempt and my longing grow at the same time; the higher I climb, the more I despise the climber. What does he want up high? How ashamed I am of my climbing and stumbling! How I mock at my violent panting! How I hate the flier! How weary I am up high!”

Calmly, Zarathustra responds thus:

“This tree stands lonely here in the mountains; it grew high above man and beast. And if it wanted to speak it would have nobody who could understand it, so high has it grown. Now it waits and waits – for what is it waiting? It dwells too near the seat of the clouds: surely, it waits for the first lighting.”

Unhinged by the magnificent revelation, and as he “wept bitterly,” the Youth, in turn, responds thus:

“Yes, Zarathustra! You are speaking the truth. I longed to go under when I aspired to the height, and you are the lightning for which I waited. Behold, what am I, now that you have appeared among us? It is the envy of you that has destroyed me.”

Putting “his arm around him” and leading him away, Zarathustra says to the Youth:

“It tears my heart. Better than your words tell it, your eyes tell me of all your dangers. You are not yet free, you will search for freedom. You are worn from your search and over-awake. You aspire to the free heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your wicked instincts, too, thirst for freedom. Your wild dogs want freedom; they bark with joy in their cellar when your spirit plans to open all prisons. To me you are still a prisoner who is plotting his freedom: alas, in such prisoners the soul becomes clever, but also deceitful and bad. And even the liberated spirit must still purify himself. Much prison mountain tree lightning 2and mustiness still remain in him: his eyes must still become pure.

“Indeed I know your danger,” he continued. “But by my love and hope I beseech you: do not throw away your love and hope!

“You still feel noble, and the others too feel your nobility, though they bear you a grudge and send you evil glances. Know that the noble stands in everybody’s way. The noble man stands in the way of the good too: and even if they call him one of the good, they thus want to do away with him. The noble man wants to create something new and a new virtue. The good want the old, and that the old be preserved. But this is not the danger of the noble man, that he might become one of the good, but a churl, a mocker, a destroyer.”

I was more calm. The shrubbery felt less jagged.

And Zarathustra’s words continued reciting themselves in my head, as if being whispered by a tiny being in my mind reading straight from the book:

“Alas, I knew noble men who lost their highest hope. Then they slandered all high hopes. Then they lived impudently in brief pleasures and barely cast their goals beyond the day. Spirit too is lust, so they said. Then the wings of their spirit broke: And now their spirit crawls about and soils what it gnaws. Once they thought of becoming heroes: now they are voluptuaries. The hero is for them an offense and a fright.

“But by my love and hope, I beseech you,” Zarathustra had said. “Do not throw away the hero in your soul! Hold holy your highest hope!”

And the voice intonating Zarathustra’s speech went on inside my muddled brain:

“‘He who seeks, easily gets lost. All loneliness is guilt’ – thus speaks the herd. And you have long belonged to the herd. The voice of the herd will still be audible in you. And when you will say, “I no longer have a common conscience with you,” it will be a lament and an agony. Behold, this agony itself was born of the common conscience, and the last glimmer of that conscience still glows on you affliction.

“But do you want to go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself? Then show me your right and your strength to do so. Are you a new strength and a new right? A first movement? A self-propelled wheel? Can you compel the very stars to revolve around you?

“Alas, there is so much lusting for the heights! There are so many convulsions of the ambitions. Show me that you are not one of the lustful and ambitious.

“Alas, there are so many great thoughts which do no more than a bellows: they puff up and make emptier.

You call yourself free? Your dominant thought I want to hear, and not that you have escaped from a yoke. Are you one of those who had the right to escape from a yoke? There are some who threw away their last value when they threw away their servitude.

Free from what? As if that mattered to Zarathustra! But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what?

IMG_20130406_094039The words lingered in my mind. The sharp audible contrast between the from and the for sounds were impactful, much more than a simply auditory curiosity…They meant a lot more…The Jungle in front of me began taking a new look, a new air about it – there seemed to be a new aura emanating from and palpitating in the centre, where all the jungle’s energy seemed to concentrate, and where I figured the poison would have to be bled….Tribal Drumming was filling the background, and my heart itself seemed to be navigating towards the Centre…The palpitations, I then realized, were coming from within me….And then the voice intonating Zarathustra’s song came back:

Can you give yourself your own evil and your own good and hang your own will over yourself as a law? Terrible it is to be alone with the judge and the avenger of one’s own law. Thus is a star thrown out into the void and into the icy breath of solitude. Today you are still suffering from the many, being one: today your courage and your hopes are still whole. But the time will come when solitude will make you weary, when your pride will double up, and your courage gnash its teeth. And you will cry, ‘I am alone!’ The time will come when that which seems high to you will no longer be in sight, and that which seems low will be all too near; even what seems sublime to you will frighten you like a ghost. And you will cry, ‘All is false!’

