Friday, December 01, 2006

Another book I can cross off my list

From the description of Immanence & Transcendence in Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon: A Phenomenological Study, by Joakim Sigvardson:

The investigation studies Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon as a novel that comes to giveness in terms of three strata of manifestation: the arty, the rhizomatic, and the acosmic. Utilizing an affective turn implemented within the phenomenological movement by Michael Henry, the study proposes that alongside a rhizomatic mode of accessibility promoting transcendence, Mason & Dixon manifests a withholding of transcendence. The study investigates the manifestation of this ontological withholding by carrying out the phenomenological reduction established by Edmund Husserl, and by elucidating the phenomenon of immanence in the literary text by means of a theory of auto-affection rooted in - but not reducible to - such methodological reduction. The study proposes that the thematization of anomaly in Mason & Dixon may be unconstructed by means of phenomenological moves that uncover strata of phenomenalization that are not apparent on a thematic or merely playful level. These strata, with their promotion of immanence at the expense of transcendence, are found to be complexly affective in nature. The affectivity governing the withholding of transcendence in these strata is discovered to be instrumental in the work's critique of colonial modes of spatialization, of logocentric modes of transcendence, and of post-Nietzschean modes of affective mastery.

Based upon this description, I have decided to ontologically withhold my immanence from Mr. Sigvardson's fine opus, in that I have not yet phenomenologically investigated even the outer strata of Mr. Pynchon's transcendental objective correlative, namely the book about which Mr. Sigvardson's book is logocentrically concerned. So be it. There is little enough time to explore the rhizomatic giveness of existence let alone the acosmic craperia.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gnostically correct

...None of this totally deproblematizes the gnostic problematic inseparable from Pynchon's Weltanschauung, but it helps us to understand how a complex, self-conscious irony that constantly subverts its own deformations has all too easily conjured up for many readers a nihilistic miasma in which no norm beyond a generalized iconoclasm is discernible.
—Dwight Eddins, The Gnostic Pynchon

I mean no criticism of Mr. Eddins' criticism, but how gnostic is it to use "problematic" as a noun and "deproblematizes" as a verb in the same sentence? Just asking.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Primary process

Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon humanity to begin to disassemble its obsolete concept of reality so that a reality worthy of the name can take its place. To do this, two things are necessary: deconstruct the self, and deconstruct time and space.

To deconstruct the self, one must recenter the consciousness as the source of the universe by realizing that everything that tells us that our personal module of perception is insignificant is a kind of propaganda. We must turn a deaf ear to the voices inside and outside our head that propagate the ideology of self-objectification. In their place, we open a dialogue with the immanent godbeing and reinitiate our identity inside the puissant consummation of its unfolding self-wonderment.

And then to deconstruct spacetime as we know it, which is the analogical product of a processing plant called the nervous system, we dive beneath the smooth, silky surface of the continuum. Underneath, as we swim through the akash, the omnipresent medium of virtual space, we witness the chunky datafeed of the realtime stream. To become aware of this datafeed before it has hit the reality processor (similar to a food processor, except that it is mashing up chunks of time rather than vegetables), we are hoisted onto the back of the godbeing and thereby witness the primary process as an inexhaustible source of pure intelligence.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A blog in time

I submit this blog at close to the last minute in this most august month of the year so I can say I did not skip an entire month in my blogging career. Much could be said, but at this point I have little time to say it, even if that which could be said I could say. If you conclude that I am simply filling up empty space in order to make a point, I would respond that most of what is written does little else. In fact, if one had no point to make, it is unlikely that one would feel compelled to record that fact in writing. And while my point is very close to no point at all, it does fall on the side of having it spill out in words in any case. Sometimes this happens in the course of cosmic events.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Spiritual risk management

Wanting to buy shares in God, Inc. (having heard that it is the biggest corporation in the universe), I went to the Church and eagerly bought into their mutual fund. It seemed great at first; they took care of everything, and there were always lots of people to talk to about how great our portfolios were doing. But after ten years I realized I had only been getting a 1% return. Hey, the Church was doing great but I wasn't.

Then I heard about this guru/broker who was offering a much better deal, so I signed up with him. He only had a small group of clients but that was better because I got a lot of personal attention. He encouraged me to invest everything in The Self LLC because it was a small cap, supposedly faster growth than the lumbering God Inc. which the Church seemed to have an overly cozy relationship with. Everything seemed great but after another ten years, I added up what I had made and was a bit shocked to find I had only made 3% when after all under the guru's guidance I was expecting nothing less than to get rich.

