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And whenever I use the term “spiritual,” I’m talking about consciousness, becoming more conscious and less under the sway of conformist culture.

Over the last 48 hours, I’ve lost friends, given a lot of advice, gotten advice, been told off, and been accused of hypocrisy for taking a political stand while using the term “antinomian” to describe myself. The broad definition of “antinomianism” (originally a Protestant term used to mean that divine grace releases one from the need to follow secular law) can be used to indicate spiritual non-conformity, not necessarily secular or political non-conformity.

At the time, I think we all felt that American politics couldn’t get any more embattled. So I drifted through random poetry readings and panel discussions, across the book fair area where small presses and magazines had tables covered with all the books they’d published that year. For example, if you’re going to walk around with your girlfriend where people will notice and tell your wife all about it, why not let it be at the world’s biggest book fair and writer’s conference?

And Theo seemed to suffer from the political upheavals that year the way we all do now, worrying that no one is capable of guiding us away from self-destruction, that our world is careening out of control. I remember colliding with a professor I’d known for years, who normally dressed like Agatha Christie, but that day was done up in black leather and heels.

However, in the aftermath of a failed revolution, one does not dig one’s grave in accordance with the wishes of those in authority. ”Well the world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from. And it wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night—it was his supporters too. Is he going to re-arrange the chairs in the Roosevelt Room? On the other hand, there is a party going on at ISIS headquarters. (Roxy, there’s a time for this kind of language and it’s now.) We’re not powerless and we’re not voiceless. Theo wanted to know how I was liking Kentucky, if I was still writing, why he hadn’t seen me at any conferences. This is what motivated him to write to me after six years. He notes this in spite of the fact that it has already been noted in your file because he’s bored. Even though I’d only transcribed about one-fourth of the files and I was half a week behind, I just had to stop for a while.

If one seeks to act politically as a conscious revolutionary instead of reacting obediently as a sleepwalker, one practices discernment in moments like this. ) For the next four years, the President of the United States, the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F. What wouldn’t we give to trade this small fraction of a man for Richard Nixon right now? The Trumpsters want to see people like us (Jewish, “coastal elites,” educated, socially progressive, Hollywood…) sobbing and wailing and talking about moving to Canada. We don’t have majorities in the House or Senate but we do have representatives there. Trump says, “That’s not acceptable,” and I think, Jesus Christ. You sit in an interview room at the police station, sometimes in a hotel room or a conference room. I smoked a pack of Camel Lights and watched John Klein have creepy phone conversations with Indrid Cold until the sun came up.

It’s about art, expression, the grassroots potentialities that emerge as every person’s birthright–if we only pay attention. In this sense, the usage of the term is a lot like what Emerson means when he writes that “every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind.” Inwardly rejecting the “normalization” exerted by conformist culture is That said, I do not believe that abstaining from voting and posting cynical, defensive statements about the political system does a bit of good.

It mandates work and, in light of recent events, it definitely mandates political involvement, even if such involvement amounts to voting for a third-party candidate or writing one in.

True spiritual antinomianism is to find what you truly believe, what expresses your most deeply cherished values and then work to make those values manifest in the world.

It’s also good to remember that most members of Trump’s own party feel exactly the same way about him that we do. The supreme irrelevance of the panel discussions at AWP is a thing of legend.

We make sure that the people we sent to Washington—including Kamala Harris—take our strength with them and never take a day off. We do what we can to fight injustice anywhere we see it—whether it’s writing a check or rolling up our sleeves. After 90 minutes of decolonization, I remember meeting Theo on the mezzanine, where we drank vending machine coffee and read the Conference program.

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