Sunday, November 21, 2010

One of my Favorite Poems

NO worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief 5
Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing—
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-
ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief’.

O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap 10
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Counting Argument

Understanding how the counting argument impacts topography will be a major step in the evolution of theory. So far, the impulse of ontology has been to explain as much as is humanly possible with as few propositions as possible.

That impulse isn't wrong per se, so long as you understand what the counting argument is going to say about your ontology.

Firstly, the idea that you can map a data set of n objects to a data of < n objects is provably inaccurate.

What happens to the data when it is collapsed via this ontological impulse is pretty interesting however.

Predictably, it maps backward to states of potential. The further back it maps, ie: to include more information with less propositions, the more multiplicitous it becomes, ie: the less information about the original state you have.

"If you bang your head against the Counting Argument for long enough, you will lose the ability to disprove it." -Richard

Again, not understanding the counting argument is the number one cause of discrimination.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Impossibility of Evil

With only the rarest of exceptions, all conquerers come in as liberators, secretly believing that their penetration is deeply desired. They come in thinking that, or that they are punishing evil, and so their act of evil is truly good. Evil against evil. The Devil's Tools, the Devil's House.

The function of evil against evil is to predict and to contain.

The psychiatric industry can no longer be considered the practice of medicine. It is there to augment our prison system. We are controlling our society with drugs, as Huxley predicted, evolving into the dystopias our geniuses feared.

For those of us who can see the forest, this is unacceptable. All sorts of bullshit prejudices can be acted out in the guise of real science, and as we have seen, this has been the case now for two hundred years.

If you consider psychiatry as a technique set, let us first consider the icepick lobotomy. If skull fucking is too strong of a term to describe this, it isn't because it has blown out of proportion the logistics and pragmatics of the act itself.

Any method would be equally as brutal if it caused the same effect. But the quality of the solution is a manifestation of the personality of its progenitor, so the skull fucker comes up with a skull fucker solution.

And Zeus will have his bolts of lightening, zapping the depression out of convulsing victims.

If I mistrust the intentions of the medical community, please forgive me. If you gave a shit about your patients, you would not stick a fucking wire into their eye socket so that you could scramble their brain.

Consider this, would you allow someone to "cure" you like that?

Of course not.

So, to reiterate, it is almost impossible to find a pure case of genuine evil because it is always adorned in the properties of good.

If you find my anger at the psychiatric industry unfathomable, it would largely be because you're stupid. And here in lies the problem. Human beings are too stupid to be in a position where they both have the authority over another person, and the capacity to exercise it in a way that genuinely helps them.

So instead of medicine, you get skull fuckers and torturers. This is, in fact, is my experience of psychiatric medicine. It is a form of psychic rape that is employed by the culture in order to control aberrant behavior.

More Sources / Up Next

Having gone back over Blake's Urizen critique the influence of Zen on my philosophical leanings cannot be dismissed. Two authors who have influenced my work in a Zen-like fashion are Kitaro Nishida and RD Laing.

Next I will be working on Black Magick. For some grounding in this please take a look at the episode Daemonicus in the last season of the X-Files. This will please my occultist readers, the psychiatric professionals who are interested in the bullshit case study I've spent my career manufacturing and the academics who are caught in the middle of a war they may or may not realize exist. At this point we should all be recognizing how dis-ease is manufactured out of our fear and dis-comfort with one another. *Bow*.

So that we're all on the same page, please take a look at Daemonicus, while I prepare a visceral meditation on the banality of evil, and wait for the end game to bait out.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

William Blake's First Book of Urizen

Here is the "table of contents" for the Urizen delineation.

Urizen Preludium & Ch 1

Urizen Ch 2

Urizen Ch 3: Part 1

Urizen Ch 3: Part 2

Urizen Ch 4

Urizen Ch 5: Part 1
Urizen Ch 5: Part 2
Urizen Ch 5: Part 3

Urizen Ch 6

Urizen 7,8,9

Urizen by William Blake Chapters 7, 8, 9

The last third of the book is the last three chapters, the very ones before you in the title. We're going to see that the imagery isn't so abstract anymore. The beings may be surreal, the landscape hellish but the imagery is starting to come together in a real way which we can identify with as human beings.

No one has the experience of rending themselves from eternity, but people have kids, and those who don't still have parents.

