Cosmogenesis; In a Small Boat, Drifting on the Ocean
Brian George, Spiral with eyes and living boat, 2003
This essay grew out of the Reality Sandwich forum for my essay "Habits of the Heart."
"And in this sense, I say, the world was before the Creation, and at an end before it had a beginning; and thus was I dead before I was alive, though my grave be England, my dying place was Paradise, and Eve miscarried of me before she conceived of Cain." --Thomas Browne, from "Religio Medici," 1643
In your comment entitled "Culture Cage", you wrote, "Crazy crossed wires frizzing miles and miles of toxic channels carved through your synapses through long fermentation. Language is black magic and the double edged sword. Please only take it out of the sheath to reflect light into the dark not to hack away at gifts placed around you. Mr. McKenna stated ‘culture is not your friend.' He wasn't wrong. Are you wearing clothes or are you the clothes?...Truths are only evident in the pit of the stomach or the center of the chest. Plant vegetables or create your thing and chuck away the television or magazine."
I do believe that we -- as the collective embodiment of the vision on which this country was founded -- have reached an impasse, but it is an impasse only in terms of our own level of understanding. All of my work is premised on the assumption that the universe coheres in a state of multidimensional perfection; it cannot be broken. This, of course, presents us with a paradox, since Time would appear to break all things. Without being "broken" the Primordial Male/Female Body cannot act or reproduce, and creation would remain a hermetically sealed dream.
You speak of a "double edge sword," and in this intuition you are correct: The energy of the trickster is never far from my thoughts, and a love of paradox is at the heart of my creative method. When faced with mutually impossible alternatives, the mind can jump to a different level of connection. Ends and beginnings are not necessarily different. When the "common wisdom" is a euphemism for oligarchic propaganda, and our habitual modes of interpretation do not really explain a thing, then perhaps we would do well to approach each fact or phenomenon as a koan. The Monk Mayo asked this question of the Sixth Patriarch: "What is Zen?" The Patriarch answered, "When your mind is not dwelling on the dualism of good and evil, what is your original face before you were born?" This would suggest that real knowledge cannot be reached by a process of addition; instead, it has to do with the removal of all irrelevant objects in the foreground.
Let us say that some ancient trauma has blocked access to the Macrocosm: our instinct is to run from the event, which, with each step that we take, gets closer. The wound that rips through the soul turns gangrenous. We tie it off, as with a metaphysical cord.
We have blocked all access to the glyphs on the horizon.
Now systemic, the infection prompts us to add new and improved objects in the foreground. We were asked to remove all impure elements from the wilderness. We did. We have become adept at creating our own reality, and yet, still, we wonder if there may be something wrong. From the background: thunder, as clouds of a peculiar sort roll in. They are luminous. The fallout settles on the city like an all too familiar presence.
To feel: may best be defined as the threat of an attack. To get even: would require a new geometric theorem, in addition to a big supply of zeros. The wealth that we have hidden in plain sight will almost certainly return to haunt us. Glass towers are built on the emptiness that is left when indigenous tribes -- with most but not all of their oral literature -- are erased. Yahweh is pleased, as is Calvin -- the stone god of psychopaths.
Yet there is no starting over. Fear has turned us into victims, and a near-death experience could not come soon enough. A sword, in the end, is intended to destroy, and thus to liberate the energy that has been trapped within a form, but it is up to us as to whether this will lead to discrimination. I envision a perfect sword strike, in which each head will be split open from the crown to the pineal gland, and that out of this will rise our perception-now direct-of the sphere whose center is as large as its circumference.
The transparency of the epileptic boat
You wrote, "Hyperspace is certainly not a shelter from the storm. Although we (seemingly) escape, we only set the stage for a return to the same situation. Perhaps different settings, time periods, characters, genders, etc. In my humble opinion, the lesson not learned is the lesson gladly returned. Although I do like the option of escaping for a cosmic nap and dealing with certain things later...."
My sense is that we are entering a period of transition in the relationship between dimensions, in which the interaction between the vertical and the horizontal axes will be redefined. No exchange will be fixed, and a shock wave will run upwards, through the "higher" worlds, as well as outwards, through the global body.
It is possible that there will be no non-participants in the revolution against History -- that the past and the future will be seen as our wayward children, as flawed but necessary aspects of a project that we undertook long ago. At the moment, I feel that I am being carried forward in a small boat on an ocean, with no real way to steer. No matter, since even the small boat must go; all transport must begin and end with the body, in its role as a primordial vehicle.
