Monday, July 27, 2009

Law of fives, Hindu Cosmology, cyclic time and Kozmik Kow.

The Hindu cosmology considers time as endless and cyclic of nature, and divided into 5 ages:
Satya Yuga, The Golden Age of perfect Bliss (4800 divine years): Satya means "Truth"; also called Krta or "action".
Treta Yuga, The Silver Age of lesser Virtue (3600 divine years): Treta means "Three", the age in which the feelings and forces of good are as three parts, and those of evil as one.
Dwapara Yuga, The Bronze Age of Virtue and Vice (2400 divine years): Dwapara means "Two-sided", or the eon of doubt.
and the present Kali Yuga, the Iron Age of increasing Evil (1200 divine years).
Each and every divine year lasts for 360 earthly years, hence the present eon should last for 432.000 years. It shall be followed by total annihilation; and the, the primordial timeless ocean for a period equal to the whole length of the 4 previous ages. And of course, Kali is the Indian version of Eris, meaning "Discord". "As the teachings tell, Kali, the creator-destroyer Goddess, will appear at the end of Kali Yuga to sweep away the wasted detritus of a spirit-dead humanity".
And then it all starts again.
From Wikipedia:
"The life span of Lord Brahma, the creator, is 100 'Brahma-Years'. One day in the life of Brahma is called a Kalpa or 4.32 billion years (the approximate life span of the earth).(...)Every Kalpa (one day in the life of Brahma), Brahma creates 14 Manus one after the other, who in turn manifest and regulate this world.
Each Manu’s life (Manvantara) consists of 71 Chaturyugas (quartets of Yugas or eras).Each Chaturyuga is composed of four eras or Yugas: Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali. The cycle goes on for 100 'divine years' at the end of which Brahma perishes and is regenerated. Bramha's entire life equals 311 trillion, 40 billion years. Once Bramha dies there is an equal period of unmanifestation for 311 trillion, 40 billion years, until the next Bramha is created."
Oh and according to Hindu tradition, the current demiurge or Manu is said to be the seventh Manu and his name is Vaivasvat. The current Kali Yuga is only 5111 years old and started with the disappearance of Krishna (Lord Vishnu's last avatar).
We are currently believed to be in the 51st year of the present Brahmas life.
The cycle goes on forever.
Some scholars consider Brahma as the galactic center, starting from René Guénon to Yukteswar.

Lord Brahma is considered the creator, but as in kaballah the term 'god' is just a human way of dealing with the ineffable. Above any god there is the supreme transcendence called Brahman.

Alan Watts:
"To the philosophers of India, however, Relativity is no new discovery, just as the concept of light years is no matter for astonishment to people used to thinking of time in millions of kalpas, ( A kalpa is about 4,320,000 years). The fact that the wise men of India have not been concerned with technological applications of this knowledge arises from the circumstance that technology is but one of innumerable ways of applying it."
From Hindu Wisdom:
"One of the oldest writings in Vedic literature comes from a pseudo-historical god-man called Manu. René Guénon pointed out that Manu belongs to a family of related archetypal figures, which include Melchezidek, Metatron, St Michael, Gabriel, and Enoch. (...) his laws were recorded in the extremely ancient Vedic text called the Laws of Manu. (...) there is a section that deals with the ancient Vedic doctrine of World Ages - the Yugas. Manu indicates that a period of 24,000 years — clearly a reference to precession — consists of a series of four yugas or ages, each shorter and spiritually darker than the last. In one story this process of increasing limitation is envisioned as a cosmic cow standing with each leg in one quarter of the world; with each age that passes a leg is lost, resulting in the absurd and unstable world we live in today—a cow balancing on one leg."