The words, again, were palpably true! My enthusiasm at giving a helping hand in the reconstruction of this Exotic Jungle had wavered; I had seen the black petals, and my skin had torn after getting caught on the jagged branches, and the sight of my own blood had made me think of turning back – of abandoning all hope and fight and sacrifice, and just run for the dusty path which, though still lonely, was decorated with artificial trees and plants that gave the impression of life…I had wavered…But the invoked words worked to placate my fear again and invigorate me with courage:

“There are feelings which want to kill the lonely; and if they do not succeed, well, then they themselves must die,” Zarathustra had said. And then he’d asked: “But are you capable of this – to be a murderer?” And I was now asking myself the same question:

I swallowed the thought with ambivalence, and my brain continued to recite Zarathustra:

“My brother, do you know the word ‘contempt’ yet? And the agony of your justice – being just to those who despise you? You force many to relearn about you; they charge it bitterly against you. You came close to them and yet passed by: that they will never forgive. You pass over and beyond them: but the higher you ascend, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy. But most of all they hate those who fly….”

Yes! I was beginning to realize that perhaps I was ready…And plus, by God! I had gotten my wings!

“‘How would you be just to me?’ you must say,” continued Zarathustra. “‘I choose your injustice as my proper lot.’ Injustice and filth they throw after the lonely one: but, my brother, if you would be a star, you must not shine less for them because of that.

“And beware of the good and the just!” I immediately remembered he’d warned against that very cautiously. “They like to crucify those who invent their own virtue for themselvesthey hate the lonely one. Beware also of holy simplicity! Everything that is not simple it considers unholy; it also likes to play with fire – the stake. And beware also of the attacks of your love! The lonely one offers his hand too quickly to whomever he encounters. To some people you may not give your hand, only a paw; and I desire that your paw should also have claws.

“But the worst enemy you can encounter will always be you, yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caves and woods.” Under the circumstances – in the midst I was in – the reality of those words resonated within me, and made me feel enlarged.

“Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself. And your way leads past yourself and your seven devils. You will be a heretic to yourself and a witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and a villain. You must wish to consume yourself in your own flame: how could you wish to become new unless you had first become ashes!

“Lonely one, you are going the way of the creator: you will create a god for yourself out of your seven devils…”

My heart was beating faster…

Lonely one, you are going the way of the lover: yourself you love, and therefore you despise yourself, as only lovers despise. The lover would create because he despises. What does he know of love who did not have to despise precisely what he loved!”

I was trembling faster and harder, realizing the events that were going to take place; realizing what my brain, guided by the great feelings of love the speech had reminded me of, was now telling me I should do if we were to arrive at the Centre, which now was an arm’s length away…With tears in my eyes, and with a sublime understanding of the reasons for the very violent acts which my arms were executing, a machete came down with all the force of a thousand horses and chopped the rotten though still living branches, flowers and shrubs that blocked the Centre. My heart was heavy with sadness, feeling myself a destroyer of life….but my mind was fixed on the prize: on that vortex from which life flowed outward, and which, until now, had been saturated by venomous weeds masqueraded as unhealthy roses. And Zarathustra’s words came rushing back:

“Go into your loneliness with your love and with your creation, my brother; and only much later will justice limp after you.

“With my tears go into your loneliness, my brother. I love him who wants to create over and beyond himself and thus perishes.”

And Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

thick jungle 2And as I reached the Center, though alone, I felt accompanied by the spirit of the Jungle, which, upon feeling my first efforts of Liberating it, seemed to dance and rejoice with the enthusiasm of someone who’s been given their sight back, or whose suffocating muzzle has finally been removed. And with every breath that I inhaled and exhaled, the Jungle seemed to swell as it breathed with me, and we became one…

…And so it happened, that the Jungle regained its colour, and I my strength.