Art vs Algorithm
4 months ago
Those of the outer world will be like drowned men as regards my discourse; but men of the inner world will understand its secrets.
Like my predecessors I have revealed the bird of my soul to those who are asleep. Perhaps the sleep which fills your life has deprived you of this discourse; but, having met it, your soul will be awakened by the secret which it reveals.
From Farid 'The Logic of Birds'
“The Noetic Quality, as named by William James, is a feeling of insight or illumination that, on an intuitive, nonrational level and with a tremendous force of certainty, subjectively has the status of Ultimate Reality. This knowledge is not an increase of facts but is a gain in psychological, philosophical, or theological insight. "
The attitude of the Bible toward divination is on the whole distinctly hostile and is fairly represented by Deuteronomy 18:10, where the prophet of God is contrasted with diviners of all kinds as the only authorized medium of supernatural revelation. Divination is seen as an abomination but there are some notable exceptions where some forms are apparently sanctioned such as in the New Testament when Matthias is chosen as the replacement for Judas by casting lots. (Acts of the Apostles 1:26 ) LOL How convenient that some forms of divination have been / are SANCTIONED ?
In the Quran, divination is described in Surah V (The Table) as an abomination: "O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination; of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper)
People with a form of synesthesia in which they see colors when viewing letters and numbers really do see colors, researchers, led by Edward M. Hubbard of the University of California San Diego, have found. What's more, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of their brains reveals that they show activation of color-perception areas.
David Abram, following Merleau-Ponty, finds this synesthetic unity in the very nature of perception itself.
Although contemporary neuroscientists study synaesthesia the overlap and blending of the senses as though it were a rare or pathological experience to which only certain persons are prone (those who report “seeing sounds,” “hearing colors,” and the like), our primordial, preconceptual experience, as Merleau-Ponty makes evident, is inherently synaesthetic. The intertwining of sensory modalities seems unusual to us only to the extent that we have become estranged from our direct experience (and hence from our primordial contact with the entities and elements that surround us.):
…Synaesthetic perception is the rule, and we are unaware of it only because scientific knowledge shifts the center of gravity of experience, so that we have unlearned how to see, hear, and generally speaking, feel, in order to deduce, from our bodily organization and the world as the physicist conceives it, what we are to see, hear, and feel.” (Merleau-Ponty)
“History is the result of an over elaboration and separation of the senses - Blake’s vision of man’s natural condition and the condition man shall return to following the apocalyptic disclosure of the present era—is that of a psycho-sensory unity in which each sense is not a “narrow chink walled off from the other senses but in a state of communication with them. This state of sensory interfusion, often referred to as synesthesia, is presupposed by a consciousness in which body and soul are realized to be one, and in turn presupposes a social order so totally different from the present one that its closest approximation is to be found in the remnant of so-called primitive societies.” (Arguelles)
Jose Arguelles in his analysis of William Blake quotes the famous lines of Blake’s adopted by Huxley to describe the psychedelic visionary state:
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.”