I haven't been able to find an image yet depicting this bizarre allegory.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Symboloclasty

Reading the seminal Hero with a thousand faces by Joseph Campbell in the last part of the chapter 'The ultimate boon' following biased transcription seemed quite enlightening to me:
The infantile fantasies which we all cherish in the unconscious appear continually into myth. This is helpful, for the mind feels at home with the images and seems to be remembering something already known. But the circumstance is obstructive too, for the feelings come to rest in the symbols and resist passionately every effort to go beyond. The gulf between the multitudes who fill the world with piety and the truly free breaks down at the line where the symbols give way and are transcended. The ineffable teaching of the beatitude beyond imagination comes to us clothed necessarily in figures reminiscent of the imagined beatitudes of infancy, hence the deceptive childishness of the tales. Hence, too, the inadequacy of any merely psychological reading.


I'd link these ideas to the three stages of sentience according to my kabbalah teacher, Joris De Brandt:
exoteric, meaning the part of knowledge we are able to understand, using the power of our thinking;
mesoteric, the vague no-man'sland between two worlds where thoughts are grasped but in ways beyond our true understanding;
and esoteric, that which is beyond all worlds (this term is usually abused for talking of exoteric and mesoteric insights).
I see the world of myths, allegories and symbols in the mesoteric realm; similarily, but in a simplifying manner of course, the four 'lower' circuits of consciousness seem exoteric to me, the next three mesoteric and the eighth esoteric.

As a 'pataphysician I feel compelled to translate the world into symbolism. But only after the images get shattered one is able to see through the mirror and accept the true reflection.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Big Brother and the Codex Alimentarius

I usually don't rant on social nor political subjects, but this one appears to me the European counterpart of what they're doing promoting genetically engineered vegetables and forbidding biofood in the states.
I'm talking of the insidious 'Codex Alimentarius' which should become effective in the European Union at the end of 2009. Some people in high places have decided for example that ayurvedic medicines should not be sold anymore because they haven't been tested - actually the sole reason is that they do not pay to the pharmaceutical racket, and the assholes who voted such a silly law are mere puppets in the hands of the industry.
I didn't vote for this insanity.
I and hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions, prefer to use natural products instead of allopathic medicine which often comes with by-effects, and in reality often proves to be at best useless, at worst simply hazardous to use. I chose to trust medicinal systems that proved their value through 6000 years of Strange. use. Simply put I have Chrohn's disease and was supposed to keep on taking allopathic shit for the rest of my life. I got hooked on ayurvedic herbs and not only did I stop taking classic medicine for almost 8 months now, but I also was able to stop taking pills for my thyroid gland (half of which was removed a few years ago) which I normally would need to stay alive .
Some people in high places decided that I should not be able to survive without the use of pills.
Fuck them. I consider them criminals.

I signed the (Dutch) petition at Eliant, an antroposophical association which tried to promote the use of natural medicines even before this law was voted. Whoever feels this situation is not right might well do the same, one million signatures will probably get some news coverage and it might help things change for the better.

Strange. I intended to start reading "The Man in the High Castle" by Philip K. Dick in a Maybe Logic Academy group study. In that book, Japan and Germany have won the war and the world is in the hands of Nazis. Luckily, that's just science-fiction.

Blogroll on this subject:
English
Snippits and slappits: Nutricide
NWO Observer: How The Global Elite Will Control Your Food Supply
Global Healing Center: a serious treat to your health
Dutch
De Volkskrant: de kruidenkiller

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Attempts to evaluate an entropic eschatology

This post was written in April 2007.  Ideas which deserve to be cont'd…

I realized several books I have been reading after one another seem to hint towards a similar concept. Amazing how Robert Anton Wilson's influence evolves; one of his great abilities was always to me how he managed to synchronize different ideas into new frameworks.