So I began wondering how else I could get my piece of spiritual fortune. I decided to try to do it myself and jumped into speculation, directly buying futures on God using metaphysical leverage and got burned pretty badly when the market tanked in one of those "Dark Night of the Soul" depressions. I wasn't totally wiped out, but I was down to my irrefrangible religious assets (IRA).

Finally I realized I needed to be realistic about the downside of my investments in my spiritual life and decided to take a more conservative approach, looking for incremental regular gains rather than a windfall by betting the farm. I mitigated my speculative excesses by writing low-risk option spreads on the DIV index (a market basket of gods and saints of all religions) protected by stops whenever the index moved too close to my strikes. Thus whenever the heat gets too intense I jump out of the fray and cool my heels until the moment is opportune to trade again. The returns are steady, and they do add up.

You have to learn to manage the risk, because you sure can lose it all, but you're not going to really make it unless you take control of your own fund of spiritual happiness. It's possible to do it, and the Tao of it is—very carefully.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Space for a moment

Insofar is not a word
to be used in a poem
and yet insofar as this is a poem
it will be used.

Truth is spoken here,
let us be clear,
and in these few words
we’ll create a space for a moment
where the real can find a perch.

Feel it when it lands
how it speaks commandingly in your cells
and delivers its disarmingly
frank message.

It wants nothing more
than to be a significant other
while turning your body into molten love.

In so far a way as you may walk
you are near for what is here for you
for what is.
Ingest the truth, my friend.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Through the power vested in me, I the quintessential monad of consciousness energy, declare myself a free and independent State of Being. I claim all worlds, galaxies, and universes, all time and space, all created manifestation and uncreated potentiality, all possibilities imagined and unimaginable, as my rightful domain. The energies of all the archetypes, human and cosmic, I summon to drive the engine of my divine body. That which was and will be, and that which is and is not, is my birthright and shall be evoked through the universal mind that I inhabit and enfold. All things animal, vegetable, and mineral are now contained in me, and all conscious entities are expressions of my intelligence. The manifold unfoldment of my being continuously reveals the awe of my own existence.

Therefore let all elsewheres be summoned to become and take root here and now. The singularity is near. I have occupied the center and all will become known through the self-reflection of the power of indomitable Light. Let there be...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Why it is the end

When Jim Morrison announced in 1967, "This is the end," what did you think he meant?

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end of our elaborate plans
The end of ev'rything that stands
The end

Interpret this in terms of a journey of the soul across a dying waste land. "The end is where we start from" (T. S. Eliot). "Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain," Morrison says, "And all the children are insane." Philip K. Dick thought we were still living in Roman times, that "the Empire never ended": in other words, that "modern history" is an illusion and we are in reality stuck back in ancient times. We are living in a Matrix-like simulation of a world that never actually evolved from what we think of as being 2000 years in the past. That past is with us still. Imagine George Bush in a toga and with a Roman haircut. That's what's really happening.

So does Morrison's "end" mean the end of all that? Will we finally see a real beginning? One can only hope.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Floating subjects

Nothing is really self-evident (certainly not life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which are now specious values in the eyes of the American government); but if anything is, it would have to be the idea that there are more objects than subjects. Or so it would seem. After all, for every subject in the universe there are billions of objects. Because these objects present themselves so differently to each subject one could hardly prove they are the same objects; therefore one cannot count any one of them more than once. Outside their manifestation to a particular subject, they do not exist. So what we have are a universe of objects that number in the billions, times the number of possible subjects.

Except for one thing. There could be numberless subjects that have no objects. How did they come to be in the first place? Because those billions of objects needed subjects, and that crying need called them into being. But eventually these subjects grew tired of looking at objects all the time, counting them, cataloguing them, rescuing them, celebrating them, consuming them; doing, in sort, whatever was needed for and to these innumerable objects.

The end result? Billions and billions, uncountable multitudes of orphaned subjects: those insular beings that have drifted to the outer reaches of the cosmos, exiles from the court of matter, renunciates of the objective, floating in their bubbles of blessed solipsism, and eternally free of the compulsion to recognize anything outside of themselves.

How many of these lost subjects clot the vast spaces between the galactic superclusters? As dark matter and dark energy, undetectable by ordinary means, have been proved to constitute the great bulk of matter and energy in the universe, we can hypothesize that the epistemological principle that results in the generation of subjects and objects is essentially a correlate of the principle of creation of dark matter and dark energy, and that there is an infinite number of these lost subjects, whose numbers dwarf the population of objects, which when all is said and done, are after all dispersed rather sparsely throughout the visible universe.