Well, anyway, we're in a world now where the actions are less abstract, though still pretty weird. Orc is named for the first time. A girdle forms around Los' belly, and as he bursts the girdle from his belly, another forms, and the cycle continues, in precisely the same manner as Orc cycles inside and outside of his mother's womb. By day the girdle forms, by night it's burst in twain (Urizen 7:16).

So Los and Enitharmon bring Orc to the top of the mountain, and chain him there atop the rock “with the Chain of Jealousy” (Urizen 7:24). We are not told precisely what Los and Enitharmon are jealous of, but we know that jealousy motivates them to chain their son atop the mountain.

The imagery associated with Los' girdle is already Promethean, but it's about to become even more so. Blake will mix several metaphors at once. Orc is at once the sacrifice of Abraham, the sacrifice of Prometheus, and the voice screaming on the mountaintop.

But once Orc's screams awaken the dead, all things “began to awake to life” (Urizen 7:28), even Urizen who hungers and craves in spite of himself. His desire drives him to create measuring tools, weights, scales, compasses. He also forms a brazen quadrant; the Cartesian grid on the one hand, the Cross on the other; and indeed the scales weights and compasses, have that similar double meaning, where they imply the methods of science on the one hand, and the morality of the written law on the other.

This passion for measuring, characteristic of Urizen, is a passion (yes) to measure on the one hand, but it is the necessity for an objective standard, that one common measuring stick that we would all share that Urizen wants and yearns for. By creating a solitary communal standard, Urizen seeks to exteriorize a process by which perspective is generated and codify it, fixing it to a system for measuring; a system which on the one hand can measure the goodness or badness of deed; and on the other, my leg (for example) in a manner which is absolutely communicable and does not require a conversion to another standard of measurement. For instance, if I tell you my leg is 32 inches, you would know immediately how long my leg is. On the other hand, if I said my leg was one daveleg long you would not know how to gage this in terms of any physical set length.

So Urizen's motives are caught up in a web of intrigue that we have only begun to scratch the surface of, and which we can't begin to imagine until we realize the ramifications of what is at stake. Urizen as a character is the embodiment of the desire to create an objective standard. This standard, is an abstraction of a purely arbitrary system of agreed upon values. The utility of agreeing upon the system is for ease of communicability. If this was the sum of Urizen's influence we would all gladly celebrate his holiday.

But this same demand for a standard imposes itself on all arenas of man's existence; the ethical standard of Good and Evil which is established in the Bible as a primordial Post-Edenic governing principle which suggests that our material well being is causally related to our ethical and spiritual relationships to men and God respectively.

At the end of the chapter Los encircles Enitharmon with "fires of Prophesy" from the sight of Urizen and Orc. And she bears "an enormous race".

So Urizen has a look around his creation, he has a globe of fire to light his journey, and whereas before he "contended with shapes" he now is annoyed by "cruel enormities" or, in other words, forms of life.

2. And his world teemd vast enormities
Frightning; faithless; fawning
Portions of life; similitudes
Of a foot, or a hand, or a head
Or a heart, or an eye, they swam mischevous
Dread terrors! delighting in blood

When Urizen looks upon living things he is disgusted. The are portions of life, specters, simulations. Suddenly his children appear, as if blinking into existence, shocked by their sudden incarnation. His children are crying, screeching, wailing, pits, monsters, worms, animals, howling at the God of reason. They have failed him. Time again sinning and failing to meet the harsh standard of their surrogate father. No flesh nor spirit could keep his iron laws one moment.

7. Till a Web dark & cold, throughout all
The tormented element stretch'd
From the sorrows of Urizens soul
And the Web is a Female in embrio
None could break the Web, no wings of fire.
8. So twisted the cords, & so knotted
The meshes: twisted like to the human brain
9. And all calld it, The Net of Religion

And the mind twists and hardens. The result being an identity in stasis, and an identity that cannot recognize its own reflection anywhere.

7. The remaining sons of Urizen
Beheld their brethren shrink together
Beneath the Net of Urizen;
Perswasion was in vain;
For the ears of the inhabitants,
Were wither'd, & deafen'd, & cold:
And their eyes could not discern,
Their brethren of other cities.

8. So Fuzon call'd all together
The remaining children of Urizen:
And they left the pendulous earth:
They called it Egypt, & left it.