Collectively, we are approaching a near death state, and the knowledge for our own good hidden beyond death is beginning once again to speak. There is no time like the "present" to confront the projection of our fears. At a certain stage in our initiation, it may dawn on us that trauma is not other than a door to ecstasy -- a door that opens at the center of the sky -- or, conversely, that ecstasy may be the key that unlocks the hieroglyph of trauma.
"Non-attachment" is often seen as a meditative accomplishment, but it is naturally present, for a time at least, in the normal near death experience, as it may be also in the current transition between worlds. The freefall of the world economy may force us to make a virtue of necessity; we are picked up by the hair. Each ego must become a movable omphalos.
In "Soul-Sick Nation; An Astrologer's View of America," Jessica Murray wrote:
"The placement of America's Pluto infuses whatever it touches with a hybrid of control and desire. Since the country went off the gold standard, its symbols have become more and more estranged from their source meaning, but they are no less freighted with talismanic charge. It is easy to see how this would be the case, for Pluto governs the archetype of underground treasure; powerful secrets hidden within the psyche and raw mineral wealth hidden beneath the soil. Gold fever has been replaced in the history of America by oil fever, now ratcheted up to a fatal condition...
"A consummate example of this (distorted Plutonian) drive at work is the not-all-that Secret-Doctrine erected by several administrations'-worth of policymakers. This document outlines, quite specifically, a geopolitical and military action plan whereby an alliance of business and governmental elements would achieve control of the world's resources. Kind of exactly like the I-want-to-rule-the-world-Bwa-ha-ha-ha plotline that super villains are always hatching in comic books. One gets the same feeling from Donald Rumsfeld's pithy phrase ‘Full Spectrum Dominance.' It sounds like he dug it out of an old copy of Superman...
"We expect there to be a self-destructive subtext whenever Pluto is involved; we don't see it as incongruous. Sometimes this undercurrent results in creative self-destruction, whereby a person or a group entity experiences nothing less than rebirth in the area in question. Otherwise, the self-destruction is blind."
Black gold and Pluto's helmet of invisibility
In 1980, just before or after Reagan's victory, I had a kind of upside-down visionary experience, in which dread and horror were the dominant emotions. I was visiting my family in Worcester, at the house where I grew up, and was dozing off in my bedroom. This was a room in which I had many out-of-body experiences-at first involuntary, and, as time went on, more voluntary, if not completely under my control. I was used to strange things happening. In any case, I was just dozing off in my bedroom, when, all of a sudden, an incredible kind of a rip occurred -- as though the top layer of North America had separated from its under-layer, and I had been sucked through some jagged opening into the darkness underneath.
The experience was intoxicating, in a way, in that it involved a sense of vast expansion, as well as a kind of split-second initiation into a layer of secret knowledge. I saw darkness swirling in intricate and yet chaotic patterns -- like rivers of oil flowing into lakes of oil, a kind of world war of kaleidoscopic clouds, boiling beneath the surface of the Earth. It struck me that Earth's overlords all had knowledge of and access to these forces, which the greater part of humanity was quite content to ignore -- much as we choose not to think about the insides of our bodies, particularly our digestive systems. The dominant reality here was power: acts of naked power and the lust for ever more power and the incantation of key words of power and raw magical assertions of the will.
I felt that, with each act of power and magical assertion of the will, a piece was being ripped out of the Whole-which I saw as being a luminous sphere, or a fabric, or a body -- a Whole whose structure had been originally self-evident, but which was becoming more and more difficult to see or to imagine. What was seized by forces in one part of the Whole was taken from another, until only an underground sea of darkness, heaving with ill-gotten wealth, was left. As I said, the experience was a visionary one, but with none of the sense of liberation that usually comes with such experiences. I was traumatized, and barely able to function for several weeks. At first, I couldn't speak about or conceptualize the experience at all.
As important as it was, I have seldom written about the experience too directly-perhaps because the darkness did not have clear-cut edges, and because the information came at me in an overwhelming rush. It took me more than a year to begin to incorporate some of the insights gained into my work. In the three decades since, I have come to realize that this experience of the secret order of the underworld was not only -- or even primarily -- a metaphorical one. Instead, it was a preview of the political, cultural, and economic forces that would manifest -- like a death flash video -- in the events of the external world.
