It is a project to imagine when it began. The thought of the Black Time. Eliade and the many self-styled “historians of religions,” for all their self-styled generosity, think that spiritual practices may degenerate generically, so that Kali cults that assume a Tantric ideology (and Aghoris and Naths and whoever take it seriously that any manifest cosmos is the body of the god and that there can be no exception to the attribute of the Holy)—surely “go too far.” Time, says Blake and Godel, is not a possibility. Time annihilates and generates and modulates, and in the form of Mahakala, “Great Time,” performs these ministrations upon her own conditioning. So the Kali Yuga (assuming that Kali is Kala—that the Black One is Time Herself): The Kali Yuga is the time at last when Time is Not. NOT the Time of Furthest Degradation as generally supposed.
Every ideology ultimately requires for the quiet of its own conscience, that it be “pushed”, like they say, to the Extreme. Most noticeably, geometers, physicists and logicians know this. Hence the matter of Riemann’s and Weierstrass’s famous “pathological functions”; hence Godel’s prodding of formalism with undecidable cases; hence Quantum Theory’s disreputable “infinities” that demand “renormalization” and General Relativity’s ugly extremity that eventually produces Black Holes. In the spiritual “sphere” there are also cases that embarrass the pantheist. The point is, normal science and normal religion wish to hold the extremities at bay, but it is the folks that refuse to do this that keep the spirit soaring: Godel’s “incompleteness theorem” forced Plato back onto the stage of the ontology of mathematics; Cantor’s transfinites were required to accommodate Riemann’s pathologies; the jury is out on renormalization; and Behold: Black Holes are there for all to see! The mother of all extremities is of course Parmenides’ denial of being to all beings but Being, and at present I count myself among the invisible few who hold with Black Athena (if that’s who she is) and entertain this.
The radical pantheists of Northern India and Nepal would eat the flesh of corpses to secure the conviction that they make no exception to the sacredness of all that seems to be. Holy Holy Holy Holy etcetera writes Holy Allen. It is interesting that the orthodoctrines that see pantheism itself as fiendish, rarely attack this matter of the extremities—perhaps because the valor of corpse-eaters is not even to be contemplated in the breach. But the mildest Vedantist must confess to the same universality.
The only viable alternative to extremism is another extremism that denies all ideology whole cloth—the famous Madhyamika of the Mahayana, with its affinities with the favorite dogmas of late western philosophy: various species of pragmatism, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Derrida—all venues where metaphysics is verbotten.
There is no color in the Timeless Time, when neither Generation, nor Annihilation, nor Modulation have a leg to stand on. Rather they have two. And like Nuit in To Megatherion’s Egyptian figure, they arch the gemmed azure as a cosmic woman in flagrante. But here all the frequencies have been absorbed beforehand in white noise or black light. I mean white light or black noise. No matter. Tiny eyes wheeze. The B&W of the print confesses that the principle of inversion itself may have been pushed too far.
Charles Stein is a poet, scholar and translator. His recent book, "Persephone Unveiled", is described by Peter Manchester ("The Syntax of Time") as "the most auhoritative (he) has ever read on the nature and consequence of divine revelation". The image is from a multimedia collaboration between Drs. Stein and Bialy entitled "Symmetries of The Dark Lord".