“The Greatest Illusion in the World is the Illusion of Separation”


The greatest benefit I’ve found from the internet is the way it functions as a tool for Serendipity. It is an electronic I Ching of sorts, though with many additional pitfalls one avoids by sticking to casting bones or sticks. The title of this post appeared as one of those FB images sent out toContinue reading ““The Greatest Illusion in the World is the Illusion of Separation””

Wrestling with the World in Virtual Reality: a Reblog from Networkolgies


Originally posted on Networkologies:
Doing Battle with the World via "Virtual Reality": The Tibetan Jewel Tree, on the cover to Robert Thurman’s excellent translation/explication On the Difficulty of Understanding the Insights in Classical Buddhist Texts Classical Buddhist texts having something in common with Deleuze, or Networkological thought? I must admit, I’ve spent a lot of…

The World, or the world…


I’ve attempted to carve out distinctions and definitions on a regular basis here. Then I’ve backslid and muddied the waters again and again by letting ambiguity and habit blur these distinctions. Maintaining a vocabulary requires the patience of an archeologist, wiping away the dust of the millennia as a current erupting volcano sifts down aContinue reading “The World, or the world…”

Mourning for the World, Part 2


“With a tow, you often know with sharp certainty that disaster is coming, inexorable and unavoidable – Let’s say an engine failure on the tug while towing an immense fuel barge. – yet there’s nothing to be done.”

War of the Worlds


In the past we had place. Now we don’t. In the future place may re-assert itself – at least I hope so…. Any search for a carving out of our own agency soon comes to the absolute necessity for a place on which to stand. Most fundamentally that distills down to a physical place uponContinue reading “War of the Worlds”

Mourning for the World


This has been the most recent example of the machine doing exactly what it does. It was the result of an arrogant and willfully blind way of being and acting, thrashing against very clear and visible limits, working to its fullest capacity to do nothing but lead to disaster. At this level, and coming from such a position of hubris, pleas of intentionality, that this was unintended, can have no sway, just as the pleas of a killer’s intent have no sway in a law-court. These are no more than cries of surprise at being caught-out when the perpetrators had always felt secure. Not secure that they were blameless, doing good; only secure that they were unreachable, that the consequences of their actions would only fall on others.

Fukushima


The somnambulist’s dance goes on until the last possible moment, but then something either awakens the dreamer or they die. This event is enormity writ large. It follows on last year’s enormity and depicts a trend of escalation that shows no sign of letting up. The inability of owners to continue to convince themselves that their fate can be isolated from that of the world at large becomes more viable at every moment. Of course it’s a long leap from a general recognition of irrelevance and one of their kind actually leaving the stage gracefully – just look at Libya….

It’s not fair! It’s too everything!


In this case these are geneticists and they are reacting to findings that inheritance isn’t as simple as they’d wished it to be. The genome isn’t a set of instructions, a simple algorithm that leads to a predestined result, that can be predicted and manipulated at will if you own the shiny equipment paid for by people made ill with the diseases brought on by a culture that puts everything in the world into making shiny equipment.

The Landscape of Humility


This is the landscape of humility. We tend to jump to a call for humility when we see a great action of hubris out there in the world. It’s easy to cry out, “Shame!” and “demand” humility from the malfeasants at a time like this. When we do so, we skip right past humility into anger safely directed at some other. On the flip-side, we tend to feel some rising shame in ourselves and turn to some show of penance as a sign of our own humility. The self-consciousness and the mixture of piety and victimization we relish in at such times to guard ourselves from our humiliation – notice how in this context, all the rightness of humility evaporates in our self-justification. At such times we slip right past humility again into just another variety of self-serving behavior. In neither case do we inhabit humility, or truly promote its spread in this world.

Clearing the Mind


As the ramp-up to the Dark Mountain Festival gains momentum and these ideas find outlets in wider circles so many people don’t know what to make of this view. They seem to equate the active work of plumbing the depths of our actual situation, stripping away shallow assumptions and hazy pseudo-mythologies that cocoon us within an acceptance of the status quo, as the only possible alternative to some deeply dystopian “end of the world.” They equate this action with “doing nothing” while valuing “doing something,” even as they can find no evidence that whatever their particular “something” is will help. It’s not working.

the Mainstream’s Misunderstanding


This is where art comes in. It’s not in essays or speeches, all of which are so hard to distinguish from polemic by their very form, that minds can be affected. In fiction, in visual art, in poetry we have the best means of establishing a body of shareable “experiences” that begin to forge a new way of being in the world. These can have the effect of drawing people to them as opposed to simply setting up their defenses to resist new ideas. In an eagerness to misunderstand whenever someone hears that “poetry is the answer,” they will only see whatever form of art they personally dislike and find easy to discount. Probe a little deeper and there isn’t anyone who isn’t affected by poetry, of the kind they do open themselves to, by whatever name it goes by.