The Wine of Dionysus

Coincidentally and ironically, truth and repression are two sides of the same coin, given that in order for repression to exist, there has to be something to repress. And given that repression exists, it follows that truth exists as the subject or object of repression. In turn, the struggle between repression and truth is a universal one which spans multiple religions and is non-denominational in nature. Moreover, the universal struggle between repression and truth is also intellectual and scientific. As Freud wrote: “One of the vicissitudes an instinctual impulse may undergo is to meet with resistances which seek to make it inoperative. Under certain conditions…the impulse then passes into the state of ‘repression.’” 

Freud added: “Repression is a preliminary stage of condemnation, something between flight and condemnation; it is a concept which could not have been formulated before the time of psychoanalytic studies.” Torture, which one American intelligence officer bragged was something America wrote the book on, is one way in which repression manifests itself. One could ask what solidifies the link between repression and torture. And the answer is brainwashing and conditioning. As one author wrote: “Brainwashing was ‘born’ in Pavlov’s dog labs in the early days of the Soviet Union, but it didn’t appear out of thin air.” The author added: “While Pavlov brought in scientific experimentation to intensify persuasion, brainwashing’s roots can be traced to traditional practices in torture and religious conversion.” 

Hence, the socialization of American society through the mainstream media in America is a form of torture and religious conversion with the aim of brainwashing and conditioning all and sundry. The author also wrote: “In addition to its origins in torture, brainwashing can trace its roots to traditions in religious conversion.” Conversions can be “sudden or gradual, grounded in belief or convenience, brought about by individual decisions or by acts of state.” In short: “Conversions are heterogeneous, and some conversions are in fact accompanied by varying amounts of coercion.” 

But in spite of all the aforementioned on repression and torture and their link to brainwashing and conditioning, the reason for why truth is universal despite the fact that everyone sees their own truth as the only truth is because of philosophy. For instance, the concept or notion of a wine-giving God – with wine serving as a symbol or as something figurative in universal poetic language for knowledge and older women – is shared between Western culture and Islamic culture. The wine of Dionysus, for instance, is the same wine as the wine of the Sufis. And as Nietzsche said: “The very fact that Dionysus is a philosopher, and that therefore Gods also philosophize, seems to me a novelty which is not unensnaring, and might perhaps arouse suspicion precisely amongst philosophers.”

Nietzsche is considered by some and including by Nietzsche himself to be the last “initiate” of the wine-giving Dionysus in the Western philosophical tradition. As a result, and as Foucault argued, the issue or question of repression and truth “is not error, illusion, alienated consciousness, or ideology; it is truth itself. Hence the importance of Nietzsche.” Moreover, Nietzsche becomes ever more important in a nihilistic day and age, for the truth or the “wine” of the initiate in the way of the wine-giving Dionysus and the wine of the Sufis is the only cure and remedy. As Rumi wrote in a poem titeld “A Wine Vat’s Lid”:

“I go to the one who can cure me and say, I have a hundred things wrong. Can you combine them into one?

I thought you were dead. I was, but then I caught your fragrance again

and came back to life.

Gently, his hand on my chest. Which tribe are you from? This tribe.

He begins to treat my illness. If I am angry and aggressive, he gives me wine. I quit fighting. I take off my clothes and lie down. I sing in the circle of singers. I roar and break cups, even big jars. 

Some people worship golden calves. I am the mangy calf that worships love. 

A healing presence has called me from the hole I hid in. My soul, if I am agile or stumbling, confused or in my true being, it is still you. 

Sometimes the sleek arrow. Other times, a worn leather thumbguard. 

You bring me where everything circles. And now as you put the lid back on the wine vat, pure quiet.”

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