Sunday, December 27, 2009

Avatar eyes

The word avatar has come into very loose use, to say the least, since gamers have appropriated it to refer to a virtual incarnation within a reality construct. No longer is it merely the domain of Hindu deities to take a body to play in the earthly dimension, but in the Age of Immanence all of us earth dwellers can follow suit, suiting ourselves in magical skin to fly through other worlds. Now, James Cameron in his ground-breaking movie Avatar, has delivered a complete visual and sensory experience of this shape-shifting phenomenon to millions of filmgoers (especially in 3D of course).

Although the movie can be faulted for a lack of conceptual originality and perhaps trite characterization, it seems petty to quibble about what it is not in the light of what it accomplishes in communicating about the impending evolutionary change that impacts us. The race of Na'vi are profoundly connected to the life and consciousness of the planet and like many indigenous tribes on Earth come up somewhat short when having to defend themselves against death-dealing high-tech civilizations (although they find hidden resources in this case). In this story, a soldier of no particular distinction gets the chance to inhabit an avataric body and to live among the Na'vi and learn their ways. In his human life he is paralyzed from the waist down; in his Na'vi body he can run through giant trees, leap into space swinging on vines, ride on flying dragons, and do many things, in short, we would all like to be able to do, including win the love of a beautiful Na'vi princess.

What separates this from the plethora of wish-fulfillment superhero adolescent fantasies that we have been overexposed to in the movies the last few decades? Two things at least: the participatory feel of the transformation into a new body that makes us want to thoroughly embrace it ourselves, and the sense of merging into a communal and planetary consciousness that is fundamentally different from the narcissistic superhero model.

The last shot of the film is the newly opened eyes of the hero who has been completely reborn in his Na'vi body. As the Na'vi say when they meet each other, "I see you." May we all start seeing each other, for real, in our new birth.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The three talismans

I am embarking on a journey. As I walk along the road, I become aware that someone is walking alongside me. He has something to give me for my journey: an amulet to wear around my neck, inside of which are three tiny talismans. He tells me that each of these will offer its own kind of help for me when I need it.

I open my bag and find a magnifying glass, a pen, and a smooth stone.

The glass will help me see details. The pen to take notes. And the stone to help me think.

And as I continue my quest, another level of help that these talismans provide will kick in. The Glass will intensify the witnessing power of my consciousness. As much as I will be looking through it as I observe an object, I will also be seeing the observer. The nature of my observational subjectivity will become clear as I realize the nature of the self that experiences. The Pen will allow me to write the truth of any subject, including things that I do not know in my conscious mind, through the act of writing itself. All I need do is sit down and let the words flow to my intention. And the Stone will have the power of transforming anything in to the best that it can possibly be, through its very touch. A glass of cheap wine becomes the noblest vintage.

My quest--what is it? Is the ultimate meta-investigation: to find out what my quest is. These talismans will be the help I need to learn my hidden purpose.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cease, Augustus

The month of peace has nearly passed. Beneath the Colosseum, the lions wait impatiently to be let loose on the virtuous folk whose tender souls make their flesh similarly tender. The blue skies above, in this unseasonably mild Iowa summer of our content, veil a gathering storm. This unsettling truth we may acknowledge grudgingly, aware as we are that we have had ample warning signs of catastrophic change for years. It behooves us to breathe deeply in this waning August air, sensing and noting a vibratory quality therein, like an olfactory warning that the unexpected has arrived and is merely waiting a short time longer for an opportune moment to announce itself.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Really virtual

Time and space, according to Einstein's general theory of relativity, which was his gravity field theory, are curved in the presence of mass. In Newtonian mechanics, they were invariable absolutes. They became somewhat less concrete as they were subjected to the vagaries of the observer subjectivity in special relativity theory and then subsumed as aspects of an overarching geometry in general relativity. Finally, with the advent of quantum mechanics, time and space became full-fledged virtual entities. Really virtual, not just virtually real.

In considering the word "virtual," we remember that it means as if in fact, not in fact. There is a jump implicit there. When we jump to the conclusion that something possesses some quantum of virtual reality of something, affirming its probabilistic exsistence, that quantum jump is itself a reality-making factor wherein the "stuff" of consciousness takes on the mantle of creativity.

Any creator uses the "as if" principle constantly. In fact, one cannot write, act, paint, or do anything unless one pushes forward with the action as if one can actually do it. There are so many times that I sit down to write, not knowing what I am going to write but having a pretty good idea that I will be able to figure out something to say in a manner that does justice to the impulse that caused me to sit down at the computer to begin with. And then something almost always does emerge from that probabilistic virtual "as if" state. Then the thing lives its virtual life, becoming real momentarily to whoever reads it, and is immediately transformed into the stuff of their consciousness, perhaps in greatly morphed form.

