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This nOde last updated September 25th, 2001 and is permanently morphing...
(7 Men (Eagle)/7 Tz'ikin (Bird) - 215/260 -
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Chinese secret societies.

The Tong, as defined by Hakim Bey, is "a mutual benefit society for people with a common interest which is illegal or dangerously marginal- hence, the necessary secrecy."

mentioned in internal link_Temporary Autonomous Zones_ by internal linkHakim Bey
Temporary Autonomous Zones - ontological anarchy and poetic terrorism

We might think of the "internal linkBee" as a temporary immediatist group organized for one project  (like a quilt). But even the Bee must both be and produce a "work of art". The Tong by  comparison can be defined as a more long-lasting group, theoretically "permanent",  devoted not to one project but to an on-going "cause". But what makes a Tong different  from an open group, like a sect or political party? The members of an Immediatist Tong or  TAZ core-group may not be held together by strong class, ethnic, geographical, or economic motives; moreover, the collaborative production of non-commodiflable art  cannot be considered by itself a sufficient cause for the formation of a secret society.

"lllegalism" per se may add cohesiveness to the group structure, but still cannot serve as the only raison desire of a real Tong. Insurrectionary action or "social sabotage" provide even  stronger motivation for a clandestine "order" -- but not yet enough, perhaps, for a full-scale "invisible college". Without "Tong aesthetics" -- no Tong.

The two essential aesthetic elements of a Tong are:': (1) a cause; and (2) a legend. Both  cause and legend can be classed as aesthetic or "mythic" systems, rather than as ideologies --   since they are based on symbols, which are real but ambiguous, rather than on "ideals",  which are much more clear, but relatively un-real. When Sorel proposed a 'social myth"   (specifically the syndicate and the General Strike) he did not mean "myth" in the modern  sense of the word -- as an empty story a palliative and illusory narration. "Myth" in the Sorelian sense can be called a story which is not only about "real life" but also wants, to  manifest as real life. A cause, one may argue, is not a "real thing" because it has not yet appeared. It is an aesthetic construct -- but it is also an Image-complex which intends to  impose its pattern on "internal linkreality", like the internal linkhermetic spells of Renaissance magi or the  ceremonies of tribal internal linkshamans. It expresses this internal linkintention in the the form of a legend about a  cause, a symbolic narrative of highly-charged images arranged to augment a dynamic potential ("conversion", "initiation", "enlightenment", action") in the group which adopts  and adapts it. The cause, therefore, is the public Sorelian myth; the legend, its private propaganda within the Tong.
imagination manifests realities...

The Tong initiates like internal linktaoistTaointernal linksages or spiritual nomads, "far off at the horizon (yet)   near before my eyes. They roam about the world without a fixed residence"   white herons internal linkflying past  a fan, a pear-shaped censer, a sword, a flute, two jade castanets, a scepter, a floating   bridge the daughter of the internal linkDragon King "gathering mulberry flowers" (a password)  caves of drizzle, summer showers, hoarfrost  a volcano and so on (Davis, op. cit., 132-134). These images may seem merely  decorative or arbitrary to us, but they were charged with cultural internal linkmemes for the Hung  adepts, and were built into a system which cohered not only as a "poem" but also as a  multiplexed evocation of their cause.

This poem of potential action becomes even more vital in our internal linkimmediatist Tong, since the  text must serve to provide some of the cohesion lacking in such a variegated group as ours  may be. A 'mere political program will not suffice, nor will a mere poem. Cause and legend must point beyond (or even away from) ideology and abstraction; the "internal linkUtopian   internal linkImagination" and "Utopian Poetics" must be used to construct something more than a mere  dayinternal linkdream.

[NOTE: Not that I share the usual disdain for "reverie" as opposed to "imagination". Like  Guston Bachelard I believe that poesis begins with daydreaming, and that "idle fancy" is as sacred as "genuine vision". Nevertheless, in order to inspire action, the daydream must first become a "poem", then a "legend", finally a "cause".]
- Hakim Bey - _Tong Aesthetics_atomjacked inventory cache

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Bey suggests that this modern version of a Tong might be a way of recapturing "free time from the commodity world and devote it to shared creation, to play."

In building a Tong, style may not be "everything", but it certainly cannot be considered merely secondary or inessential. The Tong must be "a work of art" in itself, like all Immediatist game-structures.

The Insurrection is the Cause; the TAZ is a tactic for the cause, but also an "inner" raison d'etre of the Tong.

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Across the dark blue sky six red bands spread representing the original ancestors of the internal linkTibetan people: the six tribes called Se, internal linkMu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra which in turn gave the [twelve] descendants. - explanation for the Tibetan flag symbolism.
Tibetan National Flag

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track _Tong Poo (planet of the crossing mix)_ by The internal linkOrb off of _Icons Of The Orb_ CDatomjacked inventory cache (1994)

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TV series internal link_Kung Fu_
Caine and candles

Episode #internal link23 (Prod #166208) "THE TONG"
     Teleplay By:: Robert Schlitt (also #33)
     Directed By:: Robert Totten (also #25)
     First Broadcast: ABC, Nov. 29 or Nov. 15 (Kung Fu Book & Epi-log) 1973
     Guest Stars: Diana Douglas, Richard Loo (also pilot & #3, 35, 48, 50&51)
     Caine helps a missionary woman rescue a Chinese boy from slavery to a member of the internal linkDragon of Retribution Tong.


internal linkInformation: This may be the only episode where Caine [Carradine] actually speaks Chinese.

From the script comes the following and it is unknown how much of this was in the broadcast: "There is much evil in the world, Grasshopper. It has always been thus. And so our ancestors built this monastery and developed the art of Kung Fu so they might cultivate virtue and protect themselves from harm. But whatever one man possesses another will covet. The Manchu Emperor heard of our prowess. So he sent an army of soldiers to burn the monastery to the ground. Only five escaped. They made their way to Fukien and internal linkfounded the Tong to overthrow the Manchus and restore the Ming Emperors to the throne. Violence became their tool and combating violence. Thus the Sage Chuang Tzu has said, 'By ethical argument and moral principle, the greatest crimes are shown to have been necessary and in fact a great benefit for mankind.' Two hundred years have passed. The Manchus still sit upon the throne. The Tongs still kill, no longer for noble cause. Yet they are the children of the five Shaolin priests who went to Fukien long ago.'" - Master Po

Also: "Do rich men hoard their goods? Do great men dispute over small matters?" - Caine

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