Hallucinogenic discourse, both of scientific and “recreational” nature, faces a similar rhetorical dilemma as the rest of the ecstatic traditions it responds to: It must report on an event which is in principle impossible to communicate. Writers of mystic experience from St Teresa to William James have treated the unrepresentable character of mystic events to be the very hallmark of ecstasies. Hallucinogenic discourse faced a similar struggle in the effort to report on the knowledge beyond what Aldous Huxley (and Jim Morrison…) described as the “doors of perception.” (Doyle)
All language is psychedelic by definition, functioning to make manifest the mind, to bring thoughts, feelings, information, from the interior of one mind and make them available to be interiorized in another. David Porush calls this “Technologically Mediated Telepathy.” And Porush, Abram, and Erik Davis all relate the story of how this psychedelic, originally synesthetic, oral language-making connected us deeply and reciprocally to our natural environment, a mutual be-speaking that was progressively lost when writing, and most particularly alphabetic writing, froze knowledge-making into eternal signs in rows on flat surfaces, signs you could come back to—and they hadn’t changed. These signs deployed progressively deeper disconnections—among the senses, between time and space, between reason and emotion. The alphabet: the cybernetic technology that changed everything. Synesthesia, in this light, comes to stand for the promise of reconnection, of noesis, of recovery of some long lost unity, within ourselves, among ourselves, within the world. McKenna himself comes back to these language experiences time and again in his books and lectures: new forms of language perceived, theories of the evolution of language and consciousness catalyzed by psychedelics are proposed:
Findings about the gene-behaviour dynamic, on the other hand, are overturning existing truths and demolishing assumptions upon which 100 years of psychological theory has been based. Totally different answers are emerging to questions many experts were confident had long been answered. It is this apostate cast to the behavioral findings that has caused turmoil in the academic community and provoked angry debate. The largest body of hard data to establish the genetic roots of behaviour has come from comparisons of fraternal with identical twins and comparison of adopted with biological siblings. For thirty years these investigations have been progressing quietly in scores of kinship studies in the United States and abroad and building a mountain of evidence of the gene-behaviour relationship.
THEY were the ultimate guinea pigs -- Twins - Triplets cruelly separated and secretly studied as part of a research project into whether human behaviour is the result of nature or nurture and part of a different study The Jim Twins.
Death speaks: There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not ﬁnd me.” The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its ﬂanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” “That was not a threatening gesture,” I said, “it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.
W. Somerset Maugham from an Arab tale
I’m seeing and hearing other acts of courage and heroism on the way down. I’m hearing Captain Paddy Brown from Ladder 3 saying that he has a lot of burned people on the 40th floor and he doesn’t want to leave them. I run into members of Ladder Company 5 from Greenwich Village. There’s a Lieutenant Mike Warchola, who I used to carpool with when I was a young fireman. He and his company are working on a man on one of the stairway landings who’s having chest pains, a civilian.
I said, “Mike, c’mon, let’s go. It’s time to go.”
And he sees we have this woman that we’re bringing down.
He says, “I know, Jay. It’s time to go. We’re working on this guy. You have your civilian, I have mine. We’ll be right behind you.”
I said, “All right. Don’t wait too long.”
We get to the fourth floor and Josephine Harris’ legs give way. She can’t stand anymore. Now I’m starting to get nervous again. We’ve got to move a lot faster. The spooky music in this whole scenario is that the clock is ticking. I can almost hear the clock ticking in the back of my head that we gotta get out of here. This is bad. This is really bad.
I break into the fourth floor to look for a sturdy chair that we can throw her on and we could pick her up and run with her. That would be the fastest, to negotiate the stairway and make our move that way. So I break into the fourth floor. It’s not an office floor. It’s a mechanical equipment room floor. It’s where they have the airhandling equipment for that zone.
I’m looking and I’m not finding anything. I find one metal desk with a stenographer’s chair, a swivel chair, and that wouldn’t do. I find one overstuffed couch. Naturally, that wouldn’t do. It’s a little scary to think about it now, but I was way on the other side of the building, just seconds before this building collapsed. And I don’t know what told me to do it but I’m thinking, this isn’t working out. I’ve gotta get back to the stairway and we’re just going to have to drag her.
I start running back to the stairway and I’m about four feet away, four or five feet away from the stairway door and that’s when the collapse starts. I feel almost like a compression effect with the wind. I try to open the door to the stairway and I couldn’t open it. A second pull opened the door. I don’t know whether it was assisted by the compression effect of the building coming down with the wind or with my first try, maybe the building was warping and twisting, and I couldn’t open it for that reason. But the second pull I was able to open the door and I dove for the stairway landing on the fourth floor.
Now, people have tried to get me to describe what it was like while the collapse was happening. It was a montage of different sounds and experiences. The sounds were a combination of sounds. This building collapsed in what’s called a pancake fashion. In other words, one floor would hit another floor and would collapse that floor and then collapse the next floor. And every time a floor would hit another floor, it created a loud boom and tremendous vibration.