The Toth of coincidance
I'm talking about Korzybski's idea of time-binding, in which information builds itself upon previous information, creating an ever increasing maze throughout history.
  • In Right where you are sitting nowRobert Anton Wilson elaborates on George Anderla's statistics for the OECD from 1973, examining how much time is needed for the doubling of information in mankind. Wilson created the measure of 'One Jesus' for the total amount of information available at 1 AD. The increase of information seems to happen logarithmically. According to this theory, in december 2012 the information will double every single moment, creating a straight line in the graphic, meaning somehow the 'end of the world as we know it'.
  • In The Archaic Revival, Terence McKenna starts from Alfred N. Whiteheads theories of  novelty, as  well as from the  King  Wen sequence of the I Ching, to  provide a  complex theory arriving at similar conclusions: in this theory of 'temporal resonance' the universe runs towards a singularity, a degree of connectedness or novelty instead of entropy. By placing the 'zero point' on dec 12, 2012, the timewaves seem to concur the best. The same date on which according to the (time-obsessed) Maya calender, the great cycle ends.
  • I'd connect the idea of increasing interconnection and information with Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields, as in the experiments where stupid rats breeding with stupid rats not only became more and more intelligent when put in a maze, but their offspring performed even better; one would expect such a phenomenon when breeding smart rats.
  • In a booklet about the sky The sky - order and chaos   by J-P Verdet, a small chapter deals with the order provided by sun and moon cycles interconnecting, and how eclipses were seen as signs of entropy, for which the folk rituals of 'pandemonium' were created to provide a way to escape the chaos; similarly folk rituals called 'hullabaloos' were created for the village people to exorcize a marriage with a big difference in age. Both rituals aimed at trying to catch the cosmological or sociological monsters responsible for chaos.
  • A Dutch book called Media-archief by the collective authors Billwet, deals with media theories. Two essays particularly seemed relevant here: the first about Marshall McLuhan, the second about Jean Baudrillard.
  • Finally I'd link the whole paradox of entropy increase - decrease through time with the metaphor of Jacob's ladder in kaballah.

Entropism
The self needs to dig deep into the earth before being able to elevate. This could mean that first a movement towards individuality and order is needed before going back towards a spiritual interconnected self and entropy. Or in other interpretations, first a logaritmic evolution towards entropy (viz the chaotic thought in a neural internet) and earthgroup spirit, followed by increasing order and spiritual individuality… Or maybe the hodge and the podge evolve both at the same pace, faster and faster towards a point zero - and the zero point could very well take place in 2012 - where similarly to the dichotomy in kaballah between good and evil, cause and effect, one would suddenly realize entropy and ectropy are just two aspects of the same beast. La bête imprévue Clinamen?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More 'pataphysics online

I stumbled upon several blogs of 'pataphysical interest.

Zombie 'Pataphysics
The first and best is Zombie 'Pataphysics, and it is no surprise it is hosted by a prominent (les membres du Collège de 'Pataphysique sont des hélianthes) member of the collège, namely the Régent of the chair of Catachemistry and Computational Metallurgy , Brian Reffin Smith.

clipped from www.drunkenboat.com

Zombie Art: As movements such as OuLiPo in literature and OuPeinPo and Systems Art in the visual arts have demonstrated, it can be immensely liberating to have to follow rules or be bound by constraints. But these processes have not been taken far enough. The ultimate constraint is that one manifests no qualities at all, one accepts that one is, or tries to become at least has a sort of Taoist faith in the possibility of imagining being a Zombie. At a stroke, problems of content are swept aside or put on hold, as pure form and beyond that, the intention to have no intention, are made manifest. And how does one manifest pure form and an absence of content ? It's simple Zombies do it all the time.

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I liked the description of zombie 'pataphysics on the excellent Migrating Reality blog.

Whilst not wishing to reduce the importance and stresses of geographical migration, there is another, internal migration which consists in the human consciousness - until this latter is (let us say theoretically, potentially a thought experiment destroyed by accident or design, and one becomes one of the living dead, simultaneously alive and dead, not in-between: both 1 AND 0, true AND false. Jacques Derrida argued that in-between life and death, true and false, were the living dead. It is perhaps preferable to imagine something more like a cat-like state not only BOTH asleep and awake, but also in a box with a weapon of cat destruction a la Schrödinger. Quantum physics rears its head, ugly AND beautiful.

It is argued that the Zombie state is potentially rich and creative, and is indeed the undeclared basis of creative activity in groups such as OuLiPo and OuPeinPo, sheltering under the umbrella of the College de 'Pataphysique, Paris.


