Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A many faced self portrait

A Many faced self portrait.

Like the multi-faced incarnations of Vishnu, the multitudes contained  in Whitman, or the many minstrels of Bob Dylan each reflecting one  sympathetic self, I too contain multitudes.  Within me is a stream that flows in many directions, an aggregate of cultures, a kaleidoscope of personalities.  These juxtapositions coexist sometimes in harmony and at other times in tension, but they  all flow from the same stream, from past experiences to present impressions into future possibilities.  The first and most salient is the inheritor of my parents generations values and worldviews which came to a focus in the 1960’s.  This forms a backbone of sort, because these values produced a liberal, free-thinking, and inquisitive mind which allow a peaceful interaction with all of the other cultures balled up within me.  The 1960’s is also manifested through the countercultural, carpediem, ecumenical tendencies of the aquarias age.  Then there is the jew, the brains of the operation. Some part of me is a frail, sickly and transcendent scholar poring over talmuld folios shrouded by infinite stacks of commentaries and obscuria, all the bookish knowledge and wisdom through the ages.  On the flipside of  and informed by the jewish scholarly face, is the bespectacled cardigan wearing literary, artsy-fartsy intellectual.  This academic self is endlessly dissecting the visionary mythology of blake and comparing 18th century romantacism to the philosophical alchemy of the Ancient Chinese Taoists.  Here is the sinophile face – throwing the I-Ching oracles and fumbling over the klutzxy jewish scholar whilst striking a Tai Chi pose or mocking the tones of mandarin.  Accompanied by Da-We the Taoist, is Devendra the hindu yogi perched on a mountain top retreat twisting and struggling into the lotus pose but again hindered by the inner jewish klutz.  Treking behind the yogi on top of the mountain is the quasi outdoorsman pseudo working man cowboy plucking bluegrassy tunes and self-consciously crooning woody Guthrie.  Contradicting him is the self-absorbed adolescent skater boy imbibing the teen angst of punk rock and posing the cool of hip hope street culture.  All of these faces are contained and contradicted within my quintessential American and multicultural gloobalized identity.  This is to say nothing of the unconscious impulses and patterns which would require all of Freuds writings and millions of dollars worth of psychoanalyse to decode.  

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