By Brian George
On the immanence of the "future world"
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.
(Illustration: Mario Sironi)