The Double Dream of Spring
Marc Lazard, in "Cellular Memory and the Essence of Healing", wrote: "Something bad happened -- a threat to survival. Information regarding survival and possible threats to it is valuable. Therefore what happened is valuable and must be held on to. Hence: bad = good."
This association of memory with trauma is a fruitful one. It can be approached on many levels in addition to the Darwinian, and is pregnant with implications. One connection that comes to mind is to the key Kabbalistic concept of "Zim Zum," or primordial contraction; in order that the knowledge encoded in "Ayn Soph," the ocean of the nonexistent, should become generative, it was/is necessary for G-d to withdraw his/her/its superconsiousness out of "Everywhere" in order to create a "Somewhere." If this were not done, then it would be impossible for any separate world or beings to exist.
Thus the first act of creation is/was also an act of obfuscation, which is perceived, on the level of the human psyche, as a trauma. What allows us to exist as fully conscious beings is the flip side of the trauma that has cut us from the whole.
This process of contraction is at the heart of the mystery of what Jung called "individuation." Yet what contracts can just as easily expand, as naturally as an inhalation follows from an exhalation, and vice versa, to illuminate the paradoxical anatomy of a circle. Second by second and millennium by millennium, a great clock reveals the potentials of the Primordial Female/Male, whose dismembered body has been hidden in plain view.
I tend to distinguish between two very different types of memory.
The first, as Marc describes, is the type of memory that is natural to a biological entity with an "ego"; it is dependent upon the chemical mechanics of the brain, on the emotional field, and on all of the interacting systems of the body. In a sense, our memory creates us; we ARE what has happened to our brains, our emotions, and our bodies. And if our experiences have been traumatic, then that is no reason to let go of them; for, when all is said and done, they are ours. Who and where would we be without them?
It is no accident that the return of the supernatural can be perceived as a demonic or an apocalyptic threat.
Joy would be the more appropriate response. Yet if, courageously, we have faced our traumas, and have found methods for transforming the worst of our experiences into gifts, at a certain stage in the reintegration of our memory, we will, nonetheless, hit a wall.
This brings us to the second type of memory, which I will call "transpersonal" or "akashic" memory; this is the memory of space itself -- whether imagined as an omniscient emptiness or an omnidimensional web -- in which all past, present, and future forms and actions coexist. Space projects us from off-stage coordinates. Some records are projected front and center, just underneath the spotlight, while others have disappeared into the basement of the theatre.
Each forgotten prop illuminates some small part of our story -- the story of pure energy translated into form, of once godlike powers that were squandered on a dare, of the egg that fear made pregnant, of the darkness that was once our oceanic womb, of myth petrified into history.
Biology holds tight to the three-dimensional book. Space instructs us to let go. True memory begins on the other side of trauma. Quite curiously, however, it need not begin very far on the other side; the most heavily armored intellect can be shattered by the flood of the near-death experience, as space empowers us to see the whole of our life-story in a flash.
In altered states, when then flames of Kundalini have demolished the Kali Yuga, when the music made by the planets has once again become audible, I have sometimes peeked at the unclothed body of creation, at Akasha, my first beloved, She has a face, in this version of the story, but has inexplicably not brought along her guards. She is brighter than 10,000 suns; she is blacker than the magic that gave birth to the Bindu. Our intercourse is perpetual, each playing his/ her part, yet this is not enough to correct the disproportion between our powers. Always, a clock's hand has returned me to the Earth.
I remember what transpersonal memory is: how it smells to the newly dead; what it feels like when it penetrates the heart; and how it dances without moving on the tongue. Sadly, I do not have automatic access to it now. As I age, each year my biological memory becomes steadily more disobedient; suspecting, perhaps, that my loyalties lie elsewhere.
If our egos are the end result of some process of contraction -- a process perhaps stretching many thousands of years back -- it is possible that this process has an end point, which we can also choose to interpret as a goal.
"Telos" is the self-organizing genius of the circle. Telos draws us through the 28 turns of the labyrinth, where our feet always seem to be pointing straight ahead; as we move, without interruption, from one world to another. There are no gaps in our records. We have never heard of sleep! We will one day declare victory in our war against the future.
Telos is an obelisk that hovers above the menstrual blood of the Deluge. Will these bones live? No; our cultures are disposable. Some bent scraps of technology are left poking from the mud. What fuel did those giants use? The end has come -- periodically, yet on a schedule known only to the Assembly Beyond Space -- and it is Telos who must activate the metalinguistic vortex; thus gathering home the broken letters of all alphabets. It is true that sequential traumas have tied our life force into knots, but there are few things in nature that move in a straight line. There is no reason that cosmogenesis should be any simpler than biogenesis.
Memory is the mind killer; it assassinates even gods. Elasticized, our psyches are stretched between the little and the big, as we are shown how a city can be fit inside an atom--with enough room for a galaxy left over. There is no place that will not become transparent.
Illustration: Brian George, Uroboros 4, 2004.Tweet