In her comment "I Hate America," Joan of Art wrote:
"I still clench my teeth every time some loud-mouthed American screams to me across the street, "It's not Halloween!" because costume is my form of social dissent. These cowboy fuckers see a gorgeous queen of a woman in her full sequined Egyptian attire and then think that an appropriate response is to scream rudely across the street to make her feel like crap. Am I to have compassion for their sheer idiocy and rudeness?
"I think the problem with a sample study of taking four well-meaning Americans and writing a book based on the American Dream is that most Americans are stupid as hell. I apologize for being so vulgar about this -- but freedom in this country has seemed to turn into the right to shut other people down. The internet has been launching demonic energy at me as a result of tagged words in my Election Art Battle, and I am having to fight multi-demented black magicians and demons right now to get them the fuck off of Earth.
"Please don't misread my passion for anger. I am immortally pissed. I am also strangely at peace in the battle of the multidimensional war of which I am now a part. I will not let them take me out. The fates of Sirius and Earth are interwoven. The veil between the dimensions has fully opened-at least from where I'm standing, grabbing demons and sending them back through the Halls of Amenti to the dimension from which they sprang."
"What a strange manner of being dead"
Hi Joan of Art,
When faced with a pod of rude recombinants from America, it is possible that gratitude is the only correct response. If the world cohered -- already, and without change -- in a state of unbroken fullness then we would not ever be tempted to depart from Hyperspace. No food would be delivered to the gods. They would look like skeletons. With no blood to refresh their beauty, their idealized proportions would be abstract, and few inter-species marriages would endure. Ambassadors would lose track of which language they were speaking. If some percentage of the public were not ignorant, then why would you need to have compassion for them? Already, they would be members of the elect. I can only hope that my other-dimensional teachers do not withhold their compassion until I am perfect. That would certainly be quite a wait!
In the mean time, the Underworld has need of us. The genius of the Great Year fades. Space appears flat -- not like the 10-dimensional labyrinth that it is -- and the World of Light sinks beyond the edge of the horizon.
"Sleepers also share in the work of the cosmos," said Heraclitus. It has taken me quite a while to begin to guess what he meant. Among other things, I think that he was saying that there is a purpose to unconsciousness. As when we breathe, the light goes in and out -- i.e., it cannot go in without also going out. If the stars did not revolve, and the genius of the Great Year was completely self-enclosed, then immortality and death would not be any different. There would be no variations on the 12 archetypal themes.
When I was a senior in high school, I discovered a poem by Cesar Vallejo that in part reads, "You people are dead, but what a strange manner of being dead. Anyone might say that you were not." "Aha," I thought, "my sentiments exactly!" Since then, my attitude towards human ignorance has changed, more on some days than others, but I still have immediate access to the emotions that I felt. And should I, by some lessening of testosterone, be somehow tempted forget my sense of adolescent outrage, updated access is guaranteed by such groups as the Tea Party, who spare no expense in providing me with fresh targets for my disgust.
For example: Wolf Blitzer, in a CNN debate, asks Ron Paul about a 30 year-old male who has "chosen" not to purchase health insurance. He goes into a coma, and requires six months of intensive care. Should society just let him die? Paul answers, "That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody..." The crowd then erupts in shouts of "Yeah! Yeah! Let him die!" This is not the response of a group of conscious beings. Even now, I could not help but feel: We are watching a live broadcast from one of the cities of the dead. They are no doubt starved for biomorphs, and are making every effort to increase their population.
The answer to any and all of life's dilemmas seems to be: to eliminate the tax burden placed on the top one percent of billionaires.
Over the past few years, I have been stunned and fascinated by this phenomenon of what would appear to be self-inflicted blindness. To me, the anti-gravitational flight of UFOs or the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza are far less mysterious than a phenomenon of this type. If we were talking about a DMT induced vision, then we might expect any and all descriptions of an object to diverge, but we are talking about the realm of shared three-dimensional space. I often feel, quite literally, that I am living inside of a dream. Not only do people not seem to see the gigantic object that is right in front of them, hidden -- by Plutonic as well as other archetypal forces -- plain sight, but the Powers That Be have not gone to any lengths to disguise it! As any child can see, in the middle of the room there is a creature that looks just like an elephant.