Therefore, to all you lonely nowhere men, living in your nowhere land, I say Bon voyage! Send a postcard to us sometime, saying having a wonderful time, wishing you weren't here, and there's really nothing to see.

Dark Matter (actual photograph)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My interpretation

"She walks in beauty like the night"
Like the night walks. Walks right through our world. Inevitably. Invariably. Nothing is as certain as that the night will walk straight through your life. Tonight. Mysteriously. Sensuously. Like her.

"Of cloudless climes and starry skies"
When there are no clouds in the sky, you can see the stars better. I would like to fly through fields and fields of stars.

"And all that's best of dark and bright"
Her shadow that follows her, and follows you, the best of dark. If you're going to be dark, be dark like that. Lustrous. Poised, sensually, ripe and ready to drop. Oh, the shadow knows. She knows what she knows and you don't know what she knows. But you are ready to find out.

"Meet in her aspect and her eyes"
How she appears. The beauty of which you will drown in. You will forget to look for the being that sits on the throne behind her eyes. But she will remind you, penetrating you forever with her perfect gaze.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The self is the question

The Self is just one big question mark. I'm not talking about the elusive nature of the self that compels us to ask "What is the self (or Self)?" For the purposes of this discussion, by the way, I'm not going to differentiate between the big-S Self and the small-s self. Let's pretend there's just one Self. And I say, that Self is just one big question mark.

And who am I to say that? The Self. Ask yourself instead who are you to question me? The Self as well, you big question mark.

Okay, having established that, what is the question? Is it "to be or not to be"? Let's say that Hamlet wasn't actually talking about the advisability of living vis-a-vis dying, in other words wasn't a contemplation of suicide as that soliloquy is usually interpreted. Maybe he was talking about the the nature of the Self's question. Maybe that's why that soliloquy resonates so much, because of the absolute universality of its theme.

So the Self is asking, first and foremost, should It Be, or not? And upon the answer depends whether material creation itself will come into manifestation.

What was the answer? Maybe the answer is the universe itself. And if you believe there is no universe, just a maze of illusion and a lot of ghostly selves stumbling around in it, the thing that remains, without question, is the Question, eternally hanging.

If you don't answer it, who will?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The last word on the subject

I know some people say that sex and love are easily confused, that you may think that sex is love when actually it's just sex. But I say, if you say that sex is anything but love, you're not talking about sex. Because sex is love.

Don't talk nonsense and say that sex is not love. You might as well say that love is not love. Shakespeare said that. Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds. Sex is not sex that loves not when it sexes.

Sex is love. It is the body loving. It is anything loving. It is pleasure. And now know also that love is sex. Love is nothing but sex. But can't there be love without sex? you ask. Um, not really. You see, you must love with your whole being, which includes, as it happens, your body. Or else you have altered the love beyond recognition. I don't care who or what you're loving. It's a body thing, ultimately.

The next time you plan to use the word "love" in a sentence, at the last moment substitute "sex" instead. Know the truth of what you just said. Feel the implicit rightness of it. See how people react. They will be surprised. That is how you know when you have touched the real.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Somewhere along the line, I drowned in experience.

It had to do with why I'm here. Part of the deal: to dive, to penetrate the heart of the matter, to dream, to die. To become extinct. And then, felicitously, to awaken in odd moments, and perhaps for longer spells, and to move inside the presence of an eternal moment. It is a consummation to which one would wish to be devoted.

Now I ride the tractor beam of rock 'n' roll, an energy being directed from somewhere else to somewhere else. Pulling us back to a reality that existed long before this cracked mirror we call the world. Echoes, as Pink Floyd says:

And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the wheres or whys
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb toward the light

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Holographic worlds of if

One of the science-fiction magazines I used to read was called Worlds of If. How apropos a title. The word "if" heralds untold possibilities for alternate worlds. Consider it the jumping-off place for parallel universes, which, if certain physicists are to be believed, are constantly branching off from this reality. Conceived as such, reality is very open-ended and in fact continuously generating different versions of itself at any given moment.

Were we to follow any of these branches, we would likely soon get lost and never find our way back to our own reality. But there is much information about these parallel worlds we can glean from the facts that are in front of us, that makes it somewhat unnecessary to actually visit them. We can know alternate realities through holographic research into our own minds. That is, by the art of "delving," or looking into the mind concerning a certain point we are curious about, we will receive definitive information about that thing. This process takes advantage of the holographic structure of reality whereby all potential knowledge is embedded in the thing itself and the seeds of all things are embedded in our minds.