The p-Zombie is a philosophical construct mainly attributed to David Chalmers, and used by times in debates about consciousness studies, to which your blogger has occasionally contributed. Briefly, the argument I think goes like this:
Imagine an entity indistinguishably different from a human being. It looks like one, walks and talks like one, reacts like one - there is no way of telling it's not a human. But it's not, it's a Zombie, without "qualia" or real human consciousness. The argument, to simplify, says that if you can imagine such a being, then you accept that the essence of human consciousness, perhaps the mind or "soul", is NOT a product of the biological machine, but something else.
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OuPeinPo, of which I am a member, exists to offer ways of using constraints in art to other artists and the general public. We don't, as a group, make art per se, but rather illustrate the methods, constraints and systems we discover, invent or celebrate.
The question then arises, where can you find or how can you make neutral, value-free images etc., to be the raw material for these processes? The answer is to assert, as we do, that all the images we use were originally the result of Zombie endeavour, and hence have no real qualities inherent in them. You can read into them what you yourself like, but that's just your choice - the actual work had none.
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Apart from a strange obsession with the works of Kim Jong-Il as the apotheosis of Zombie art, this blog also features lots of Fortean imagery in the form of simulacra (from Shakespeare's face revealed in badly stained knife to Pope's face in a used condom) and very Maybe Logician ouvertures into the field of combined quantum 'pataphysics.


Expecting the Unexpected, and Occam's Razor


The brain habituates itself to the expected, it is the dangerous unexpected towards which much of its cognitive apparatus is geared.



One hears the clock stop ticking.

Did Joan expect Maxwell's silver hammer? Well, we know that she was quizzical/studied pataphysical science in the home" so it is extremely probable.




Let us simply assert, with Derrida, that it is possible for an object (or, more generally, an event) to be both expected and unexpected; the waveform collapses down to - incredibly! - a paradox when examined.

The problem here is of course encapsulated by Goedel's theorem, which (vulgarly) states that there will always be a surprise.
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Either following Urbain Le Hennuyeux as Regent of this particuliar field of study or acting as the zombie counterpart of the same after his apparent (hence, only physical) demise. You can read more on the past regents of the Collège on Fatrazie, and more on the structure of the Collège at its own website (yours truly being catalogued into the Sous-Commission des Onomonymes).

The Pataphysics of shit
A deep study into the brownian morpho-scatological fields of the cloaca maxima. Excellent text by Kane X. Faucher on the rhizomic Azimuté blog.


I hope to illustrate how certain robust theoretical considerations have allowed artists such as Manzoni to address the relationship between excreta, class, utility, value, and production. Following this, I hope to ground a prolegomena to a more comprehensive and global view of a theory of abjection in both art and contemporary theory.




Our first consideration ought to be this: How does 'fecal art' and shit in general relate to pataphysics? How can one construct a pataphysics of shit? In the 'scategories' of metaphysics, wherein the specie appear as anomalous excesses deposited there by the exceptionality of emergences, and the forma is merely an intestinal tube pushing forth what is sought to be shaped, pataphysics shares a borderline with 'scat art'.

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This text appears to me as one of the more elaborate theoretical studies I've read on the meeting point between 'Pataphysics and Situationism, especially in connection with the works of George Bataille and Gilles Deleuze. Really, clipping it digests the body of text, one should smell the real deal.

Pataphor
Paul Avion's site features his invention, the pataphor (see my previous post as well).

clipped from www.paulavion.com
Jenny is eleven years old. She lives on a farm in Luxembourg, West Virginia. Today Jenny is collecting eggs from the henhouse. It is 10 a.m. She walks slowly down the rows of cages, feeling around carefully for eggs tucked beneath clucking hens. She finds the first egg in number 6. When she holds it to the light she sees it is the deep tan of boot leather, an old oil-rubbed cowboy boot, creased with microscopic branching lines, catching the light at the swelling above the scarred dusty heel, curled at the cuff, bending and creaking as the foot of the cowboy squirms to rediscover its fit, a leathery thumb and index prying at the scruff, the heel stomping the floor. Victor the hotel manager swings open the door and gives Cowboy a faint smile.
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Academie Philostatique
This wonderful site in French features a kind of meta-collège, collecting different imaginary colleges like the


