Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Part 21

By Brian George

Where should the snake locate meaning in the dream of the objective world? We can study the growth of plants, the silent honor code of the chromosome, the formation of crystals. We can plot the movements of the Earth's tectonic plates. We can say that gravity is a field capable of action at a distance, or that an object will move at a continuous velocity—unless it is acted upon by an external force.

There are different laws for different classes. Each class can be regarded as an object. Different lenses create different appearances.

We can say that in a closed system energy is conserved—when heat is taken into account. It is true also that entropy rules. We can note that water burping down a bathtub drain moves in the same spiral motion as the galaxy. Belief tells us that an abstract singularity preceded the Big Bang. Others believe that there was life before the egg, that a hand made the macrocosmos.

It is possible to build a world from correspondences. We can posit that trees are a solidified slow-motion form of lightning. As above, so below—their life force follows the same fractal branching. We can say that, for the most part, evolution creates forms that are more and more complex. Through objective austerities light learns to curve. Time is what is measured by a clock. Einstein's brain is perhaps an improvement over that of a protozoon. There are anomalies, of course. It is certainly odd that Mozart's brain is smaller than that of the Paleolithic shaman.

Meanings point everywhere. The self is an experiential object. A bird opens the intestines of the philosopher with a key. An atomic energy commission charges, having come to monitor the breech birth of free energy. The other world institutes a chain reaction. A philosopher is first and foremost a human being—an unconscious object waiting to be born, a subject caught in the net of interdependent origination. He should not lead with his mind where his body cannot follow.

Forgetfulness brings the body of the world / snake into focus. I know this from my own experience, for, at the age of 18, I saw the world destroyed. To this day, I still hold myself responsible.

My crime was this: I discovered that no object was inanimate. No, for our own safety, we just pretended that they were. Each object was inherently unstable. It could overheat, like the rods in a nuclear reactor, and, if one stared at its light for more than a few seconds, it could easily melt down. Winds would rip away the cardboard of appearances, to leave only an epileptic sea.

Before birth, we had passed beneath the stern gaze of Necessity, which caused us to forget the extent of what we knew. So too, as our energy expands, we must choose to forget that we only have two eyes. If, suddenly, we were able to see from all of 360 degrees, it might be difficult to act out our own part in the story, since we would not be sure whose face was looking back from the mirror. There are worlds inside of worlds.

All of them look real. Each is real, in its way, yet only to the extent that we have limited our focus, and then chosen to agree upon a single set of laws.

Conscious and unconscious methods must collaborate to create a Unified Field Theory.

Some say that the world snake is for use, others that he keeps the philosopher for a pet, and still others that the figure 8 is the most beautiful of conundrums. “A hidden connection is stronger than an apparent one,” as Heraclitus said. The more an object changes the more it becomes more fully what it is. Human consciousness is perhaps the irreducible element. It is the shadow cast by an untranslated symbol, the dream left over, the philosopher's stone hatched from the fires of the althanor.

(Illustration: Rene Magritte, The Liberator))

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Section 20

 By Brian George

In “Working Notes,” Merleau-Ponty writes, “Meaning is invisible, but the invisible is not contradictory of the visible: the visible itself has an invisible framework, and the in-visible is the secret counterpart of the visible.”

There is a disconnect between the software and the hardware of the human consciousness project. The creative will has withdrawn to a dimension of its own, as have the earliest races. We cannot motivate the inanimate god to dance.

It would be hard to understand a Beethoven symphony by taking apart the radio through which it had been broadcast. The music has no one meaning; they are many. Communication follows on the self's attunement. Love helps also—to a degree.

As detached observers we have inadvertently become members of a cargo cult. Ceremonies of innocence ensue. Dreams explode with promises of apocalyptic contact. Drums imitate the oceanic movement of the symphony, which the seer, at the end of a three-day, torture-induced trance, once heard in a transcription for kazoo.

Like the eye of god, a great propeller turns at the center of the airplane altar. Oil burns in the tin-can lamps that adorn the blackened fuselage.

In the cockpit—or rather the few jagged shards that are left—the eight arms of the pilot are left to decompose where they fell. Row upon row, other canned goods have split open. Flies buzz to celebrate the superabundant wealth.

In awe, and with decontaminated hands, we lay out the components of the radio on the beach. There is no climax. A wave of melancholy washes the high spirits from the cult. Contact with the alien relic brings no illumination.

