Handwritten Notes Italicized 1
Copy to Pam
Nov. 21, ’88.
Thanks for your letter. I sent a copy to Pam.
I am going to send you several stuffs to show what I have
been doing. But for now, I tell you about Leonard Cohen’s
Beautiful Losers. It is old stuff from Hippy days, published in
mid 1960’s, and it was a hit then. So you might know it. Anyway,
I write assuming you have some memory of the story. I came to it
from a review which said something about “Cosmology”. So I
checked it up.
There are other “motives”. One is your letter, though I do
not know what you said led me to this. Something you said did the
trick. Another one came from a Blackfoot lady. I gave an exam to
my introductory physics class and the result was disastrous. It
depressed me enormously. I cannot teach. Not that I taught
before. I do not “teach” any way. But this time, it made me think
that I ought to resign. Then, I met this woman from whom I am
learning Blackfoot language. She asked “How are you?” (I mean she
asked, not just greeting. Incidentally, you say “Tsa Niita’piwa?”
If you mean greeting, then you reply “Soka’piwa”.) So I told her
the reason for my depression. She laughed and said “Don’t you
have Lust any more?”.
“Lust!” The word sent me down to my memories. I am a clumsy
guy from my early childhood. That is why I tried to “know”
everything about humans. By 6th grade, I understood what adults
were talking about. I had no difficulty reading adult books, and
read a lot, more than my schoolteacher mother ever did. That was
a kind of compensation for my inability to do “Lusty” things.
They say “Those who cannot, teach”. In my case, “Those who cannot
do, try to know”. Relative to that, you are doing splendidly.
But, I am used to it and that does not hurt me much, for the most
time. Only occasionally, it does hurt, and I go down deep into
despair. Usually, I do not complain, because there is no use
saying anything to anybody. They have their own troubles and
doing the best they can. The last thing they need is someone
My mistake was that understanding of what is “talked” is not
understanding of anything.
Handwritten Notes Italicized 2
“Ah, that is your Ego!” you would say? Yes that is there
too, So, I tell you my troubles. But Orientals have this
peculiarity that they do not talk much in Love and in Sorrow.
They would be silent about deepest part of feeling, as if they
are afraid that talking might make things cheap. Oriental lovers
just gaze into each other’s eyes and don’t utter even a single
word for 3 hours. It also happens between friends. (This, Leonard
Cohen would know nothing about.)
Now, about this Beautiful Loser. It is a story, or rather a
“non-story”, about an Indian Saint Catherine Tekakwitha, the
narrator which is a scholar-researcher who admires Saint
Tekakwitha, Edith an Indian girlfriend of his, and “F.” a
homosexual friend. I do not know if Cohen was conscious of it or
not, it involves 4 elements. That is the Symmetry Group (2 x 2),
characteristic to Native American Myth-Mandala. [The story “To
Carry The Grace” is based on the Native Geometry of 4 elements. I
added one more, Tree Princess, to suggest a way out. You know who
the Tree Princess is. But my Princess is not quite ready to
accept the meaning of her Being. That is another reason why I
look into stories like this.]
Tekakwitha is an Iroquois name. She was a Mohawk girl
adapted from “Tribe A… ” and was Christianized by Jesuits. She
represents the Native Spirituality. Edith represents decaying of
the same “Tribe A… ” in the story and a (suspected) member of
only some 20 survivors. Out of the 20, 4 are young women whom F
“managed to fuck them all”, including Edith. F is the modern
decadence, nihilist, sex maniac. F is one side of the Euro
American Culture which does the “let it go”. He also represents
“Urban Indian” Phenomenon. The narrator is another side of the
same White Culture which did not “let it go” — in story he is
having “Constipation” problem —.
In terms of Group Dynamics the “story” is simple one. But
of course it is not “a story”, but a Style of writing — in the
sense “media is the message” —. I could not help thinking that
if you write like this, you would have sold a half million copies
two years ago.
It is only clumsy guys like me who see “Geometry” in
stories. The million people who read this story, probably did not
read “Geometry”. Say, 90% read “Explicit Sex”, 1% read an Indian
Story, and 1% read something else.
This does not say, however, that people did not get
anything beyond a dirty sex story. Implicitly, they do probably
sense something. And for the sensing of that “something”, I do
not think it to be of any help to know the Geometrical Structure
of the story (or the Dynamics of the situation). I only do it
because I am always looking for
Handwritten Notes Italicized 3
“Native Science” in anything, so much so that I see the (2×2)
Group Dynamics almost everywhere.
And, that “doing science” to story destroys my enjoyment of
“unadulterated” reading. I cannot read things for pure
enjoyment’s sake any longer. That is bad. For a while Cohen
entertained me by defying my “science”. And I liked his “Style”.
But it lasted only a quarter of the story through. I soon caught
up with the author in technical sense, and the rest became
predictable, and in fact deteriorated even in its “style”. His
story got to the climax too soon, like premature ejaculation.
That is no fun. The picture of Catherine Tekakwitha stayed on the
wall in the room where all those Lusts were going. The “sensual”
Tekakwitha did not “come”. The story ends with the suicide of
Edith (extinction of the romanticized Indians) in the first
quarter of the book. If I did not have a respect for Tekakwitha
enough to make up a sensual story in my imagination the
“Cosmology” world have collapsed. At expense of (1) all manner of
fucking, (2) suicide of an Indian gir1, and (3) religious death
of an Iroquois Saint Maiden, the story failed to elucidate what
this “Lust” is.
[My theory of (2×2) Dynamics suggests that Cohen missed one
more entity (power being) to go beyond the romanticism that
is too frequent in Whitemen’s intellect. Pam’s “Rock” might
be the one (4).