Navigation Lyricopathologie Astropétique, (Chef de Travaux Pratiques), Pompagogie, Pomponiérisme et Zozologie Philostatique des Sciences Inexactes, Sidérodromanie, Catachimie Infra-nucléaire Photosophistique, Hémérographie & Hémérodromie, Philostatique Générale & Clinique de Rhétoriconose, Sciences Sociales & Culinaires, Anodin & Cathodique Tropes & Figures (Travaux pratiques de décervelage), Histoire, Historiographie, Historiophotographie Jarryques, Psyllagorologie, Éristique Militaire & Stratégique Littéraire & Figurée (Travaux pratiques de Belge à Brazzaville), Plasmactopratie Objective & Comparée, Pornosophie Médiate & Immédiate de Zozologie Shakespearienne
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and hundreds more. It appears like a paralel universe Collège de 'Pataphysique which makes it even more appealing to me. Reminds me a bit of the Discordian effect of becoming a Pope and the thrill of starting ones own cabal. I won't quote more of it - if you digg French this site will entice you into starting your own college.
Features a study in images on the healthyness of alcohol.

This month's word: Pataphor


Assumptions based on assumptions
The Pataphor seems to me a meeting point between Maybe Logics, Forteana, quantum physics and 'Pataphysics. It's a term coined by writer / musician Pablo Lopez for a second degree of separation beyond the metaphor.




clipped from en.wikipedia.org


As Jarry claimed that 'pataphysics existed "as far from metaphysics as metaphysics extends from regular reality," a pataphor attempts to create a figure of speech that exists as far from metaphor as metaphor exists from non-figurative language. Whereas a metaphor is the comparison of a real object or event with a seemingly unrelated subject in order to emphasize the similarities between the two, the pataphor uses the newly created metaphorical similarity as a reality with which to base itself. In going beyond mere ornamentation of the original idea, the pataphor seeks to describe a new and separate world, in which an idea or aspect has taken on a life of its own

The pataphor may also be said to function as a critical tool, describing the world of "assumptions based on assumptions," such as belief systems or rhetoric run amok.



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clipped from en.wikipedia.org


Non-figurative



Tom and Alice stood side by side in the lunch line.


Metaphor



Tom and Alice stood side by side in the lunch line, two pieces on a chessboard.


Pataphor



Tom took a step closer to Alice and made a date for Friday night, checkmating. Rudy was furious at losing to Margaret so easily and dumped the board on the rose-colored quilt, stomping downstairs.


Thus, the pataphor has created a world where the chessboard exists, including the characters who live in that world, entirely abandoning the original context




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More on pataphors:








"So what should I believe in?"



"How much more appropriate to see our universe not as something governed by laws but as a place where anything at all can happen.
Everything that occurs on our world is exceptional, a freak accident -- gravity, matter and energy, consciousness -- only some exceptions are more common than others, a fact that doesn't speak much for them, since, at base, they aren't even exceptional exceptions! In this version of the world the trapeze artist always misses -- plans on missing, is expected to miss. Every time he falls into the net is presence is recognized on earth by showers of oohs and ahhs. Every apple that drops is another blown stunt. We see a lot of our man Gravity, and no wonder: he is a lousy flyer. He's so bad, in fact, we've mistaken his clumsiness for skill."




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The phenomena we never see are the most skillful. The ones that make lettuce grow hair, bowling bowls lose holes and turn suitcases green. They pass peacefully over our heads, falling to earth once every million years, perhaps even more rarely.

if my life until now has been maintained by accident -- it could take a long time for that accident to be reinstated.

But how are we supposed to study these exceptions? And what about these imaginary solutions?

"For physical problems we shall employ physical solutions. Pataphysicians always come equipped. And it just so happens that I have remembered to bring -- by means of our Science of 'Pataphysics --" he took something from a back pocket: "a hairpin! Now watch as I demonstrate how this instrument greatly facilitates the opening of doors."



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