(Illustration: Alberto Savinio)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros; Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Section 19

By Brian George

Where in the objective universe would we look for human meaning? What exactly would it look like? Would we know it if we found it, and if so, how? The Human Consciousness Project finds only correspondences.

Let us think of the objective universe as a stage—where arc lamps throw enormous shadows. The subject, and the things that he writes, are small. Thus, in the beginning, is the word, before glyphs are cast into disconnected sentences. In turn, these serve to coagulate the ocean. Some glyphs are bent and mutilated by the format of thee tornado, which spits them out. Others stick like bones out of the black mud of the flood-plain. Again, Earth’s axis tilts, removing every megaplex that is larger than a seed.

Each actor comes equipped with a mobile alexandrine library, which, to some, looks much like DNA. It is stocked with overdetermined symbols, whose implications it is up to him to intuit, as he learns to see without eyes.

Homer dreams of the discovery of Troy by Hienrich Schlieman. A mere 2600 years later, in his top hat, Schlieman starts to dig. Death comes to Aeschylus in the form of a falling turtle—that an eagle attempts to crack open on his head. There are no books inside. The Dark Ages do not begin in 476 AD. The birth of literacy, says Plato, is the beginning of the end.

With his left foot Dante salutes the rising sun of the Renaissance. Guttenberg’s type allows millions to partake in the wonders of Leviticus. All bad seeds are discarded, with the words that gave them life. Marx pronounces an anathema against the onion domes of St. Petersburg. Icons burn. Mother Courage collaborates on a script with the Warlords of Atlantis. Symbols call Saturn to request a new sacrificial act, since the blood from two world wars is not enough. Predestination bobs like a buoy on the gulf.

Before committing suicide by jumping in the Atlantic Ocean, the poet Hart Crane—heir to the Life Saver fortune—stops to meticulously fold his raincoat over a deck chair. Fate simultaneously conceals the archetypal story it reveals. Details articulate only one half of the pattern. A pregnant emptiness is waiting to exist.

(Illustration: Rene Magritte)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Section 17

By Brian George

Please repeat: that there are no black helicopters, and that therefore there is not one hovering above us. The projected head is hollow but aware; our subjectivity is real. Its configuration files have been hidden in plain view. Access codes protect us from each other, from viral incorporation, from sex crazed hackers, and from interference by the muse of objectivity—who, though beautiful, can be violent.

There is no rest for the search engine. The unquiet dead play games with the subject/ object interface. It appears that our operating system is not a friend to Jesus. Logos flash through the sky of the Sinkiang Autonomous Region. Tectonic plates throb and ring. The unconscious has set up a black market to trade music with the world. Should the one world vanish—good, it is most certainly for the best. There are many more where that came from.

Dreams run through fiber-optic cables. Each of the six and one half billion—and still climbing—lives on Earth can now be mined for data by the NSA, and then simultaneously tested for adherence to the mean. A doppelganger posts one's childhood traumas on the internet. One's interpretation of a Rorschach blot has disturbed the CIA. If the Human Consciousness Project did not give birth to the world then its enemies would not have so great an interest in it.

“Character is fate,” said Heraclitus. It is YOU that the inanimate desires.

The hungry uroboros mistakes its body for a donut. Oral history resurrects a tale. If no end can be found external to the phenomenon that we sense, perhaps the end lies in the phenomenon itself. Its meaning is not linear, but circular. The turning self is the World Snake, who does not recognize the shadow he projects. Perhaps the goal of the Human Consciousness Project is in some way—very simply—to increase the flow of consciousness.

A Promethean technocracy floats upon black waters, which are pregnant. Self-knowledge takes a bath. Its spell broken, and now acting from a distance, Lethe liberates the superconscious acorn. The self’s meaning is revealed through the act of its showing forth. Its end is embedded at the depths of its beginning. It is certainly possible that the self, as a separate entity, does not exist, and yet, too occult for words, it is nonetheless the cause of which one’s lives are the effect. Roots reach from the labyrinth of the stars. Lightning deconstructs each city on the tree.

By their fruits you will know each blackened branch.

A primal fact—consciousness is here. No other place exists. “The silent earth is my witness,” I say, as with my fingertips I touch the revolving god.

