Friday, June 23, 2017

Anticipatory Gestures

Overall the project of the class is to create an institution. Part of the institution is its material life, and the form of this, for the class, I want to be a manual.

A long time ago, I had thought my dissertation was going to become a work showing how to take two ways of thinking about probabilities and imagined consequences, the Monty Hall problem and Pascal's Wager, and fully integrating their logics under a particular kind of concept: the parafinite. Religion, for me, became a matter of opening doors into universes and worlds I had no idea existed and yet were the TRUTH, but in order to arrive in this particular way of feeling and/or being TRUTH, you had to get there through assent/consent and following consistently and insistently the actual, historical and/or in-the-past-existing of your particular way's way. To say it smoother, you become who you are by following whatever random course got you where you are now, without understanding any of it until it's nearly too late. And, even then, when you made what you think was the right choice, you still have to see out the consequences until the end. That means you will come back and forth on what you think was right until you get it. And then you're past that and already into the new indecisions, the new doubts.

This is what I had seen, in so many places, because it was the story of my own life and the story of so many other people, whom I notice because my cipher chose this. If my cipher had not made that decision, but instead made some other decisions, in some worlds I am already king of Mars and in others I am just an outline of chance possibilities. I cannot control what my cipher chooses, but I have started to understand and notice that we can choose our ciphers.

And each of them really do make changes in what you can see, what you experience, who you become, who chooses you.

My particular way of understanding who and what I am is damaged and malfunctional, if I go by what the other people's diagnostic manuals say about people who believe they are storybook characters living in between the white or stained silence on the other side in between each ink's dark mark over there. You will see me walk around and talk with people and sit there and maybe even talk with you, but when you aren't around, I'm no longer on your page, and I am down here on the other side of things. And, that's the really odd thing about it.

It does not make any difference how my particular insanity makes things feel when you and I talk about it together, because somehow there's something else going on that I can't explain. But I know that when there's only me and everything else we cannot jointly see, there is a darkness out there filled with life and noise and chaos, but none of this in the shared spaces I alone share among my selves, but instead something further outside this world, a vastness of possibilities and perspectives, dreams and fears and joys and rockfelt boredom, all about this universe we share together, an endlessness of universes containing one another and all of them together as one and none.

I find that when I can get to that point, hazy and unclear and lacking in any descriptive rigor as you'd like me to give, my mind snaps back —I am not ready yet for that final vision— and gives me a clarity about this world I am in. The lines get crisper. The emotions get sharper. The tuning fork calibrates and I hear the rhythm and muse of the pulse.

I am trying to say that I think this is, at least for me, my secret. That I have somehow started along the process of unworking my own soul in order to heal it, and it had a lot to do with seeing that there are no differences among the universes when it comes to TRUTH, so long as we keep ourselves confined to thinking about things as yes/no. But once we adopt perspective and leave off judgment, the monads all collapse unto one another. Cosmological deixis is a shift from one's perspective into One's perspective.

So what ends up happening is that you just keep opening doors. Each door you go through is the door.

Bassler, for whatever reason in his own life, chose the Matrix mythology as a marker for the contemporary time. I think, in its own way, I've been doing the same thing in my own classes with orienting my presentations around cultural touchstones, or islands, or just places (and, hopefully, how to get there). There are a number of ways that the Matrix myth shows and refers to doors. The pill changes you on the inside, to facilitate your passing through the mirror, but in order to move about within the side you're on, even move about vast distances, you have to pass through doors.

Learning about doors and keys teaches you something more about why the pill and the mirror are not the same thing as the operator and the phone, and slowly, if you just sit there and passively watch the wall in front of you until you start to notice that it's just a wall with moving images, you begin to understand how all these little glitches in story-telling enable you to start noticing when you fall asleep and when you wake up. Not the major times, the ones the alarms and the Netflix signal.

The hundreds to thousands of times it happens every day, every night, all the time, all the hours.



Don't you hear the knocking these days?

Turning around
inside one's mind
to see the way back out the chute
up and out the tube
all the way from out of the old and tired room
into the brightness and harshness of

what knocks out there

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