About 20 years ago, I heard a Russian folk tale has stuck with me, although I don't remember how the tale begins. At some point, however, a magical being offers to grant one wish to a peasant. The peasant can have anything he wants. The only catch is that his neighbor will be given twice as much of it. The peasant thinks and thinks, and then smiles as he says, "I would like you to blind me in one eye!" At the time, I regarded this as an exotic tale. Now, it seems like a description of our day to day psychology. Strange forces are at work.
A dark cloud has been hanging above the country since the detonation of the first atomic bomb. In the 66 years since Trinity, when a mushroom cracked the sky, the dark cloud that it left does not seem to have lightened much, and, if anything, hangs even closer to the ground. Let us posit that this breach birth of "free energy" beamed a signal to the other-dimensional guardians of our race, who, in turn, issued an ultimatum to us: That we keep our eyes wide open -- in order, at some point, to remember what we are. For the most part, this ultimatum has been systematically ignored. Why, then does the world look different, so that its beauty fills me with a sense of tragic joy?
Perhaps it is because, in my crude attempts to give birth to the Stone of the Philosophers, upon which I would ride, I am only just now able to intuit how the tension between opposites is in no way accidental. As Heraclitus said, "They do not apprehend how being in conflict it still agrees with itself; there is an opposing coherence, as in the tensions of the bow and lyre." It is just this tension that we must transmute into fuel.
For example: For a group to violently argue for positions that are 180 degrees opposed to its real interests -- this could reasonably be described as ignorant. Disaster follows. As night follows day, stupor follows from possession by an archetype. The helpless are punished, for they are bad, and their lack of wealth must be interpreted as a sign, just as billions more must be contributed -- or else! -- to the war chest of the psychopath. Outrage would be justified, but wonder is equally valid as a response. Now, when I find myself relapsing into judgment, I prefer to look at those parts of myself that I perceive as being "dead." It is a way to shake things up, a form of metaphysical Aikido, a means to break the chain by which cause leads automatically to effect. Put simply: it is a place to begin.
My hope is -- and perhaps this is a form of cowardice or a rationalization of my need for "personal space"-- that any change in consciousness may obey the law of "action at a distance," and that this change may be of use to those with the equipment to receive it. In chapter two of the Tao Te Ching we read, "Therefore the Master can act without doing anything and teach without saying a word." And also, in chapter 36, "Just as fish remain hidden in deep water, it is best to keep weapons out of sight."
This is not to say that I would be displeased to witness a new trend in armed confrontations on the barricades, in which squadrons of young heroes -- all handsome and/or beautiful, of course -- would dare to face down the massed forces of Genetically Engineered Corn, before setting fire to the headquarters of the WTO. As a precaution, it might also be advisable to drive a stake through the heart of the IMF -- on the off chance that there is someone who could find it. The decentralized autocracy does not provide us with clear focal points; there are few -- if any -- targets that it would be useful to destroy. At a G20 protest, if the anarchist in the black bandana is an undercover cop, and the rock thrown through the window can be used as the pretext for a crackdown, then how would it be possible to determine who has won? Soon, coming to a mall near you: designers will explore new concepts in guerilla marketing to promote their lines of Black Bloc street-fighting couture! I would probably tend to agree with the most radical of diagnoses, or even to propose that they do not go far enough, but any large scale surgery on the Body Politic I must trust to those with more ideological pep.
Let us imagine that we are intoxicated gods, now derelict, who passersby pause to laugh at on the street. We have lost all access to our supernatural weapons, as well as at least four of our eight limbs. Somehow, we have found ourselves at a 12-step recovery program, half awake. A court seems to have mandated our attendance -- for a period of not less than 5200 but not more than 26,000 years -- at a theatre workshop called "The Zodiac." The goal: to decipher the instructions that we had scribbled in the Ur-Text, and, by means of impenetrable stealth, to perfect the archaic art of bi-location.
I do realize: that my martial discipline of ritualized "acting without acting" must seem suspiciously like a total lack of action. It's not that I don't understand the urgent need for taking clear and forceful action in the cause of social justice, or for reimagining the key elements that breathe life into a commonwealth, but rather that it seems important to think small. To the power of the multinational corporation, the black magic of the Plutocracy, the each year more hypnotic morphogenetic field of the descendants of Tyrannosaurus Rex: I would dare to oppose the power of the Seed.