(Illustration: Rene Magritte, Double)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Section 15 and 16

By Brian George

There is a Sufi story about a figure called Nasruddin. Nasruddin is a “fool,” but this trait is ambiguous. He is sometimes an ecstatic fool, crazed with wisdom, the confidant of the beloved, and at other times a regular fool, and is just as often some combination of the two. The actions of this brain dead genius are absurd—but absurd in such a way as to provoke us to a leap of association. The story goes as follows:

One day, as a friend walks up, Nasruddin is examining the ground beneath a lamp outside his house. His friend asks what he is doing. Nasruddin replies that he is looking for his keys, and that, without them, he will not be able to get into his house. One by one, his neighbors come to help out with the search. After several hours, his friend asks, “Tell me, Hoja, are you sure that you lost your keys in this particular spot?”

“No,” Nasruddin answers, “Don’t be absurd! If they were here, then we would certainly have discovered them by now. I lost them in the weeds outside the marketplace.” His friend says, “But then why are we looking here if you lost them in the weeds outside the marketplace? As though nothing could be more obvious, Nasruddin says, “Because the light is so much better here—right underneath this lamp!”

In our attempt to locate the key to the subject/ object dichotomy, did the subject of the experiment prove himself a fool? Did the lamp of philosophy lead him to look for the right object in the wrong location? The face of the philosopher is dark. We see only eight out of 16 primal chromosomes, then 23 out of 46, and then 64 out of 128. Of the hypersphere, we see a cusp. We know where we prefer to look, and yet our house keys have thrown themselves into the weeds outside the marketplace. A world snake guards the appearance of the face that existed before birth.

(Illustration: Rene Magritte, The Empire of Light)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Section 14

By Brian George

If human meaning is the shadow of a shadow, how far back must we go to discover the source of illumination? A moon has obscured the superconscious sun.

Is knowledge of the world a matter of addition or subtraction? If the world is a subject, should the self then be regarded as on object? The self obeys the tutelary genius that has covered up its eyes. Existence is a phenomenon whose essence has already—and long since!—passed from view. Presence articulates its plan through absence, as a cargo cult sets fire to the few remaining books, and whole continents and their peoples are removed. Nature’s death suggests that there may be something wrong.

In fact, the error is a basic one—far older than the universe itself—and would seem to be implanted in our DNA. It is as follows: that the one is a number. The correct view is as follows: that the number one is not actually a number. It does not grow bigger when it is added to itself. So too, it can never become smaller. How strange that the simplest thing is also the most complex! Thus, as with the one, we cannot observe too directly the configuration of the self.

At the end of the world, there is never more than one consciousness left standing. There is no hook in the sky upon which to hang one’s hat. A Promethean technocracy floats on the pregnant waters of illusion. Signs camouflage the perfect guardians of the Zodiac. Though they know all, they are empty. Of the meaning of a life we can only say: “It was.”

(Illustration: Rene Magritte)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Sections 12 and 13

By Brian George

The Gnostic teacher Valentinus wrote, “What liberates is the knowledge of what we were; of what ego and self are; of whereto we evolve; of wherefrom we are thrown; of what birth is, and how it differs from rebirth.” (Translation by the author.)

Gnostics believed that matter was the consequence of “hyle”—error, an ancient flaw in the structure of creation. Consciousness preexisted the soul's descent into space. Gods were not different from monsters. Time was a snake, or vice versa; its knowledge, although encyclopedic, fell upon deaf ears. The Earth was an abomination. Sophia was violated by an army of perverse hypnotic fields.

Hallucinations made species. 12 birds forgot that amnesia was in charge, and, without thanks, continued to hatch eggs. From each shell stepped an Aeon, still wet behind the ears. So drunk were we that, in the mirror, we could not recognize our own radioactive faces, and these perfect beings seemed, at first, more terrible than the gods. Dead seas haunted languages. Blood erected—as from a catalog of bones—the totalitarian tower.

The omnipotent played games—for no good reason, or just because they could. Prosthetic hands were transplanted. Ego was the each day more ignorant shadow of the self. The body was a corpse—a kind of afterbirth.  A dream of history turned philosophers to stone. Self-consciousness was the fly in the ointment of the Archons, or planetary lords—a metaphysical black hole that led to the circumference.

(Illustration: Alberto Savinio)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Section 11

By Brian George

“The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels and God, and at liberty when of Devils and Hell, is because he was a true poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it.”—William Blake

The young Plato had ambitions as a dramatist. He would wrestle Sophocles. Upon becoming a philosopher—to atone for past delusions or to celebrate his exit from the cave—he burnt all but a few fragments from this period. Reason would revolutionize the music of the spheres, which, in their superabundance, had become too democratic. It was no fun to experience perfection if one had to share it with 10,000 others. A philosopher, when he took flight through the geometric playground of the gods, would do well to keep his joy hermetically sealed. Lest some beam put thoughts into the heads of the Hoi Polloi.