Once one has become adept at delving, one can then explore parallel universes at will. The multiverse is indeed an infinite library such as Borges wrote about.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Doing your thing

What is your thing? Painting? Listening to music? Talking to trees? Climbing mountains? I hope, whatever it is, it involves the senses. Because a thing is not truly done until the sense organs get involved. Just as organ pipes need air to make a sound, we need prana in order to fill up the senses. We breathe in the refined air of beauty and the energy of love flows.

Actually, what is the thing being done? In what is it a thing at all? And in the doing of it, what is happening but a verbing? A pure process. That's when the thing is enjoyable of course. For I do hope, whatever your thing, that it is enjoyable. I fear that there are too many people who are not happy just doing their thing. Maybe it's because of their being too busy being done by things. Pity upon them.

And let us now move to the doing of our sacred thing. And enjoying the doing by others of their holy thing.

Do it!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Marginalizing Pluto

You may not be aware there is a conspiracy afoot to strip Pluto of its planethood. For some time now, a certain reactionary contingent of astronomers has been agitating for demoting the ninth planet to the status of something like planetoid or extra-solar object. Bad enough to be the smallest member of the family (Pluto, if dropped on top of North America, would be a little short of covering the continent), but if they now attempt to marginalize this lord of the underworld...there'll be Hades to pay.

Now what? Schoolkids of the future being taught that there are eight planets? That's just wrong. Attention must be paid. Oh yes.

Pluto and its moon Charon

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A lapse in time

It has been commented upon and lamented by many that the mind's relentless processing of experience creates a stumbling block for full enjoyment and appreciation of life. It is as if a gigantic data stream were being fed into a computer in order to create a representation of the primary reality. That representation is primarily visual and verbal, and its parts can be disassembled and reconstructed in various ways to make experience portable through time.

The real problem with this processing is not that it happens, but that of necessity there is a time lapse between the individual's being-in-the-world and the manufacture of the representation. Even if we are only talking about a split second, that time lapse can be like an eternity, as if a chasm had interposed between the vibrant living body of Now from the abstracted, skeletal essence of the Past. The existential separation between these modalities of being is absolute.

To notice this gap is the beginning of gaining greater ease with the way things are in the psychological universe, rather than protesting the disharmony. Maybe it is still possible to get in rhythm with the time lapse, so that in that crack into which so much time has disappeared, so many lost long moments, some nectar of experience can be preserved. One's reach must exceed one's grasp, or what's a blog for?

Monday, March 27, 2006

If a tree falls

If a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody to hear it, does it make a sound?

Yes it does. Because for sure the tree is hearing it, whoever else may or may not be around.

Don't you believe that a tree can be that sensitive? Why, it is the most sensitive of life forms. Don't let that bark fool you. That's not keeping out the sensation. It's a skin of the most sensitive sort. And when the tree falls, that skin feels its death at the moment of passing. And experiences the sound waves from the ensuing crash. And feels joy and gratitude all the time.

What teachers are these trees we find around us? Cherish them, cherish them.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Becoming real

To know consciousness as real, and to know consciousness as being, dissolves the mistake of the intellect in which one is identified with and defined by the object of perception. The realization of being detaches the knower from the known and gives immediate perspective on the true nature of self. But that leads to the second mistake of the intellect: that consciousness is one and the same as being. That can be a very seductive and fatal illusion.

Consciousness becomes fulfilled in the light of being, and like the moon moves into fullness with the sun's light, but the moon does not become the sun. The fulfillment of consciousness is a great thing: so great that one might think one is absolute being. But just as the moon wanes, so the consciousness will inevitably recede from being until it returns to the zero point and the long dark night of the soul.

How terrible it is to lose being. But how less confusing if one knows it is only a phase. If, however, you think you now are eternal being when your consciousness has filled to the maximum, then it will be especially painful. Consciousness is forever becoming. Whatever it becomes does not last. So when it becomes being, it immediately starts becoming not-being. Its mutability is what makes human life beautiful. Beauty resides in the veil thrown over the light. Life needs both the light and the veil.

Do not think that being and consciousness are the same. You can know being and even become being, but you are not being. You will soon lose track of yourself. And then you will find yourself again. Endlessly mutable, your consciousness plays a game of hide-and-seek with itself that goes on forever. Rest in being so you can live to play another day. But the game never ends, at least not until the universe snuffs out, if it ever does.

Do not wish to be the sun. It is too fierce; it burns too hot and will melt your delicate wings. Then you will fall like Icarus. Better than becoming being is to become real.