9. And the salt ocean rolled englob'd

Urizen, your reason, ourizein, to bind, Uranus, the sky god. Urizen the horizon. The defined limit of our eyes.

Los, the Eternal prophet los/sol, who like his name is a reflector and exists and is mapped onto the reflective dimension that sits in the "center" of the number line: 0. Urizen is Infinity, anything, the wild card, the variable. He morphs and changes into the phantasms of his own nightmares. His fear of the body is born out of a rejection of this world, a rejection in fact of life itself born out of impending death.

Blake makes the same points over and over again, cycling the same images and yet changing the names. This forces the reader to really see the images as they happen by and see them in relation to other images. Orc, Urizen, Los, Tharmas, Luvah. None of these Eternals are real. They are all parts of the Divine Man, the Adam Kadmon template which is fourfold.

Los represents: Time, Imagination, the Sun, Light, Reflection, Prophesy

Urizen: Logos, horizon, limit, reductive analysis without the knowledge that this is merely one technique among many, Architecture.

Tharmas: Body, sensation, painting/sculture, touch, sight, smell, taste...

Luvah: Heart, music, emotion

These four "eternals" correspond to Jung's "personality types" at a one to one level. The problem for Jung is that Blake isn't representing them as "types".

Because that would be largely to make the Urizenic fallacy that Blake is drawing attention to in his Urizen myth.

The issue then becomes, how do operate without a standard, without a measure?

Well, Blake would not have to wait long for science to catch up with these problems. The naivitee of Lockean materialism would wither and die and we continue to be reminded that what we were analyzing was not reality itself, but our capacity to analyze reality, and how that effects its transmission to us.

It would not be until Einstein's General Relativity that the paradoxes of light and time began to take shape, and Einstein will use what he calls "mind machines" on which to build his proofs.

And so concludes my delineation of Urizen. Urizen in his proper place is a lens, from which to refract the infinitude of the imagination. Urizen and Los are psychic energies in this text which have a reciprocal relationship to one another. When the one goes up, the other goes down, also know as a Zero Sum Game. Blake is merely pointing out that this needn't be the case.


Thanks for your interest, and I hope this meditation has opened up some interesting stuff. I'm just beginning to work with ideas associated with projection geometry and Urizen really is a great text to try some of it out on. Thanks again.

Urizen by William Blake Chapter 6

Archetypes vs. patterns

People say "archetypes are patterns". They are not. If they are, they become scripts, and the play becomes scripted. Archetypes properly defined are the image of a pattern, achieved a la reduction. To say "the archetype is a pattern" is to sow the seed of its conscription.

The archetype can never in a sense refer to the entire pattern save for by metonymy, which often it will. It is therefore better to reckon the archetype as an image of a pattern, rather than a pattern proper. In a sense, what we are sensing is the recurrence of selected attributes. And in another sense, when we create the archetype, we negate or regard as negligible those attributes which do not fall within the inner circle of the Venn diagram. We are thus left with a remainder, an excrement which falls outside the pattern; and so the archetype proper is the disarticulated image of a set of articulated examples which considers only those qualities/attributes which are common to all members. It is thus the disarticulated image of a pattern, which by metonymy represents the entire set.

I call this "shit theory". But you needn't. Modular Ambiguation would be a good way to describe it as process, I don't know, something fancy. Maybe, Modular Concretization Fallacy. Ostrich Nominalism?

Because now the overlapping dimensions are going to map to multiple real world referents/objects which are in fact being subsumed by this reduction.

If we were to imagine that this archetype was more real than the objects to which it maps we would be making the same mistake that Blake is arguing Plato makes in his conception of ideals. Blake is very interested in annihilating Plato, and we'll see that Urizen affectively does what Derrida's work takes on and does as well.

Blake's critique, I think is more direct than Derrida is willing to be. Blake argues that the origin that Western Metaphysics is built upon is in fact a void, a blank slate, and emptiness, that allows allowing the senses to prevail at any given moment of perception.

The foundation, having no grounding in itself can only imply a greater grounding, an ultimately unknowable God-principle.

God, being defined as un-knowable, subsumes the shape of a disarticulate infinitude that is all potential shapes at once.

Thus the foundation of a temporal system of knowing, is actually the process of some sort of fall from an atemporal system.

On the other end of this pole, you have Aristotle or "Science" reducing everything to that which is sensible.

