Smile on the Void: the Mythhistory of Ralph M’Botu Kitaj (2)

The complexities are endless. Nobody agrees. There is no clarity in such theories. No useful light is shed. They reduce [him] to the status of robot or puppet, explaining his every action as the result of influence by other directed forces, giving him no free will at all. The arguments advanced by on faction (good-bad) can just as well be employed by another (bad-good). Nothing and anything at all can be suggested by such dualistic and nonrelative thinking, and I submit that the purpose of such speculation is not to discover anything valuable, but merely so that people can keep themselves happy by inventing something to believe in. Whatever is really going on, it is not to be understood by any fixed or conventional mode of thought. “Convictions make convicts”–we are imprisoned by whatever we believe, and it seems that many of us want to stay in jail. In a sense we are all battlegrounds of cosmic conflict (“As above, so below”) and I suspect there is indeed some truth, somewhere, somehow, in the “War in Heaven” theory. But dependence on such beliefs can lead to paranoia and irresponsibility: it is better to consider everything and believe nothing… for sure. The Unknown cannot contract to fit the Known. We have to expand.

–Stuart Gordon, 1981

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