To be sure, in Cohen’s Story, there was a feeble attempt to
go back to “Spirituality”. That is the episode about the
“Water”. It took place a few days before Edith commits
suicide. “Going back to the Tradition” often takes place in
Desperation” “Going back to Nature” (and join Indian way of
life), “Going back to Uninhibited Sex”, etc. are variations
on the same theme. The frantic sex life is the Last Refuge
for those “Urban Indians”, from European Tribes or Native
In the desiccated modern urban society, they try to escape
through the only intimate sensual medium left for them. The
Capitalism left nothing else but Sex. It is a “let it go”
only in the sense of relieving Constipation in the urban
Waste Land. It is the only “moist” thing in the Hell. As
such I respect it, but, to me, it is rather painful.
The “Natural Love” is indeed uninhibited and people did
walk around naked. Sex was free, but it was no “Big Deal”
like those Urban Indians are obsessed with. Sex was as
natural as eating, peeing, etc. That is, Love was diffused
all around, permeated in, distributed throughout every
interaction in the community life. There is no “Intensity”
of the kind that Cohen was
Handwritten Notes Italicized 4
“making points” and keeping scores about. They shared women
and men, mothers, sisters, brothers, just as they shared
foods, dwellings, works, and life.
Bourgeoisie life dried up all that Except Private
Possession, including Private Sex. Having Free Sex does not
bring back the Love Community. We perform all sorts of
rituals, including Sex but that would be vain. What was
lost will not come back, no more than Buffalo herds come
back to the prairie. That is, unless we bring back the
whole Community, the whole Boundary Condition to the Field
Equation, the whole Enchanted Cosmos.
While we are refusing our neighbors Free Foods, Free Sex
will not liberate us. Love is a whole life, not an
obsession with “coming” and “going”.
Intellectually and Emotionally, Cohen probably knew it. But
he also knew that Urban Bourgeoisie Indians, from European
Tribe or Native American ones, are not capable of the Whole
Love. Hence there is no way out. That is why his story is a
story of Death. He meant to write another Waste Land. And
Hippies were too narcissistic to clean up their ass of
Christian shit like “Chosen People”. And probably they
thought themselves as the “Vanguard” for Sexual Revolution.
The “Savage Indian Wild Sex” might be their way of “back to
nature”. In a narrow sense, they were correct. Except their
Bourgeoisie snobbism blinded them to their lifestyle based
on destruction of Nature and desecration of community.
Greenwich Village had nothing in common with the Amazonian
Tribe Village that George Wallace wrote a poem about.]
The “Cosmology” of Beautiful Losers is analyzed by Dennis
Lee in Savage Fields. ANANSI 1977. It gave a rave review to
Cohen. But I am rather disappointed. Most “erratic” literature on
Indians do not do justice to the “Lust” that my lady friend is
referring to. Sex is there to sell the book.
The “Beautiful Losers” are not beautiful. But it is perhaps
another “Constipation” of Euro American Intellect. And if that
was the aim of his description, Cohen succeeded very well. Saint
Tekakwitha failed to “loosen” the intellect. That may be blamed
By the same token, the cover picture on a book by Gunther
S. Stent, Paradoxes Of Progress, is misleading. The picture is
from “The Golden Age” by Lukas Cranach. Naked
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men and women are dancing around a tree, perhaps the Tree of
Knowledge. The book talked of problems of “Scientism”, suggesting
“The Fall” by “knowing”. But it did not cut through the surface
of discussing “Ethics of Science” etc., to get to the “Lustic
Origin” of human Intellect.
So I am back to the question of Lust. Cohen was writing
about Lust. So was Stendhal, Lawrence, Goethe, Nietzsche, etc.
etc. Also, all Indian stories written by Europeans are stories of
Lust in one form or another. Even Max Weber was writing about
Lust, which he saw as Conflict-violence-irrationality and hence
could not find any way out but to control it by Power. That is
what I told Galtung. Galtung, being a good “scientist” in the
Weberian sense, was very much surprised hearing a physicist say
this, In effect, I told him that “Peace Research” has not even
begun to look at the Origin of Conflict-Violence, though it was
the theme of Literature and Art since anything was written or
drawn by humans.
I would very much like to write about “Lust” for Peace
Research. Alas! I am not much of a man of Lust. My sexual
adventures, aside from book-knowledge and imagination, is very
limited. Those who know it, namely you, do not write. Despite all
my pushing, Pam does not use writing as a means of knowing. I
would think that one does not need to constipate before shit.
(Pregnancy is a different matter. According to Blackfoot Myth,
women have to have a Big-Being Orgasm to get pregnant. That is a
part of the Lust.) But then, what could I say? I do not have
anything even to constipate! I write and write, in a hope that
they come to constipate someday. I hope it comes before my Lust
I heard that “Okanagan” means the Lost People (or Lost
Souls). It has a marble quarry somewhere, which I have not yet
seen. I might pay homage there and see what the Rock tells me.
What was that Thomas Hardy was suggesting about the Power of Rock
(Stonehenge) in Tess?
P.S. If you do not need it for a while, can I borrow back
Easlea’s Fathering the Unthinkable. Internal-library Loan
Handwritten Notes Italicized 6
is somehow holding me up on this book. In the spring semester
next, I plan to do a bit of Feminist Science in Physics 2020. I
also coordinate an Integrated study course on Peace and War.
There, I intend to talk about something like “The Paradox of
Intelligence; its making of Wars and Peace”. I will not fail to
mention an anthropological finding that to gain women was the
biggest cause of fighting. In addition, I would say that our
sense of Power came from the feeling–illusion of men subjugating
women in sexual contexts. For that, we Nuclear Physicists built
the Super Bomb. I think it is a clumsy way of imitating Orgasm. I
like to do it “Gracefully”, if possible at all.