The argument, according to Blake, is that they're both wrong and they're both right. How? Well, the two are each methods of understanding data, and the lack of one, necessitates the desire and demand of the other.

The preferable solution to this ontological battle, would be to understand these both as methods, and that the way they handle, sift through and interpret data is unique to the sorts of inquiry they are engaged in.

This gets into the different ways in which Aristotle and Plato understood the relationship of the eyes to light.

Aristotle believes that they eyes are the purely passive receptacles of data. Plato argued that the eyes partially transmit data, and partially receive data, and perception is a mixture of what they eyes output and what reality inputs.

I have no doubt in my mind that Plato wins this argument hands down. The endless proliferation of particle accelerators is enough reminder that our eyes don't tell us what reality really looks like.

Back to the text.

To this point, we have seen Blake through his character of Urizen perform a critique on both Science and Religion, particularly the sort of Science and Religion thats holds itself as the only form of Truth to the exclusion of all others; the truth of the refutation; negative truth which assigns the value of falsity to all that which lies outside of its rigid self-contained logic. Its own self-affirmation, is thus the cause of it being all-repelling.

It is now safe to assume that Urizen is the personification of the “Reasoning Negative.” He is in a sense, the Reasoning Negative's god or genius, or Animus; he is presented to us in a human form as having a personality, as being jealous, and full of sorrow. His goal is to refute, abstract, and externalize the other Zoas, or Eternals, in a sense, to prevent their capacity to be acted upon. It is thus unreasonable to act on one's emotions, and one restrains one's anger and compassion in a single stroke. The disciplines of the ascetics thus become sanctified; self-control; self-denial; causes and effects; the privileging of the mind, over the animal portion of man (ie: the body and its desires, impulses etc).

In so denying, it negates (by degrees) its influence over the whole person, and such denying becomes habit, and whichever habits happen to be patterned on those which become replacements to the unwanted desire, exhibit themselves whenever this desire does. This basic behavior in religious humans is based on the this process of Negation, which in turn is based on slicing all possible behaviors into two categories, Good and Evil. Blake defines good as the “passive which obeys reason,”; evil as “the active springing from energy.” (TmoH&H)

In the Devil's estimation, Good and Evil represent a pure binary partition of the impulses of life and by extension, the body; & everything else which works against those impulses in an attempt to police, and eventually decondition them. They are the attributes which govern our ethics.

Now the attributes which govern Western ethics, are based on a primordial division between man and nature, for the God of the Western tradition elevates man above nature and thus in a sense, he esteems him in contradistinction to his “animal” self. And this separation, which is at once the foundation of Western metaphysics, the patterning principle which governs not only our relationship to our environment, but also our relationship to our own bodies. In this sense, Urizen, the personification of the Reasoning Negative, proves to be archetypal1.

Urizen himself is characterized as a brooding deity constructing books in solitude. His preferred manner of communication is the written as opposed to the spoken word. Derrida has written extensively about the Mythological History of the craft (the tekne) the technology of writing.

The appearance of the first female, who the Eternals call Pity, is once again a creation based on separation. Los attempts to embrace her, she refuses and escapes; he follows. In one of Blake's most peculiar lines:

2. Eternity shudder'd when they saw,
Man begetting his likeness,
On his own divided image

This strange line commemorates the birth of Orc, an ambivalent force of human nature who personifies the violence of condensed energy exploding. He is at once the hero of the revolutions; and the murderous single-mindedness it takes to achieve victory. He is at once the Devil and the Christ who both seek to overturn the established order; for it was Christ who preached for a philosophy of which the highest principle was compassion, and against the Laws of his father. Orc himself is distinctly ambivalent; he can go either way. We can call him an archetype of the revolutionary (in our modified way); we can see him in the same sense as the disturbed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud found his archetype in the character of Oedipus, who literally kills his father. Orc (on some basic level) is merely the desire for change. To overthrow one hierarchy in favor of a new one. He is born out of the unrequited union of Los and Enitharmon. He is the product of being bound against one's will. He is imprisoned, fettered, restrained. He is the one who attempts to break free. He is the sort of frenzied freedom one associates with those who have nothing to lose.

His description is thus serpentine. He is at once a worm, lying on its mother's bosom by day, and being shoved back into her womb at night; he cycles with time, and grows. He changes from a worm into a serpent. His utterances begin as hissings. His hissings turn in a “grating cry” (Urizen 6:32); it humanizes; it personifies. Suddenly there is an “infant form/Where was a worm before” (Urizen 6:36).