It is in the cool of the evening when the moon rises full that you will know (to quote D. H. Lawrence):

That beauty is a thing beyond the grave,
That perfect, bright experience never falls
To nothingness, and time will dim the moon
Sooner than our full consummation here
In this odd life will tarnish or pass away.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How far out is out

I just read a New York Times article called Far Out Man, But Is It Quantum Physics? about the movie "What the Bleep", and more broadly about the many books out there that based on a bit of half-baked physics make rash and far-fetched conclusions about the nature of reality. The writer characterizes this tendency as "purporting to argue...that reality is just a mental construct that we can rearrange and improve, if we are enlightened or determined enough." In contrast, he offers real science, i.e., the atomism of Democritus, which if memory serves came down the pike a little before quantum physics, but never mind. The point is that real physicists never indulge in metaphysical speculation (Ken Wilber somehow filled a book full full of these speculations by Einstein, Schroedinger, Born, and others in Quantum Questions). Thank you, New York Times, for once again setting us straight. "I would have the courage to see the world clearly, in all its cruelty and beauty," says the writer: in other words, without the crutch of mysticism that makes us believe there is some free will in the universe and that our consciousness can affect such things as the way the atoms randomly crash into each other and thereby create our world and everything in it.

The mystery of subjectivity, then, is conveniently consigned to being an epiphenomenon of materiality. Consciousness itself is just a product of blind, random physical processes. We never seem to be able to get beyond that level of discussion in the popular media. Reality is blind chance: deal with it, says NYT. Thank you, scions of the real, for illuminating this truth for us, but I prefer my comforting illusion that consciousness is a player. Because if I believed everything you and Judy Miller said, there would actually be weapons of mass destruction and those quantum fluctuations going on in a place called Iraq would actually have a bleeping point.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The most universal number

Pick the most universal number:

You could say “0” because everything starts from the zero ground-state. You could say “1” because one is the fundamental unit of every other number (dividing or multiplying by one yields the same result; every integer is constituted of ones). You could say “2” because everything in the world is posited on dynamic opposition, the yin-yang of existence, without which nothing is.

But I think the most universal number is 3. Here is my reasoning.

Three is the base of all numbers (i.e. all multiples of three) that embody the principle of self-replication. Therefore it replicates itself into a universe and if it didn’t there would be no universe. So it’s the universal number.

Zero is not self-replicating. It ain’t even there. One does not replicate itself. One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so. Two does not replicate. Now there you might argue. But just because A and B get together and interact and cause C to emerge, whether C be an idea, an emotion, a new widget, or a human being, twoness is a state of division. It represents a transitional state. Three, which incorporates the fruit and materialization of the interaction, represents a new wholeness which rolls over easily into a new replication.

Note how the three-based rhythm creates a feeling of universal ongoingness. I am speaking of the waltz, as in 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the camera pans down the length of a huge space station while the Blue Danube plays gloriously on the soundtrack.

Noah's ark was a two-by-two affair. The ark of this universe is a three-by-three vehicle. All aboard!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fallen to earth

We are meteorites. That is, we are what is left when as meteors in our downward trajectory to this planet most of us burned up in the atmosphere. We're lucky to be here at all, but wasn't our moment of glory in the getting here, not the surviving? We burn brightly and light up the sky. Then it's over. Almost.

So what do we do with this big rock of ourselves that's left? Well, maybe we could dig into the core of it and see if there's any ore in there. There is a legend that meteorite ore is useful in the crafting of magical weapons. Perhaps we are supposed to fight some dragon. Is that what we're doing here?

You know, we really have no clue why we're here. But I am sure of one thing: there is a reason. I haven't figured out what my purpose is yet. But I know there is one. I just hope I find it before the last glow in the core of this meteorite finally fades into black.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Loving what is

According to chapter 2 of Douglass A. White’s Observer Physics, the word "believe" derives from the Indo-European root *LEUBH, which means to care, desire, love; with the intensifier prefix be. (This, by the way, is in the context of a discussion of four basic paradigms of belief: a priori, a postiori, empirical, and deliberate. Qubikuity is an example of the latter, in which an exploratory belief set is being articulated. Every blog post here is a piece of the puzzle, which is sometimes expressed more formally and other times more peripherally.)

Thus, to believe is to love being.

Of course, the idea of “belief” is much debased because today, most beliefs that are held, championed, and contest with each other for supremacy tend to be very low-order beliefs and have little integrity. A belief lacking integrity may be very persuasive to a believer but it fails to persuade non-believers because it is probably internally inconsistent, as well as inconsistent with general experience, scientific facts, or reason itself.

