So Much Depends on the Hinge, Part 3: Heller Levinson Interview

Jared: I’ve noticed for some time that you have been proposing Hinge as an antidote to what you dub, “rampant and pernicious commercialism.” How could Hinge help move us beyond capitalist modes of life?

 Heller:  The simplistic answer is:  By providing more enriching (i.e., Nutritious) options.

First we need to identify the problem before we can understand “moving beyond.” The Human Community has to reach an agreement that unbridled capitalism has reached the end of its tether.  This really shouldn’t require much convincing:  the planet is overheating, the glaciers are melting, the polar bears are dying, vegetation & wildlife are being destroyed, the global economic structure is one giant synthetic Ponzi scheme[1], our resources (oil, water) are ending or being contaminated, the gap between the haves & have-nots is growing, hunger is growing, rage is growing, fear is growing, & there exist over 55, 000 nuclear warheads that we know about.  The list of horrors could continue, but we all get the message.

This external damage is mirrored in the internal damage.  In 1985, Neil Postman published the now-classic Amusing Ourselves To Death.  Today, with all the gadgetry & digital devices campaigning for our attentions, this Self-Demolitioning can be ratcheted up manyfold.  The human animal is now something of a hybrid:  Part Human/Part Gadget (i.e. BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, etc.)  The whole notion of “Prolongation” which I discuss in our first interview appears to be more & more an exotic curiosity.

Our external landscape is befouling while our internal landscapes are besmirched & shrivelizing.

We are at the End Game.

Hinge Theory to the Rescue (read as the tune “Jim Dandy to the rescue.”).

I’ll include a quote of mine I rediscovered this morning when Felino Soriano sent me his new e-book (Divaricated, Spatial Aggregates):

“Hinge Theory is not a philosophy; it is a guideline to enable entrance to the Hinge Universe, which is a continuing construct of perpetually interconnecting, profusely propagating, contagiously enlivening multiuniverses of multi-complementary extensions.  We have identified language as alive . . . .” – HL

Hinge, then, can help us move beyond capitalist modes of life by providing a Richer Paradigm.  If one explores the Fecundating Plangency Rotational Cluster (in from stone this running, BWP, 2011), one can be initiated into Inner Landscape E(nrichment)xpansionism.  Or, for the more concrete minded, there is the Fecundating Stone Rotational Cluster (also in fstr).  If a person partakes in the Fecundating Stone Rotational Cluster, deeply inhales/imbibes, broods & meditates upon, mulls over, the belief is that the participant will never see a stone, or anything else, in the same way.  His/her “idea” of the stone will be newly-offered, a Perceptual InviGorAtion, an element of the universe will become achingly ALive for them, running/coursing through/with their being, their lives will become more highly sensitized, delightf(illed)ull, spilling into surrounding are(n)as, into trees, creeks, brooks, badger, bark, ancient burial grounds, their world will sparkle, they will rejoice, they will want to Intercourse more, they will lust to explore “love like apparitional joinery,” “lamentation like inglorious silk,” . . . I mean, — who can go shopping after experiences like these?  Wal-Mart will die.  Apple will die.  The Human Being will emerge Newly Flowered.

A note about my comment above, “. . . is Partaken of. . . .”  I’ve had people who have been reading Smelling Mary come up to me & say “I’m still getting through your book.”  Well, neither SM, nor fstr is intended to be gotten through.  Reading Hinge Applications should not be task oriented.  I much prefer — in fact,for the kind of immersion I’m suggesting, I would say it is mandatory — the approach of a reader who told me she had been spending two months on “in the temperature of barn” & was still exploring it assiduously.  This is the path of prolongation, of full absorption, of deepimbibeenthrallment.

Now I’ll need to drift[2] a bit to flesh out how Hinge can assist in correcting the current greed-oriented toxic situation.  We have to understand that the very foundation of the structure is faulty.  The Chairmen of the Boards of our large corporations have one singular raison d’etre, & that is to achieve profits for their shareholders.  That is the extent of their responsibility.  They have no moral imperative, no ethics other than to provide “profits” for their shareholders.  QED.  That sums up the dilemma right there.  As long as no more inclusive, Vitalistic-oriented considerations take precedence, pernicious toxicity is inevitable.  Which is where we are today.

My proposal, with Hinge Theory as a model, is to Revolutionize the way we Live, Eat, Learn; in short, — how we inhabit the planet.  I know it sounds wide-eyed & preposterous, but at this point in time, we either Radically Alter Our Lives or we will certainly Extinguish them.  The smugness pervading the land is remarkable, the empowerment engendered by the new technology illusory, one only has to go through a severe storm, or the Northridge earthquake (I did), to see our entire infrastructure disabled in 17 seconds.

We must begin with Education.  Currently, there is no such thing as “education.”  Our schools & universities are no more than vocational schools, training grounds to equip citizens to participate in the transactional climate that is killing them.  To “begin with Education,” we have to Hingify the Teachers.  They need to be Spiritually Conditioned.  Without leadership, without persons Lighting The Way, we are Doomed.

This not being the appropriate time to submit a volume on Planetary Repair, suffice it to say that at this juncture we must reorient our lives toward Visions & Disciplines that offer Enrichment & Vitalism.

It has been a downhill slide from the sixties’ spiritual adventure of “Expand Your Consciousness” to the current Mantras of “LogIn,” and “Go Online.” We need to empower the Serfs of the Gadgetry Kingdom to release their Screen-Chains!

When they discover that there is more Satisfaction, more Pleasure, more FulFillment trekking the Inner Landscapes, they will toss their iPhones & stamp on their iPads.

They  will hear the Wake-Up Call to shift from a land of Narcoleptics to a land of Hinge-Devout Eureka Freaks!

So I say, — Get Freaky!


[1] see Joe Bageant’s “Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball:  Capitalism is dead, but we still dance with the corpse.”

[2] “Drift” is a Hinge activity, but gainful drift.

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