The source of this humanization: “Many forms of fish, bird & beast” (Urizen 6:34). This is a man born of animal; of nature; Darwin's man on the one hand, the Priest's uncivilized savage on the other, forever acting on the animalistic passions of his repressed desires.

Urizen by William Blake Chapter 5

The interchange between Los and Urizen suggests that one has a reciprocal relationship to the other. The sense of balance that exists between Los and Urizen is much like a sine curve, vacillating between the positive and the negative. For Urizen to be awake, Los must be asleep, they have a reciprocal relationship, but here, instead of any sense of a spectrum, you have the cold vacillation of binaries, moving between positive and negative limits, or to extend the analogy of the sine curve, between 1 and -1.

This vascillation is a 0-Sphere, it is how we imagine an object of the order, circle, sphere, simplex is expressed in 0 dimensions.

A 1-Sphere is a line. If you walk all the way from one end of the line to the other, you will end up at the beginning, much like the 2-Sphere, or the circle. The 3-Sphere is of course, a sphere proper, and 4-Sphere is called a simplex, and those are four spatial dimensions, for the sake of titillating the imagination.

The Earth is simplex-oid with one dimension in time. Of course, this is the expression of earth at any given point in time which not only contains its past, but predicts its future.

So, if scientists were given a snapshot of the soil of some random planet in our galaxy, they would be able to roughly guess most of the properties of the entire planet with just one simple clue.

The ability to envision this entire world from any given piece, necessitates that the rules that operate in this portion imply, are the same as or are derived from, in fact engaged within the same system as the part, and we know that this is not always the case.

A scientist with a clump of desert will have access to information, as it is contained within and refracted through the environment of the desert. We won't know anything about the nature of rainforests from a clump of desert even if we're clever enough to imply that they should exist with the clump of desert.

So Blake isn't really "at war" with science, or reductive logic, rather, he is at war with those who are trying to negate the imagination, in order to get to a truth. Blake understands this as confusing the map for the territory.

What Blake is trying to make us aware of is the infinite complexity of the information.

We have entered an either/or universe created out of the seven ages of corporeal concretization, demarcating time, as the remote functional God in the first pages of Genesis creates his vast Eden, part by part, in six consecutive days, resting on the seventh.

This story instantiates time. It is divided into seven segments and is geared toward revering the one day upon which God rested from His heavy labors; the one day on which God created nothing at all. This day, the Sabbath, is both the end and the beginning of a new cycle. This story of Creation is attributed, according the Documentary Theory to the Priestly tradition, a theory invented twenty years after Blake's death.

The Documentary Theory holds that the Torah proper is a composite of four earlier accounts of the Hebraic history and folklore, which are separated by ideas concerning God, and the sort of vision the other has of that God, calling Him at points by different names. Blake would have been aware of the different names, and as keen reader whose main concern was perspective, he would have recognized different visions of God. He uses the terms Jehovah, YHWH, and Elohim to evoke the sense of connection those terms have to their respective visions of God. Urizen is somewhat of a composite of these different visions, himself being at once an image of God and an agent of Creation, who himself represents the will of the Priest.

And unlike the God of the Elohist and Yahwist tradition, who is more or less anthropomorphic, being Himself capable of the sins He prohibits, the Priestly God is abstract and a functionary of the necessity to organize time; what in Blake could be called time-scraping because it represents the week cut into days, and then a day into hours, an hour into minutes and so forth, in both directions, toward millennia and nanoseconds, the aeon and the instant.

Likewise, this fall into organized time, instantiates routine, predictability, habits; the future as born out of the past. It is the beginning of the cycle. The seven ages of Urizen, in which his body materializes into a solid obstruction, occurs at precisely the same moment that time becomes carved out into the days of the week. The curse is this: the Vision, which is process of creation for Blake, has been reduced to the ocular, sensible world of matter, and the mathematical ratios which can be derived from measuring the length of the day, the shadows the Sun casts and, of course, the Architect's compass.

This is the future in some basic sense, being continually reborn out of the past. It resists change in favor of tradition, and identity. It instantiates self-hood, continuity, predictability all as the various forms and functions of Tradition in the absolute sense.