Why should we not resuscitate this oft-maligned term, the victim of shoddy usage? As we embrace the isness and while abandoning or rejecting beliefs that do not suit, let us adopt an attitude of belief whereby we love what is. Because we are worthy to recognize beauty and truth where we find it, and respond with our sensitive acceptance of that quality.

The results could be unbelievable.

Consciousness is quantum

Consciousness is quantum. Experience is fractal.

Consciousness may be expressed as shifts between integral dimensions (1,2,3,4,5,6…) Thus it lends itself to talking about in terms of states in the same way as we talk about states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, plasma. Consciousness has the property of resolving into a discrete categories of functioning and can take the identity of individual modules of consciousness (my consciousness, your consciousness, his consciousness, her conscoiusness). Individual means undivided: i.e., integral.

The fundamental property of “having” consciousness is that it one is alone in that self-contained field. The root of who we are is consciousness itself in its quantum state. However, when experiences begin to accrete to our identity, in the random and fractional quality of real numbers (3.14, 9.86, etc.), we adhere to the infinitely varied fractal patterns that occur in our individual lives. And the stories we tell about our lives often develop into infinite real number sequences: 3.14159265…, 9.86965056… and so on. These stories are not individual in the sense of integral consciousness states. Like fractals, their forms are extraordinarily complex and may seem random and chaotic on the surface. Chaos mathematics might restore some sense of underlying orderliness to the fabric of these stories, but essentially we are dealing with fractional dimensions when we enter the world of experience.

Nonfractal objects are things like lines, rectangles, cubes. We don’t experience life this way unless we abstract out these objects. The fractal object expresses life as we meet it: a constantly shifting, unpredictable, seemingly random territory inhabited by a multiplicity of selves (the components of psychological subjective reality).

When we ask who we are, we can only temporarily alight in the quantum. Quantum, nonfractal states do not appear to occur naturally. Those quantum integers are quickly grabbed by free-floating fractal functions and appropriated as coefficients to produce the infinite textures of our lives.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

...And the gods made love

The most important event possible at this point in time is that our galaxy is brushing up against another galaxy. Think of that. What a powerful, thrilling moment this is in the life of our cosmos. And it's just starting to happen, perhaps here in the last few years, astronomers think. And we're here to bear witness to this very rare and amazing commingling of the giant godbeing forms that are living intelligences of the macrocosm. Really, they define what it is to be alive, and here are two of them actually touching. On this level, when you so much as touch another godbeing, a cosmic orgasm immediately begins. This is the energy level that we have the privilege and pleasure and fulfillment of learning to transmit. There is some measure of courage required, like plunging into a still lake on a cold October morning. But the resultant tingle will be beyond our dreams. Bring it on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Letter from an ex-God

Hello. It's me again. You remember, your Almighty God who took early retirement awhile back. Call it a case of creative fatigue...when you create the Universe, after all, it can really make you tired! (That's a joke, as I didn't really create it, you know. God knows where it came from. No, strike that, he doesn't either.)

Anyway, I'm blogging to answer a few of your questions that arrived via a very determined young FedEx guy. It's touching to think that you remember me and highly encouraging that capitalism is still capable of free enterprise. So let's take the first question: Where am I? Okay, that's a very good question. The first thing you need to know that I am beyond the Universe. When I said I was hitting the road, I meant that I was leaving everything. How can I be beyond the Universe, you ask, when everywhere that is anywhere IS the Universe? The easiest way to explain this to you is to note first that this is a misconception: there are many universes (but I'm not in any of the others either). So what's left? Nowhere. That's it. I'm literally nowhere. If this answer doesn't satisfy, consider your own existence and your location in it. Where are you? (Don't give me a city, state, country, or planet—I'm talking about your absolute location, not with reference to any relative object.) Thus your location, whosoever you are, is 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0. (I give the eleven-dimensional vertex). That means that you, too, are nowhere. You just think you're somewhere. That's an illusion.

Okay, next question. Are you happy now even though you're not God anymore? Hmm. That was from a woman. Probably concerned about my emotional well-being. The answer is yes, but not even though, because. Think about it. You want to be Madonna? Michael Jackson? Or even Mick Jagger? I didn't think so. These people are as famous as I am, or was, and they've all had their challenges keeping their sanity with that degree of notoriety. To be honest, I'm happy hanging where I'm hanging and nobody can get to me, except, as it turns out, FedEx.