The entire collapse of this 110-story building took 13 seconds. So it sounded like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, you know, like that. And every time that happened, it shook the entire building. It shook the whole floor. So every time a floor would hit another floor, we’d be literally bouncing off the floor. We were being thrown around the stairway.
Jay utilized all his instincts and ironically admitted the only reason his unit survived was because they did in fact stop to help Josephine.
"All forms of divination are to be rejected: practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone" (CCC 2116).
" This sense of being known has completely abandoned us in the modern world, because we have destroyed the " wilderness person " in ourselves and banished the wilderness that sustained them from our lives."
Less and less [ does contemporary man] experience the process within. Less and less is he capable of committing himself body and soul to the creative experiment that is continually seeking to fire him and charge his little life with great objective meaning. Cut off by accumulated knowledge from the heart of his own living experience, he moves among a comfortable rubble of material possessions, alone and unbelonging, sick, poor, starved of meaning.
According to the new view, the biggest enemy of science was organized religion, so it became necessary to discredit religious superstition at every given opportunity - all in the name of truth, progress, and freedom. As John Donne said in a famous poem, all "coherence" was gone with the rise of the new cosmology. A new coherence was rising, and it meant getting rid of the mysterious, the mystical, the supernatural; the specter that haunted Epicurus from classical times still had to be exorcised. Above all, miracles were not "coherent" with materialism. A new form of intolerance sprouted a new set of inquisitorial tentacles: "spiritual thinking" became a code word for anathema, and were pegged as the enemies of scientific and political progress. No doubt there are some factual reasons lurking behind this resistance, but there is a difference between rational caution and hysterical rejection. Occultists, spiritualists, psychical researchers are traditionally attacked, ostracized, and sometimes demonized by the scientific elite and by organized religion.
Less and less is he capable of committing himself body and soul to the creative experiment that is continually seeking to fire him and charge his little life with great objective meaning.
To the artist is sometimes granted a sudden, transient insight which serves in this matter for experience. A flash, and where previously the brain held a dead fact, the soul grasps a living truth! At moments we are all artists.
"The cosmic man must be restored, the whole man who is made in the image and likeness of the arch-force, which you may call God. This man thinks with his heart and not with party dogma. As I've explained before, there is an order in the universe – a cosmic order – and humans have the possibility of understanding these laws."
"The truly religious man has no fear of life and no fear of death—and certainly no blind faith: his faith must be in his conscience. Then he will have the intuition to observe and judge what happens around him. Then, he can acknowledge that everything unfolds true to strict natural law, sometimes with tremendous speed."
I didn't have to think up so much as a comma or a semicolon; it was all given, straight from the celestial recording room. Weary, I would beg for a break, an intermission, to go to the toilet or take a breath of fresh air on the balcony. Nothing doing!
All this fires my soul, and provided I am not disturbed, my subject enlarges itself, becomes methodized and defined, and the whole, though it be long, stand almost complete and finished in my mind, so I can survey it, like a fine picture or a beautiful statue at a glance. . . For this reason, the committing to paper is done quickly enough, for everything is, as I said, already finished; and it rarely differs on paper from what it was in my imagination.
" The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know."
Yeah, I - you know, I get beamed at. I mean my bits are beamed, to me. They aren’t anything to do with me. I’m, you know - tuned into a certain frequency some days and… and receive the information I need. It’s got nothing to do with me, I tell you.
Inspiration is a fragile thing... just a breeze, touching the green foliage of a city park, just a whisper from the soul of a friend. Just a line of verse clipped from some book. Inspiration... who can say where it is born, and why it leaves us? Who can tell the reasons for its being or not being? Only this... I can think. Inspiration comes from the Heart of Heaven to give the lift of wings, and the breath of divine music to those of us who are earthbound.