Tradition as an absolute principle, that is taken to its logical extreme; whose function is to preserve the self at all costs, and in a special sense, the past, the collected memories of the people; a shared sense of honor toward their principalities. Blake recognizes that the statehood, or the collective identity of the people was a prime target for deification, alongside the realms of nature, which had daemons, geniuses, or gods presiding over them as their powers. The gods are human reflections of the processes of nature, the cycling of the summers and winters are expressed in the liminal seasons of spring and fall, as when Persephone is taken into the underworld, or Tammuz must replace his bride Ishtar. In the case of Tammuz such a cycle was celebrated by the Sacred Marriage of the fertilizing goddess with leadership of the god-king. The union represented a harmonization of the powers of nature with kingship itself, and it was a community sacrament to be performed in the springtime.

The issue at play in Blake is the collective identity or selfhood, or more specifically, the nationalistic selfhood which prevents one from recognizing the Divine Vision. It is necessary to state that the selfhood Blake is critiquing is not necessarily nationalistic, but its system of religion was necessarily aimed toward providing a collective selfhood which could represent a city-state or an empire; and so by ritual, it becomes imbued with the power of the fertility/war goddess by observing Sacred Marriage in the springtime.

Back to the text; Los undergoes a transition in Chapter 5 and it is subtle yet significant. There is the sense (initially) that Los is either chained or conjoined to Urizen in some way. However, when Los' fires die and Urizen's world begins to cool and harden, Los is suddenly capable of beholding Urizen in his “abominable petrific chaos.” Suddenly, it is Urizen who is bound in chains while Los beholds him from afar, and Pities him.

Pity is a concept of enormous magnitude in Blake's Illuminated Texts, and likewise is one of four qualities attributed to the Divine Vision, the others being Mercy, Peace, and Love. Elsewhere, Pity plays a healing role, acting as a catalyst to some selfless action. Here, in Urizen, it merely “divides the Soul.”

Let's for the sake of argument assume that what Blake is describing is a personality experiencing a single internal reality. Los and Urizen are not separate autonomous beings, but rather parts of a divided whole. Los pitying Urizen would be something akin to “I pity myself.” “I” and “myself” explicitly refer to the same being, (the one who types this essay at his keyboard for you to read). It is no stretch to say that the subject and the object are then the same being, with different names referring to parts of the whole. The part of myself which does the pitying, has thus separated itself from the part of itself that it pities. To assert the statement “Pity divides the Soul” is to assert that there is only one certain kind of Pity, self-pity, for to Pity another is an entirely different affair in Blake, and to do so means to partake in Divinity. But here we have an instance, for example, of a Soul in lamentation over the turpitude of its Body, or more mundanely, the image of the Earth from the Sky.

Thus the Eternal Prophet was divided
Before the death-image of Urizen
For in changeable clouds and darkness
In a winterly night beneath,
The Abyss of Los stretch'd immense:
And now seen, now obscur'd, to the eyes
Of Eternals, the visions remote
Of the dark seperation appear'd.
As glasses discover Worlds
In the endless Abyss of space,
So the expanding eyes of Immortals
Beheld the dark visions of Los,
And the globe of life blood trembling

Blake is drawing a rather explicit connection between the way the Immortals behold Los' visions and the way Scientists peruse the sky with their telescopes. We are once again being shown a world which has been reduced to the ocular, visual representation; a type of knowing which has assumed a supremacy over other sorts of understanding, such as apprehension, imagination, aptitude, emotional intelligence. We have rational, systematic, and system bound reasoning asserting a sort of supremacy to the exclusion of the other types of knowing; a system which binds Reason into the observations capable of being made by the five senses; a system advanced by the empiricists and most notably, John Locke. It is built upon an observer/observed dichotomy. Einstein's Relativity would morph this dichotomy into obersever/observation, and Quantum Physics would further complicate Newton's Machine World by only being able to talk about probabilities.