One more. Okay, I know some of you have been wondering this. Any chance I will come back? After all, the Who came back. Cream came back. Jesus came back...strike that, he didn't and for your information, he's not going to...The short answer is No. I'm not nostalgic for my divinity days. I'm cool without having to play that role. And you should be too. Be free! Be your own god!Be yourself! That's my inspirational message for today. Bye now!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


In his superb translation of Parmenides, Stanley Lombardo renders the first lines of the poem as follows:

The horses that take me to the ends of my mind
Were taking me now: the drivers had put me
on the road to the Goddess, the manifest Way
that leads the enlightened through every delusion.

The more literal Peter Kingsley in his wise and revelatory book Reality has it thus:
The mares that carry me as far as longing can reach rode on, once they had come and fetched me onto the legendary road of the divinity that carries the man who knows through the vast and dark unknown...

Lombardo admits that his is a radical translation. "Ends of my mind" instead of "longing" might seem a distortion of meaning. The Greek word usually translated as "longing" or "desire" is thumos. Lombardo explains that his version is meant to suggest "a unique inner experience, the encounter of one's mind with Being and the realization that they are the same." If translated as desire or longing, thumos would seem an activity of the lower mind rather than an insatiable drive for an ultimate encounter with the divine; it is essentially untranslatable.

I see this as a case where the literal translation is an essential gloss on the poetry. On thumos, Kingsley writes that it is "the energy of life itself. It's the raw presence in us that senses and feels; the massed power of our emotional being." So it is not merely desire in the materialist sense of wanting to possess or objectify. It is the fire of life that impels us to travel in consciousness.

It is easy to forget that it is the thumos in us that is running things. If it wants us to ride the wild horses to the end of the galaxy and plunge ourselves into the fiery heart of God, we will do so or die trying. And that is a good thing. The varied veils of human life are relentlessly being peeled away as we struggle, as a species, to climb out of our cradle endlessly rocking, and try so awkwardly to walk. Thumos will not let us sleep forever. It throws off the veil, takes us out of the mind, and takes us to the halls of the inner divinities whose have been waiting, silently, since time began for us to recognize them, so they may whisper to us one true thing at last.

It is time to study Parmenides and Empedocles and the other pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, because they represent the lost wellsprings of the Western tradition. Logic, analysis, and science proceeded from them. Yet what they were about had nothing to do with what we made of their gift. We have yet to plumb the true meaning of Parmenides' statement: "for to think and to be are one and the same."

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Sudoku moment

Sudoku is like a viral that obsesses people without their ever really knowing why. I think it is trying to create some new pathways for the mind. Sudoku is ideally to be solved through pattern recognition rather than through what-if experimentation. The mind is seeking to find more efficient ways to negotiate the modern data overload, and that is the true explanation for this phenomenon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bluejay exegesis

The Beatles' song Blue Jay Way (written by George Harrison) starts out describing a "fog upon L.A." in which the singer's friends have gotten lost. "We'll be over soon they said / Now they've lost their way instead." The hypnotic refrain "Please don't be long," repeated over and over, seems to be making a simple point: the singer wants to see his friends and hopes they arrive soon, "or I may be asleep."

However, there is more (much more) to it than this (naturally). Because there is an alternate meaning embedded in the chorus: "Please don't belong." What could this mean? That we, who are the friends George is actually addressing, should not "belong" to the mass consciousness, but break out and join him and his comrades who are sitting in the rarefied regions above the fog. George mentions that probably we asked directions from a policeman on the street: "There's so many there to meet." No, we will not find our way to Blue Jay Way by asking the officer how to get there. We have to follow George's directions, which he says he gave us: "I told them where to go." (Could he be referring to his song Within You Without You on "Sgt. Pepper," in which he talked of realizing how one was really very small in the whole flow of life inside and outside of oneself?)

There's also the possibility that the line means don't be long in the sense of length. Perhaps seeking extension of our lives, our egos, our identities, is counterproductive. Perhaps the longer we stay out stumbling through the fog, the longer we extend our quest and our self-definition, the farther we get from that consummation. And it increases the sense of longing in our lives. George says he will soon be asleep. That was in 1967. Now he really is asleep. And are we any closer to Blue Jay Way? In fact, aren't we a lot farther away then we were?

Still, from the clouds, comes the ghostly refrain: "Please don't be long." We won't, George, we promise. We'll go sit down and get really small, about the size of an atom, then crawl through into one of those higher dimensions which the physicists say are curled up very, very tiny inside our oversized reality.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Free to be fried

With all the talk of freedom justifying any and all wars and depredations against perceived enemies of the state both outside our borders and inside as well (the latter case encompassing just about everybody these days), it is perhaps redundant as well as obvious to point out that freedom is not just a good idea, it's the law. One is now "forced to be free" (an idea Jean Jacques Rousseau thought was desirable, and which helped spawn the French Revolution). The Iraqis know what this feels like, and Americans are learning.