Fumes had driven mad the oracle at Delphi; her symbols were ambiguous, and thus offered something for everyone, words that each could interpret in his or her own way. Pindar was little better than a drunk. He believed that time flowed backward from the present to the past—that antediluvian shadows fed the gods, as well as the heroes, whose DNA had been scrambled. Homer was an early practitioner of Hitler's “Big Lie” theory. Each city in Greece corresponded to a city on a different planet. The sea was described as “red,” not blue, because the human body was not yet smaller than the Earth. The reader will note that I too am a poet. Therefore I cannot be trusted—as is demonstrated by the lies above.

Imagination did damage to the integrity of the Republic. A subject should obey, for such is the radioactive splendor of the object. Ignorant daydreamers should not impinge on the prerogatives of the philosopher-king. Knowledge intoxicated—yes, but it should not be assumed that intoxication was any guarantee of knowledge. To the mature Plato poetry was suspect—a dangerous force; it could even be seen as an instrument of the counterrevolution. Time now moved forward, as it must. A poet’s image, all too easily, became real, tempting slaves to think that they were still living in the Age of Gold.

Once as transparent as the Platonic Year was long, space must now move into differentiation, with each component rigorously in its place.

The Golden Age had long since disappeared. Gone too were the Ages of Silver and of Bronze. Telepathy had once made books irrelevant. No artificial lights were needed. Now, most human bodies were less bright than the sun. Tough love was a necessity, and, for the care and feeding of the higher worlds, a few adjustments must be made.

The new model was a simple one, of breathtaking practicality: All kings should be philosophers, since all philosophers could be trusted to agree upon the truth, and then to tell it.

At the heart of the cosmos, the philosopher found a paradox: The world was one, but only one world was real. So too, it was not that poetry, in and of itself, was bad, but rather that the Muse might lead poets to a world whose laws were somehow different than Plato’s. For the good of all, such deviance must be punished.

A new day had dawned for the inhabitants of the cave. Time now moved forward, and only forward, as it must. The whole of History had been pointed like an arrow.

Greece would expunge the ancestral pathologies that had billowed like a fog from Central Asia, with its derelict webs and domes. It would not prove easy, however, for the philosopher to do away with the avian apparatus of myth. Reason without love would not be able to take off. Skeletal wings would not be able to grow feathers.

It was always possible, of course, that the problem was not one of free association, as such, however much such irrational leaps might seem the flapping of a hungry ghost. No, instead, the problem could be attributed to the use of poetry by others. One poet, Plato, would be allowed to speak for the Many, who lacked virtue. They were slaves, and would soon be plowed beneath the field in which they worked. Transpersonal discourse would renew the body politic. As Stalin said, “All problems are caused by people. Remove the person, the problem disappears.” A conscious symbol could infiltrate the counterrevolution. In the same way that a concept can be a truth that distorts reality, so too a metaphor can be a lie that tells the truth.

But perhaps meaning is not abstract, after all, and the meaning beloved by the poet is only one obscure alternative out of many. If the meaning meant is only the foremost among equals, one's experience of the beloved must turn upon proximity.

Transfixed by her eyes, which are oceanic, the poet petitions to enter the beloved, within whose body every secret is contained. Sophia is up for grabs, like the garment that conceals her, but the arrogant demiurge finds no body underneath. Plato did; thus it is likely that the philosopher was productively mistaken. “The Symposium” is a kind of new and improved poem. He did what artists do, as vision drove him to ignore his own self-serving propaganda.

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.” Ideal and shadow secretly collaborate. A daimon lends its supernatural weapons to the ego. No one knows from what indeterminate depth the first star has erupted.

Perhaps preexistent ideas do not create but only help to direct the reality behind appearances. They are actors, also, no better and no worse than their human counterparts. Dead voices carry. Archetypes give form to downwardly mobile dreams—such as that of time’s one-way arrow, or of the living dodecahedron, or of the radioactive city in a seed. A mask creates the cosmos. It is possible that the Human Consciousness Project can best be understood by you—whatever your impediments—as you follow the twists and turns of the even now devolving story.

The abstract adherents of the ideal have had their day. Reason has triumphed, in a fashion, but not so that humans are more objective in their views. The gods and their advocates have sent investigators below.