In a comment above, I had written, "It is possible that there will be no non-participants in the revolution against History." To which you responded, "You think? It seems to me that most Americans are happy to sit back and enjoy the show with a tub of popcorn. I look around and see zombie robots and then people with a light that shines around them. It becomes obvious who is ascending and who is not."
Well, I certainly did not intend to come off sounding like an optimist! Few have ever thought to accuse me of such a thing. Instead, I meant to suggest that we all will be swept up by the unfolding of the time-cycle, for better or for worse, as we have been by the collapse of the world economy -- "there will be no non-participants." This sentence should be read in the context of the one that follows: "At the moment, I feel that I am being carried forward in a small boat on an ocean, with no real way to steer." If we are, in fact, involved in some vast process of cosmogenesis, it is always possible that we do not need to know more than we do. As fetuses, our job is to be what and where we are.
In his comment titled, "The Walking Dead", Dave Hanson wrote:
Thanks, Brian. You describe well the end of the world. Margaret the therapist expresses the spirit of the times perfectly. Margaret says, "I just sort of accept the way the world is and then don't think about it a whole lot." She likes the notion of "a mature sense of autonomy." "No external demand should compel us to be answerable to the needs of others," etc. In other words, we can have a "good life" as alienated, terrified slaves to the machine of civilization. The Kogi, on the other hand (as one example of many) are responsible for the health of the world. They came down the mountain to tell us to grow up and begin caring for our planet. Throughout the indigenous world we find that our work, our intention, must be in part to sustain everything else. We must be compelled by that external demand.
You have accurately described a culture of domesticated animals using language and myth to fool themselves into thinking they will not be slaughtered. Words, words, words. Endless words. Unless we can reintegrate ourselves into the living, conscious, multidimensional web, we will annihilate ourselves and our planetary home. We either will, or we won't, and I'm betting on the latter.
When, 12,000 +/- years ago we decided on agriculture and religion, we sealed our fate. The end began. As it accelerates, what does one say? What does one suggest? As this bus careens off the cliff should we open the windows or leave them closed? Is it possible (this idea keeps cropping up in my head) that we should stop reading, writing and talking? Could we, in silence, be more agile travelers, more easily merge with our living brothers and sisters? Perhaps the only dialogue we should have is with our plant helpers and those beings who have been pushed aside and kept silent all these horrific generations. Let's try it!
You have correctly understood that this is less a piece of social criticism and more a diagnosis of our particular point in the time-cycle. Time -- whether or not it actually exists -- does appear to be accelerating. We can feel this physically, as around us we see the objects that the stagehands have rearranged. It is not surprising that these objects block our view. More surprising: that the stagehands that we see are not usually the same ones that have moved the objects. So: in the foreground we have objects, which we -- as "domesticated animals" or livestock herded to the slaughter -- must once more learn to read as signs, as we fill in all of the relevant missing pieces of the Ur-Text. Our eyes see what is in front of us; to see the rest, a different faculty is required.
You wrote, "When, 12,000 +/- years ago we decided on agriculture and religion, we sealed our fate. The end began. As it accelerates, what does one say? What does one suggest? As this bus careens off the cliff should we open the windows or leave them closed?" I would answer: That this is not the first time that the world has been destroyed. We should go off the cliff with the windows open.
As the man said when he jumped off of the 50th floor of a building, "So far, so good!"
There have, indeed, been many words spoken over the past 12,000 years, and even more words over the past 108,000 years, and even more words over the past 432,000,000 years -- more words all the time, the great majority of them useless. There are those few that are not. "Words, words, words. Endless words," you wrote. Let me add: words float like the wreckage of an inter-dimensional ship on the surface of black water. Gone: the greater part of the ship, its passengers, and its cargo.
You wrote, "Unless we can reintegrate ourselves into the living, conscious, multidimensional web, we will annihilate ourselves and our planetary home. We either will, or we won't, and I'm betting on the latter." As paradoxical as this might seem, to say that we must "reintegrate" ourselves is perhaps to repeat the very mistake that we criticize. Somehow, it is up to us to "fix" the large-scale movement of the cycle -- but perhaps our greed and our alienation and our near-suicidal arrogance are also parts of the process.
Laird Scranton, in "The Cosmological Origins of Myth and Symbol," writes, "Commensurate with the notion that each Word of the civilizing plan was meant to be reflective of a stage of creation, Ogotemmeli says that one consequence of the introduction of the First Word, like the initial act of perception in a massless wave, was that it resulted in a great deal of confusion and disorder among mankind."