But leaving aside the political ramifications of the term for a moment, let us consider freedom as the law of the universe, whether one feels oneself free from relative entanglements in one's personal life or not. When he made us, God blew a bunch of bubbles and let them float off and each of us live inside one of them. We wave and signal to each other as we float through our days. Sometimes we have the illusion that we are actually communicating with each other. Then we float onwards and upwards. That is true freedom. Not a very enticing prospect: rather lonely and desperate. And yet, that is the condition of human existence. Lest this sound tiresomely existentialist, mustily redolent of yellowing paperbacks by Camus and Beckett, be assured that I have no intention of invoking the French (though I had to quote Rousseau in the last paragraph—seems that even when you try to get away from the French, you end up repeating their ideas—as when they renamed French fries "freedom fries.")

Those who are fried as we ensure their freedom may take consolation in their new status as the most appetizing of crispy critters in the eye of God.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Anti-entropic timeflow

Although time may generally move in the direction of greater entropy, as the second law of thermodynamics dictates, surely there is the possibility of antientropic eddies within that flow, in which a system will exhibit a growth in energy, coherence, and orderliness. Living systems seem to have this characteristic, and even after they have ceased to grow in the ordinary sense, they can be seen to be "growing" in terms of regenerating themselves as long as they are alive. This is because living systems are never closed; they are constantly exchanging energy with other entities in the environment, so they don't run down like a clock that someone has wound up and then put away in a drawer.

Therefore, if it is possible to pedal uphill against entropy, even if only in the short term, and if one can take a breath of fresh air and enjoy a moment of clarity even in the awareness that the doomed universe is headed for final extinction and heat death in billions of years, then it is clear that the landscape of time is marked by many, many mountains, valleys, crevasses, and other irregularities. And since time is relative to the observer, as we know from Einstein's special theory of relativity, there are inherently multitudinous points of view about how fast and in which direction time is moving. For you, it may be going south. For me it may be moving north by northwest and I don't know a hawk from a handsaw.

In which case I might just be crazy enough to stay alive awhile longer.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The inner frog

I find Rennie Davis's use of the term entity very useful and find it cognate with John Lentz's use of the term godbeing. In both cases we're talking about a divine presence that has objective reality. It is not merely a voice in the head. In fact it might never say anything at all. It is an implacable essence, not part of human nature, but something more akin to a mineral bed—or perhaps an animal. We think of the native people's totem animals and how they buffer one from the terrors of the Absolute. It is a bit like that with the entity/godbeing. It is not like one's inner self or higher self, but more like one's inner dog or hawk or fox (or in my case, inner frog).

When I have something to say

There is something in the back of my mind that says I should blog. If I go a day or a week without blogging, that voice reprimands me, as if I have some sort of social responsibility to keep the blogwords coming. But that is obviously silly if I have nothing to say.

Then there is the idea that if I say something, anything at all, it is better than nothing, because then I have kept the "creative current" flowing. That is also a fallacy. If the creative current is not there, no mere exercise of the typing fingers will conjure it up.

I'll blog when I have something to say, ok? Or, to be more precise, when there is something to say.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Primal blog

This is the primal blog of the year, meaning not that it is like the blogging equivalent of a primal scream; that would involve using a lot of uncool capital letters. No, I mean primal in the sense of first. This is the first 2006 post of the qubikuity blog, and as such it is setting a tone for the rest of the year. Thus its primal quality can simply be characterized as an initial imprinting for what will follow.

If this is true, and this post contains the rest of the year in seed form, and as an archetype it is a pattern which will be recapitulated each and every time I blog qubikuitously in 2006, then in a sense you have already received the complete transmission, in its pure state, that is trying to be conveyed here. You've got it. When you return to read the next installment, the same viral will simply be reimplanted.

I am listening to Karen Matheson singing "The Dreaming Sea":

'Til I feel as though I'll never sleep again
When I close my eyes I feel the whole world spin
'Til I don't know where you end, where I begin

Don't say anything. Set aside your objections. Know this as the truth. How does it feel, how does it feel, to be engulfed in the dreaming sea, but now dreaming with open eyes? Then you could really say, I don't know where you end and I begin. And mean it.

So may this truth be a truth that lives in you this year, and in me. And then we'll see where we're at, and where we've been, at year's end, at world's end.