(Illustration: Rene Magritte)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Sections 9 and 10

By Brian George
In a video exploration of the point that preceded the Big Bang, Stephen Hawking says, “Knowing how the universe works is not enough to tell us why it exists.”

However encyclopedic the attempt, no elaboration of the how can ever break the code that separates us from the why. There is a firewall between the why and the how. It guards the encryption against human hands. Humans need not confront the convoluted strangeness of their origins.

It is possible that another—and more important—boundary exists inside and not outside of consciousness. We do not know what we know. As we do not know what we are we cannot remember how much we have lost. Subject becomes an object that separates the observer from himself—a black moon that eclipses the act of primordial self-reflection. Ego tunes out the instructions broadcast from the self.

Speech now lacks the energy to create. Breath provides the blood with oxygen; it does not project the apparent order of appearances. Objects cannot be taken home from dreams. The symbol's other half has retreated into to a world before our own. Myths can safely be disregarded.

In his contemplative poem “The Four Quartets,” T.S. Eliot warns us that: “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.”

Consciousness does not exist in space but only in relation to it—at a tangent, so to speak. It has no scale.

Are we specks of dust floating on the depths of an indescribably vast cosmos? Humility is needed, yes. It is true that we should not overestimate our importance in the larger scheme of things. This does not resolve, however, the conundrum posed by consciousness, which is not a speck of dust, or smaller (necessarily) than the cosmos. Despite the appeal of this superstitious metaphor—at which our future selves may laugh!—I would argue that consciousness is not subject to the authority of space. As a non-spatial field, perhaps consciousness does not need to go anywhere.

It is not consciousness but rather its vehicles that evolve.

As a non-spatial field, it cannot contradict itself, and there is no question whose answer has not been hidden in plain view. Each thing that we take to be a conundrum is a sign.

Is consciousness a part of the objective world, or is the objective world a part of consciousness?

Begin before. Shut off the senses that hallucinate a dream history for the ego. Retract evolution. An indeterminate flame coagulates the self. Consciousness is the primary fact. Our attempts to explain its origins are secondary. “They are little more than a distraction,” say the birds, but others do not believe this to be so. Hypothesis: space interdependently arises from the breath. A test of the new/old paradigm creates experiences—whose first act is to dismember us, thus taking us by surprise. Beyond birth, and beyond the math that coordinates our industrial-scale sacrifice, the joy that breaks us open is a kind of occult proof.

In “The Temple in Man,” R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz tells a story about Pythagoras in Egypt, where the philosopher had asked the priests to expound on their traditions.

“As life follows death,” he was told, “the existent follows from the nonexistent.” He was asked to prepare himself by fasting in solitude for 40 days. At the end of that time—if all went well—his body might be transparent enough to permit some small amount of instruction. Objective consciousness would recreate the senses. Other eyes would open. Ears would ring with the music of the spheres. Space would grow intimate. 

The ghost in the machine is amazed to discover that his hands can again move objects. The satellite dish no longer revolves without him. Thoughts get bodies. Memory sprouts branches through the unconscious flux of the cosmos. Desire is the seed. A one-pointed idea can give birth to the Big Bang. Present mass and energy have no bearing on the matter. Void consciousness precedes its object.

(Illustration: Pierre Roy)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Sections 5-8

By Brian George

Does the very lack of consciousness in one place make possible its existence in another? A subject evolves by transforming other subjects into objects—reversing and yet extending the pattern long ago set forth.

In Kabbalah, cosmogenesis occurs through the act of “Zim Zum”—or primordial contraction.

Omnipotence withdraws itself to create an opening for the unexpected. Playing dead, the light of Ain Soph Aur rolls over. Presence becomes absence. Absence gives birth to an indeterminate presence. Free consciousness populates the other side of space.

If nature were a grand unified conspiracy of meaning—an order absolute in its perfection, to which all intelligent men felt obligated to pay tribute—it is possible that certain subjects might experience this consensus as a prison.

Each species would have one (and only one) function to perform. A bar code would be stamped on every ego. Intuition would result in death. Fascistic beauty would be indistinguishable from the ugly. Love would be frozen by the great eye of revolving video surveillance.

Perhaps the very lack of a fixed meaning is what allows us to create an individual relationship to meaning.

Destroy the objective world self; it is a bad hologram projected by pornographers. Kill the Buddha if you meet him on the road. Prove nothing. Do not explain. Meaning begins with and refers back to the experience of meaning.

