Tibet and Artaud--- 1949 To have done with transcendence


 Artaud wrote about Tibet at the end of a text he was writing about a dream, a nightmare, and an abyss. The  French text was written between 1943 and 1949. It was written before the Chinese take over in 1950.


    And the thought came back to me that there was a spot in Tibet where abject monks use gibbets and winches in a certain valley that they've named  The Uterus of the Human Form, and where they claim to hold in chains all the consciousnesses of those men who want to escape their individual notions of man, either on the Physical Plane, or on the organic intellectual, neurotic , sensual Metaphysical Plane.

    And after an incalculable labor of years, they have succeeded in establishing a kind of archetypal anatomy before which, under the iron collars of their law, every born man must bend, on pain of being dissected and asphyxiated by them.

    I think Tibet is the only place on earth where this autocracy of the absolute  mind has desired to impose itself, and materially succeeded.

    There one can see endless iron collars, vises, gibbets, slip-knots, knee-guards, winches, ropes and garrotes; and from temple to temple the monks go around making them function according to principles as old as the sempiternal human routine, like the scansion of a somber music, where the interstice is like a meat all prepared to be steam cooked.

    And I think that many dreams brutally transformed into nightmares  come from the monkeyshines of a humanity which the monks have never been able to enter.

    And wasn't it predicted that before 1950 the hand of the monkey would unhook the secret clock face of history and come face to face with the race of men in order ot pla claim to the lofty thundering space of the Race of Reality?

   P.S. For isn't true that in the ceremonial millennial pomp of the Dalai-Lama , the ancient sign of a monkey-hand grabbing a man's testicles indicates from origin the race of the Lamas believes itself to be born?

 excerpted from the final paragraphs of Blood Winches by Antonin Artaud and translated into the English by the mystical translator Jack Hirschman

 Artaud Anthology - City Lights Bookstore __________________________