The Bhagavad Gita: Arjuna’s Anxiety

The Bhagavad Gita opens with Arjuna’s anxiety. What is its nature?

There Arjuna saw, standing their ground, fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, fathers-in-law and companions in both armies. And looking at all these kinsmen so arrayed, Arjuna, the son of Kunti was overcome by deep compassion; and indespair he said: “Krishna, when I see these my own people eager to fight, on the brink, my limbs grow heavy, and my mouth is parched, my body trembles and my hair bristles. (1:26-29)

Arjuna stands between the two armies: they are a soul spectrum of the human form.

Previous incarnations, antecedent identities in lineage (fathers and grandfathers) to the speech act known as war. Teachers and maternal uncles (prophetic dictation/victory on the paternal side and submissive maternal obliteration on the other): both sides a dialectic, hence “brothers”. Sons and grandsons: precedent tension of the speech act known as war. Friends, fathers-in-law and companions: surrogate lineage (syncretism) and companions (what the right hand possesses, the “joints” of the exoskeleton of the mind).

All this, two rows, assembled with chariot, Arjuna and Krishna between: a division of human identity, across a temporal spectrum of lineage.

What does Arjuna fear? He fears war. What is war? War is speech, the speech act itself. His fear is recitation. Not pity for an enemy but, rather, a tension that necessarily precedes the
utterance. What is Arjuna’s anxiety? It is not pity for an enemy: it is the birth pains of the womb of compassion, as it gives birth to gnosis, whose descent down into the realm of matter must take the form of a word, spoken, speech action (war, words that form reality, by virtue of utterance, by virtue of shattering and reassembly). His compassion is the womb, for the womb is contraction.

Arjuna is of the 3rd estate, the warrior estate. What are the four estates? They are of agriculture (matter, water), trade (dharma, models, milk), war (meta-dharma, metamodels, wine) and the divine (the meta-metamodel, the sweet chambers of the hive). Arjuna is of the 3rd estate, and so the speech he is capable of, the “war” that he is capable of waging: this is a word that cuts across models (born of the metamodel), it is a transformation that breaks and shatters the circuitry of all cosmologies, including (self-reflexively) that of the four estates.

A word to end the universe, and create a new one in its place. An utterance whose opening begins with a shattering of the structures, dispersal and scattering of the very model/dharma into which Arjuna is thrown.

Hence his fear that his act of war will lead to the destruction of the “family” and intermixing of lines:

With the destruction of family, the eternal family laws are lost; when the law is destroyed, lawlessness overpowers the entire family. Krishna, because of overpowering lawlessness, the women of the family are corrupted; when women are corrupted, Varshneya, there is intermingling of the four estates. And intermingling leads to hell for the family destroyers and the family, for their ancestors … (1:40-42)

The “family” here is the fantasy skeleton of God, the conceived cosmology, the law, the dharma of the priest, the laws of matter, fantasizing (like a religion or a shadow) the invisible above.

And as the utterance descends from the womb of compassion into matter, scattering occurs, the family will be broken, from one eternal family law (fantasized), shards, fragments, reassembling into a billion parallel universes, each universe a personal identity, each a personal puzzle, each a fractal repetition of the archetypes, echos of this origin, each an individual speech act, intermixing, intermingling, mixed bloodlines, co-mingling new crystallization of identities, formed of God’s DNA.

It is this DNA though, that Arjuna is subject to, across the pages of the Gita. The utterance is completed through the pages of the Gita: the utterance he (as the womb of compassion) fears/contracts and — hence — gives birth to.

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