“How does Music Mean?” is the title of a book by Aaron Copeland, son of immigrants from Lithuania, by way of Russia, who wrote soundtracks for the Wild West, after several years of more radical experiment in France. The New York garment industry was not a friend to Schoenberg.

As an avant-garde high school student I was happy to discover this book. It was important to have a set of instructions. Common sense could resolve the conflict between subjective and objective meanings. As it turned out, I had underestimated the strength of the monster of objective detachment.

When I was 17 I had a horrifying experience of the power of the observing eye— the eye of the Gorgon—of its propensity to divide, of its desire to declare war on the living. I had just finished reading Sartre's book on Baudelaire, in which Sartre said that Baudelaire found a void where the self should be. Looking down he saw no person—only nothing. Perhaps this was true of me as well.

I looked and looked. Over the next few days I observed that an alchemical transformation was taking place inside of me. The process was a perverted one—leading to a kind of breach birth, as through the helixes of my DNA had been unzipped. My self split in two. One part hovered in the air about a foot above the other.

Looking down I saw no person, only nothing. My body was a corpse, a movable feast to which no guests could be invited. There was no self for the other to see. My consciousness could not be proven to exist. There was an emotion—“horror vacui”—but no one to experience it.

By day, the hands of every clock seemed frozen. The Earth continued in its catatonic orbit. The sun set—or so the shadow of the once existent would inform me. Food was a deactivated magnet. Sex did not point north. I could not sleep. The Dioscuri sat staring into space. One self had already disappeared. In a few days the remnants of the other self would follow.

(Illustration: Phillip Guston)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life Returns to the Uroboros/ Space Does Not Go Anywhere/ Section 4

By Brian George

Nagel makes a great deal out of the idea of absurdity—as something created by the disjunction of objective and subjective modes of perception. Is this sense of the absurd not more of an emotional than a philosophical issue? Perhaps Nagel is rationalizing his innate emotional response to the world with an elaborate conceptual apparatus.

Let us imagine that we are grains of sand, and that chance has stuck us to a beach-ball, which revolves. We do what the law of gravity directs. If in motion, we tend to stay in motion, unless acted on by some external force. We see what is put in front of us—or as much of it as our mostly unconscious program does not censor. We are small, and for some strange reason see our smallness as unnatural. We want to be much bigger than we are.

If chance has placed us in that one spot, and no other, then why would we be bothered to do more than fill our niche? We would have no interest in the mystery of scale.

Again, let us imagine that we are grains of sand, and that chance has stuck us to a beach-ball, which revolves. Two alien children are playing catch with the Earth, whose orbit stretches, threatening to break. A throw goes wide, and the Earth is swept off on the currents of an inconceivable sea. Habits are subverted. The marriage—once happy—of the vertical to the horizontal is over. Space is big. We are very small, or so it would appear. Is there any objective reason that this disproportion should bother us? The macrocosmos watches.

Is life absurd, and would death make any difference? Intellect is a doctor without hands. Ego is a shaman without power. Imagination is a fish without a boat.

If we had not already been where we were going, then how could we ever tell if we had we had reached our destination? If, in fact, we were as stupid as we think, then we would have no urge to interrogate each law, or to test the world against our memory of its archetype. A would lead to B, and we would eat and fight and reproduce, without caring that our consciousness was once as vast as space.

If we had not forgotten how to breathe without our lungs, then our bodies would not dare to disappoint us. Our breath would fuel the lamps of an interdimensional city.

Let us suppose that intellect, ego, and imagination are colored areas on the surface of a turning torus—a kind of donut—whose circumference turns through its center, and whose center then turns into the circumference. The motion of these areas is continuous; their separate locations on the surface do not appear to change, anymore than we must leave home for the Earth to orbit around the sun. At all times, we are standing on the outside of a hypersphere, looking in, as well as on the inside looking out.

Is it possible that our consciousness is neither here nor there, that up is down, and that the inner and the outer worlds continuously change places? Is the one self many? To whom should the inhabitants of the torus turn—if they desire to deconstruct the movement of the 10-dimensional kaleidoscope?

We come and go over inconceivable spans. One of our days is 432,000 years long. As beings, our mode of movement is the convoluted curve, thus our sense of movement is—and must be—circular. It is not—and cannot be—linear. It cannot be imposed by fiat from without. It must start where all projected systems end.

(Illustration: Pierre Roy, Cafe de la Marine)