Let us imagine: that we are standing on the curve of a curriculum as solid as the gradually changing surface of the Earth, and as fixed as the Earth's orbit around the sun, as fixed as that of the sun around its hyper-dimensional source. Let us imagine that all of the oceans of the Earth are just stage-sets in a tiny theatre -- a theatre that itself is turning through the oceans of galactic space, whose energetic currents lash the globe. So, is there anything in particular that we should do? I would say: that we must find a way to see and then to act from more than a single location.
It is possible that each step in the march of evolution -- which some, with equal justice, might view as the march of devolution -- has to do with the educational stages that unfold in the primordial egg. Laird Scranton writes, "For the Dogon, as in string or torsion theory, these vibrations occur inside a primordial egg. As we have mentioned, the vibrations, which are characterized by the Dogon as the seven rays of a star of increasing length, eventually grow long enough to pierce the egg. This act of piercing, which the Dogon consider to be both the eighth and culminating stage of a first egg and the initiating stage of a new egg, is defined as the conceptual point at which the finished Word is spoken. For both the Dogon and modern astrophysicists, these eggs in a series form the membranes that constitute the woven fabric of matter. Consequently, the process by which matter is formed is compared by the Dogon priests to the act of ‘weaving words.'"
We can certainly view words as just another type of object. If we do then they are just more clutter, which, at some point, we must clear away. Let us also imagine, however, that our words may still conceal some spark of genuine power: that they are tools of memory -- the quaint traces of a supernatural technology -- and that, even in our semi-conscious state, we can use them to transmit, to embody, and to reveal.
Somantics had advised me, "Language is black magic and the double edged sword. Please only take it out of the sheath to reflect light into the dark not to hack away at gifts placed around you." But, to my mind, this is simply a description of the two-fold movement of primordial energy, and of the particle/ wave ambiguity of the serpent-force itself. This is just what Kundalini does: At the beginning of each cycle, it can be sent forth-like a beam from the forehead -- to create; at the end, it frees energy from its projection into form. It is the potency that can generate either knowledge or illusion, that directs us in through the door of the strange labyrinth that is History, and then out again, bearing gifts.
You wrote, "Is it possible (this idea keeps cropping up in my head) that we should stop reading, writing and talking?" My thoughts, also, have often wandered in this direction. During the early 1990s, almost every day for several years, I felt overwhelmed by a flood of other-dimensional information, which proved no more difficult to access than my breathing. On the one hand, it almost felt like an assault, on the other, death appeared to be my friend, and it did not seem necessary that I should slow the process down. Space was transparent from one end to the other. The records of all time periods were now simultaneously present.
In a poem called "Opening of the Records" I had written "War will be declared on the improper use of trees. Books will have no pages. Telepaths will judge the haunted farms. Few of the many will not at first go mad."
During this period, I worked with a sociopath called Richard, who had confessed to me that, after being fired from his job as a software engineer, he had purchased a rifle with which to kill his former coworkers and friends. A few practical considerations had interfered with his plan. He also believed that Hitler had been too soft on the Jews -- an unexpected attitude, considering that he was Jewish. He was a sociopath, yes, with a very limited insight into people, but he did have an amazing eye for the carefully hidden weakness. Once, he had asked me, "If you have so much faith in what you call "Akashic Memory," then why do you have so many thousands of books in your house?" He had me there. As a husband and a father, I have learned to make due with a less absolute approach.
If the Akashic Memory and its bank tellers have any use for me at all, I doubt that it is as an example of perfection! I can barely remember what I said to my wife yesterday, or to pick up milk at the store.
If we are swept along by a process that is as perfect as if needs to be, then why should we add our words to the total of those spoken? Let us think of space as the preexistent sun -- as a sphere whose center is both local and non-local -- and of the last 12,000 years of civilization as the moon. In a "total eclipse," from our vantage point, the moon appears to be a foreground object that blocks access to illumination. A foreground ball of rock conjuncts a background ball of flame. How odd then that their sizes match up so exactly! My words point to the fact that the sun has not departed from its orbit.
Hi Gary (Lachman),
In "Ghosts of futures past," you wrote, "Tomorrow is yesterday, only a little more expensive. History is littered with the ruins of the future. We step over them every day."
Much thanks for your cryptic comment. It is a poem really, as slippery as a fish. In trying to get a sense of how your three-apparently simple-sentences fit together, I can empathize with those readers who find the density of my style to be a challenge.