No matter. If it lives at all in any form, the purpose was fulfilled and the light has been passed. For while we live on this planet, we must keep on passing the light back and forth to each other in order to be able to hold the torrent of information quanta that is pouring down upon us from the multiuniverse at an ever-increasing rate. The virtue of virtuality will be seen as consciousness jumps up a quantum frequency to accommodate this cosmic river.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

In the dark

I sit here in the dark, lights having been extinguished by the thunderstorm. I seem to have no candles in the house. Only the light of my laptop, running on battery, helps me fend off the night. If the lights never came on again, what would I write, right now in this moment, to publish on the web, my final message in a bottle to the universe? How about this...

Mutability and fate decree
That I can no longer see
In the dark equality
All is silent and lonely
Enter darkness without fear
Laugh no laughter, shed no tear
That which is written here
Very soon shall disapp

Friday, May 29, 2009

Librarian's blog

As I have not been at pains to conceal, my official title is "Galactic Librarian, Orion Sector." The Orion Arm of the Milky Way is considered by some a bit of a backwater, not a real arm at all but more of a "spur." Without getting into a controversy about nomenclature, let me just observe that the location of the Orion Arm with respect to the center of the galaxy and the other arms more than makes up for its diminutive size. It is neither too close to the crowded center, with its monstrous black hole and bevies of star clusters, nor a straggler on the very edge of things, rubbing shoulders with the impossibly vast intergalactic night. Rather it is in a comfortably middling location that is convenient even if one should be hunting for cosmic crustacea in the Crab Nebula (over at the end of the Perseus Arm) or whisking around the hotspots in the Sag (Sagittarius Arm, that is). The Orion Arm, in fact, has a bit of a reputation as a scholarly mecca and repository of information about galactic cultures past, present, and future. Some rather nebulous accounts have given larger libraries precedence, such as the Behemothra in the Centaurus Arm, but one must look beyond mere size, I think, to the quality of the intelligence that is housed within these repositories and also the quality of the minds that constitute the scholarly environment around them. If all that is taken into account, the Orion Arm is second to none.

In my present capacity as Researcher Second Class on assignment to the Sol system, I have garnered many physical manifestations of the local bibliophlora and bibliophauna, in the form of books. The acquisition of these books has actually been proceeding in a more orderly fashion than the actual reading, digesting, and interpreting of them. I shall attempt to correct that with a new blog which I am establishing. It will serve to provide interim reports on significant writings that I encounter, for it is not my opinion alone that this planet is extraordinarily rich in this kind of resources. One might almost nickname this world Orbis Biblios, so that will be the name of my blog.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time windows

Why, when we regard time in the form of past, present, and future, do we assume that the views that we possess of those entities have an inherent reality? We look at event streams through these windows of time, as we would view information on a computer through the windows in a graphical user interface. In that case, we know that the format through which we are viewing the information is not the information itself: it is contingent, it is customizable, and its appearance derives from presentation logic in the operating system rather from qualities inherent in the information itself. But in the case of time, we think that these time windows give us knowledge of time itself.

What is time? It is not the event streams themselves, which of necessity exist within an underlying context. If we are to answer the question, it is that abstract mathematical underlying reality that we must seek to understand. Past, present, and future are relative views that flash before our eyes as the train passes features in the landscape. If we were to know the country of time, we would have to recognize the unity of the landscape as the underlying reality and its specific features as dependent as much on our consciousness and our perspective as on the objective event structures which are enshrined in our perceptions.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The prisoner's dilemma

To give you an idea how crazy people's attitudes around this death thing are, let's say you were sentenced to a very long time in prison. What if the day you had to walk in the place they told you, "You'll be confined to a narrow cell and will lose your freedom. But that's not the worst part!" And you say, "What could be worse than that?" And they say, "Someday you'll have to leave! You won't be able to stay here anymore."..."Um, okay, well, I guess I will just have to deal with that when the time comes."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I seem therefore

I seem therefore I am, the dreamer said. I was not until I was, and then I saw there was I, an I, amidst the seeming. So I became real, and all else too, until I saw what I thought was real was not, but merely seemed to be. Then I knew I was dreaming.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ever where

drink deep
a draught of dreaming

delve the divine
dive even into death

in the dark

-- Citrus Shine On