So much of what scientists over the centuries have attempted to achieve has been based on territory generally reserved for the prophet. “What?” you say, laughing at my ignorance. But both the scientist and the prophet are concerned with accurately predicting the future; for if an experiment can be carried out once, but never duplicated, it proves nothing but an anomaly. It isn't good that an experiment work once, it must always work, over and over again. This ensures that the relation can be represented mathematically; thus “abstracted,” and can be worked with according the system of rules we agree constitute mathematics. Mathematics is a system, a machine, for analyzing the truth of its own assertions. If Newton's laws were universally accurate (that is, they applied to the Universe as a whole and were not just Earthbound approximations), then everything indeed would be predictable, and given a fast enough computer, one could predict the history of the entire Universe from the present. Blake knew better, and felt no need to prove it. Kurt Godel would do this for him with his Incompleteness Theorem. It is precisely our ability to break the rules, to use metasystemic logic, that allows us to fashion the rules of our system. Thus by assumption do we discover the truth, even when it runs contrary to our assumption. Thus by trial and error, experience, and experiment. The rules themselves cannot so much evaluate their own truth. The theory cannot assert its own correctness. They require an observer, an advocate, a mathematician, or a prophet.

How then does the Prophet predict? By seeing time as both cyclical and linear at once. Certain patterns keep repeating (though with infinite variety). There is the same rhythm to a song, and yet the words keep changing. As they do, the language becomes more and more opaque, until every every word is at a one to one correspondence with its referent. So constructed, the word, the thing itself, loses its connectivity to the world around it, becoming itself a solid thing in a universe of lonely monads. This superficial, sensory empiricism is only part of the story, according to Blake, whose argument goes something like this: if our senses alone dictate our knowledge of the world, then how could we perceive (say) Time? Without Time, we have no concept of Motion. Without Motion what becomes of Time?

The issue that comes into play for the mathematicians and empiricists alike who are in defense of their Machine World, is the undefinability of Truth itself, and the impossiblilty of constructing a system which can verify the truthfulness or falsity of all of its own statements. As Godel proved, even if it were possible to construct such a Machine, there would always be (at least) one question that the machine could not answer. In other words, there is always a base assumption at work within the system which is not provable within the system. For Blake the idea was simpler. Any idea which represented reality in accord merely with the five senses was bound to be a reduction of a greater whole. Such is Blake's critique on science. There is also the element to which Faith is antithetical to Demonstration, which plays a large role in Jerusalem.

Urizen by William Blake Chapter [Inbetween 4 and 5] Part 2

Chapter Five begins with Los dropping his hammer beholding his own fires and sickening. He falls into a sleep. So Urizen and Los exchange places, as if like the Sun and the Moon in Derrida's sky, one can only exist in the absence of the other, or more precisely, one hovers over the Void/Abyss while the other has a nap.

Firstly, setting speech at war with writing makes about as much sense to Blake as setting your eyes at war with your ears. The idea would be to delegate the "seeing" and the "hearing" aspect of your own senses so that they can work without mutually excluding one another.

So, something like "common sense" to William Blake, is the ideal organizational state of the mind before it's been tricked into rearranging itself via the culture.

What we end up getting in the name Urizen is a lot of different qualities that have been collapsed into an expanding concept.

Urizen himself is the literalization of the process by which knowledge goes to die. At once being based on experience, it seeks to abstract itself from its material referential axis in order to prove the self-consistency of its own set of inter-relations.

In Structural Linguistics you get a line segment for this process, a one dimensional fourfold line that works like this:

Signifyer-> (Signifier/Signified) <-Referrent

The problem comes into play when you get an object like a flag which itself is a material object that is functioning like a signifier.

Do you

a) create another term to describe this object
b) understand the labels as describing relationships and not types

Obviously, I'm with B, I'm going to argue Blake is with B. I'm not going to lose that argument.

The other argument that I'm not going to lose is that Explanatory methodologies such as those persued in science are intrinsically prone to losing information in the process of their communication, while a Blakean methodology, though extremely confusing, retains more information, while presenting and packing information in a way similar to how CD's transfer information.

So one of our base dimensions then will be light, and the other base dimension will be lens.

The idea then will be that Urizen's actions lead to the refraction of data in such a manner that causes the loss of information.

In scientific terms, this is the crux of Blake's argument against science. It loses information.

Not that reduction is in itself evil, but that its application as an act of "perspective cleansing" so as to create a "pure object" via non-contamination from perspective, is in fact, an act of contamination.

It is, at once, one of the most powerful tools of human knowing: generalization, abstraction, reduction, that it becomes so fond and full of itself, it tries to take over the entire show.

Again, to reiterate a point I have spent my life's work insisting on, that modern psychological theory is trying to exterminate the reductive generalizing principle of abstraction that is symptomatic of schizophrenia, while simultaneously utilizing it as a founding principle in diagnostics.