Your comment -- let us call it a "cryptogram" -- poses questions that do not always or only have one answer. My imagination could take a statement like "History is littered with the ruins of the future" in quite a number of ways, and then pursue each of them in any number of directions, all of them productive. Whereas science moves to one falsifiable end, and, at each step, brings details into sharper and sharper focus, the cryptogram makes a method out of the madness of the wave/ particle duality of the serpent-force, and is content to keep the greater part of its meaning under wraps.
Curiously, it is this very difficulty that may put wings on our ankles. "The mind is a muscle," as they said in parochial school, which grows stronger by being pushed to its breaking point, and beyond. It is this very difficulty that may be of help in our efforts to break through and out of the eggshell of the psyche, there to access the web of non-local correspondences.
There is a kind of world weary humor in the statement "Tomorrow is yesterday, only a little more expensive." This might lead me to impart a certain fatalism, or even cynicism, to what follows. But the lines "History is littered with the ruins of the future. We step over them every day" could just as easily be read as a visionary statement, along the lines of "The Kingdom of Heaven is spread out all around you, but you see it not." Did you mean to imply that the future already exists, in and of itself, or did you mean that we were surrounded by the ruins of failed social engineering projects?
But no, wait a minute; it might be best if you don't answer that! Let me fight the temptation to jump to any premature conclusions. It is a clear day, with only a few dark clouds and tornadoes in the sky. The sun is out. A bolt of lightning will illuminate -- as needed -- the next lines in the Ur-Text. The dead actor will come to appreciate his strange role in the drama.
There are many worlds, and each corresponds to a particular mode of interpretation. Once resonating beyond time, and simultaneous, the worlds are flattened and projected into horizontal space. At an angle to the Earth, downward, through the circuits of the non-local vehicle of the body, we experience life, first, from the outside in and then later from the inside out. Signs do their best to inform us of what ancient city we are visiting.
See: over there is Ashur, with its ziggurats, with its faster-than-light discs, and beyond that is Los Alamos, with its logarithmic fungi, with its self-constructing buttresses of flame, and beyond that is New York, where the torch of a spiked statue is just visible above the sand, and beyond that is Mohenjo Daru, with its seed-bins and its forced austerity, where, a hair's breadth from the flood, they have dared to reinvent the wheel, and beyond that is CERN's eight-mile-wide particle accelerator, and beyond that is the Zero, the non-dimensional city that is also known as Ur, still collapsing on the edge of a black hole.
It is possible that we will have lost -- at some stop along the way-our eyes. The signs will speak loudly, but we may not hear, and, if we do, then we may still be too afraid to understand. It will be up to us to do something useful with the ruins. Among them, there are those still bursting with inhabitants, some few of which are as clear as glass.
Hi Don (Shake),
You wrote, "Although I have admitted to you that I have difficulty with some writings of yours -- indicating that they were over my head -- this one was on the edge of my capability to understand and enjoy. And after reading all of the comments above, which acknowledged and expanded upon my perceived understanding, broadening my enjoyment -- as if to say ‘Here you go Don, this will help you even more' -- I'm now somehow different -- improved -- from who I was before reading it. ‘The Devil is in the details.'"
As always, it is a pleasure to hear from you. Part of the difficulty with interpretation that you describe has to do with my background as a writer; I had written seven books of poetry before turning my attention to prose. Even when I start out by trying to be as direct as possible, as I did here, each piece I write tends to go through several dozen revisions, and, in the process, my tendency towards paradox tends to reconfigure all ideas.
I do not think in terms of either/ or oppositions. And lately, as I struggle to push beyond the whole concept of duality, I find that most social and political modes of discourse are inadequate to the moment.
Much mainstream economic theory since the 18th Century assumes that we are rational actors, who, in maximizing their individual gains will also do what is best for the body politic: I do not see this at all. The decentralized autocracy is adept at playing games, as well as at manufacturing the illusion of consent. The top one percent hold 42 percent of the wealth, and Joe Average is convinced that he will soon become a billionaire. If top experts build a chain of nuclear reactors on a fault-line, then there is no way that an accident could occur. Risk/ benefit analysis will direct us to one conclusion: That atomic fission is the best way to boil water. In the event of a catastrophic meltdown, there is, in fact, no downside for the well-prepared investor: The cost, of necessity, will be borne by six billion others. In the same mode: Oil is not a finite resource, and we can never have too many cars.
Logic tells us that these things are true. No leaps of imagination are required -- or, within a public realm defined by the five large media conglomerates-allowed. Indeed, such concepts must be classified as facts, since the alternatives are, quite literally, unthinkable. We are just getting started. We are young, and any alternate interpretations could throw a monkey wrench in our plans.
The 812 million cars now in the world are still far fewer than we would need to build a bridge to Pluto. Annually, more than 270 billion gallons of petroleum are burned. We have not yet located the reserves of off-planet oil. It is just a matter of time! Each year, also, great breakthroughs are being made in such earth-bound fields as agriculture. In the days before genetic engineering -- to which we will here refer as the Dark Ages -- seeds used to be left to reproduce by themselves. Now, they can be purchased at the beginning of each season from Monsanto. Let us say that a single seed is smart enough to fill up the entire world: Just how would this be a good thing? Our scientists would have no way to improve it, or to patent its explosive force.
The more we accumulate the less we have -- and, almost certainly, there is nothing left to give. Divide and conquer. A world of superconscious cellphones and of wage-slaves working 90 hours a week to buy products they cannot afford. Every Freedom Fighter for him/ herself. The Devil is in the details. So yes: Strange forces are at work -- or so the rational actor might conclude.
On the other hand, in many of the recent crop of conspiracy theories, the theorizers assume that powerful -- almost omniscient -- forces have worked in consort to subject the human race from a time before the pyramids were built: Such theories whet my imagination but do not satisfy my hunger. There is no point to escaping from the personal version of the shadow into an even more grandiose method of projection. Like the children of abusive parents, such theorizers tend to mythologize evil, which they do not see as sad. Taking comfort from the knot in their collective solar plexus, as from the locked door of a closet, they underestimate the breadth and depth of what a human being is, and, ever anxious to assign blame, mischaracterize the role of the alternate self in the scripting of events.
Contemptuous of death, we are the actors who have volunteered to be sacrificed to the God of Bi-location. Birth is an initiatory passage into a fuller knowledge of the figure eight. Let us imagine that, after 26,000 years of progress through each step of a curriculum, we are now, at the time that we should have learned our lesson, in a state of economic and political and environmental freefall. But what seems, from one angle, like a form of linear progress or decline, can, with greater accuracy perhaps, be viewed as a convoluted movement through a sphere. Parmenides, in a discourse called "The Real," describes this sphere as a presence of which it could be said, very simply, that: "It is."
In this discourse, Parmenides makes the somewhat outrageous claim that the part is exactly equal to -- and in no way lesser than -- the whole. He says, "Wherefore it is not permitted to what is to be infinite, for it is in need of nothing, while, if it were infinite, it would stand in need of everything." A paradoxical point, to say the least, which, if taken at face value, can prompt a kind of hallucinatory boomerang effect, a radical subversion of one's sense of scale. A bit later in the discourse, he continues, "Since, then, it has a furthest limit, it is complete on every side, like the mass of a sphere, equally poised from the center point in every direction; for it cannot be greater or smaller in one place than another. For there is nothing that could keep it from reaching out equally, nor can anything that is be more here and less there than what is, since it is all inviolable. For the point from which it is equal in every direction tends equally to the limits."
Parmenides, of course, presents us with a relatively static image of this sphere: it has some, but not all, of the attributes of a Hypersphere -- as though human beings were just statues, and not actors, as though the living and the dead were not each other's food.
I would argue that fresh data is the life's blood of the sphere. I would argue too: that if all energy is a form of encoded information, and vice versa, then we can view light either as a particle or a wave. On the one hand: we exist in a particular location, with all of the potential for stupidity that implies. On the other hand: we have an implant ---the pineal gland -- that allows us to change scale, and it is our job to restore the transparency of space. If not now, when? And if we don't, then who will?
Part of the process of coming to terms with the crisis that we face has to do with following where each contradiction leads: We must, at some point, find the means to reenter the clear consciousness that surrounds us.
Often, I imagine that the Zodiac is a theatre, at the center of which is our small, illuminated stage. The Assembly Beyond Space has memorized every action in the drama. Ideas are the paper stage-props that our future selves will remove. The actors will be too big to even fit inside of the theatre!
--New posts every 2-3 days on my blog Masks of OriginTweet