It is largely because there is no internal coherence to such a system, that it seems to me to be suffering from the very disease it is attempting to "cure".

A literal schism which has the property of being "set against itself" except that it lacks the self-reflection necessary to become aware of it, being itself a discipline, and not a human being.

Urizen by William Blake Chapter [Inbetween 4 and 5]

We are, in a sense, positioned between the interstitial non-space of chapters four and five, and I think for my part, it's time to take an inventory of the concepts that we've introduced and think about them generally.

Firstly, Urizen is the personification of negation. He is associated with Priests, and Scientists, being criticized in fact on the same grounds. Blake is under no obligation to criticize science and scientific materialist philosophy, and in fact could have an apt ally if in fact his war was more focused on social bondage and political reality of his time.

Well, Blake's war is not against the individual priests who have made the choice to reject pleasure, it's against the impulse to impose a system specifically adapted to their own short comings on the lot of us all.

Science in this regard is no better, pretending to a truth which is an abjection of the senses and non-reasoning forms of intelligence.

Blake believes that man has a four-fold personality, but his sense of dimensionality is 2^3 or 3^2, ie: 8,9, or 8*9 = 72 = 2^3 * 3^2. In fact, you have to convert the whole thing over to 72, a mystical number indeed, especially if you want to "rearrange your base".

The reasoning intelligence, Urizen, which is depicted by Blake as asleep is one of four parts to the intelligence or "divine soul" of man. For that idea think of an Adam Kadmon, or a general template, a seed of humanity, which is sort of archetypal.

Freud, Jung, Lacan, all want to create a map of the psyche. Well, so does Blake. He is going to see the Bible, and all sacred codes as projections. Modern psychoanalytic concepts of projection are applicable. Modern mathematical concepts dealing with projection geometry are also applicable. The ability to map data from the physical world, and reshape it, so that you can see it as a Gestalt as a whole... That is the impulse and desire of understanding.

We leave Urizen standing, as Los was before described, with his feet hovering over an Abyss. This stands in contradistinction to the Void which Los stood over, perhaps now being aspected differently. The aspect in Blake is matter of perspective. The image of Christ with his hands pointed up and down, is a gesture, signifying the judgment of God and the Eternal abodes which await each soul. It signifies moral choice and fear of damnation. And here Urizen stands at once in the image of the fearful shepherd, protecting his flock from myriad goats. He is a Divider, not a uniter. He does not wish to bring men together, but to tear them asunder. From this a civil war of the soul is born, the same way men war over ideology. The caution of our conservative sensibilities forever wars against every natural impulse of the body.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Urizen by William Blake Chapter 4

Click For Urizen 4 Text

The sort of logic that Blake is working with should by now be clear. It is heavily pragmatic. It considers the effect of certain philosophies on the people who are being forced to adhere to them. Blake considers philosophy an adaptation which has been form fitted to the weaknesses, and desires of each man or woman.

Now, Blake considers himself a psychic and prophet who can see with a specialized vision into this world and elaborate the consequences of our philosophies and actions.

Blake's attack on religion is swift and damning, having already been taken care of in the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Blake's critique of science is more subtle, even more damning, and categorically dismissed.

Blake is ontologically committed to science. These are demonstrations, living proof of a discovery that Blake has made, that religion is not words in book, the favor of God, or an eternal battle of opposing forces, but a living memory that is playing itself out like a script toward some teleological aim.

The nature of this teleological aim is therapeutic in nature.

Scientists pride themselves, like psychics, on the their ability to make predictions based on solid and verifiable suppositions.

The thing is, so does Blake, but he has a different system of methodology, and Blake's critique on science is going to tell us a lot about how far we can take Blake's methodology and to what extent Blake is rejecting science.

So, as we begin with chapter four, Blake reiterates that Los' function within this system is to prevent changes. What is also going to happen now is that we have an elaborated and delineated sense of time. Also, Blake likes to use the term "roll" to describe what time is doing, and we'll see that used repeatedly.

This is the first time we see Los beating on his "rivets of iron" a motif which is repeated by Yeats in Sailing Toward Byzantium and again by Sylvia Plath in Blackberrying.

Urizen is about to fall again, last time from a state of Eternity into Time, this time, from continuous time into cinematic ticker time.

The imagery is basically describing the same sort of stuff that was being described before.

1. Pouring "soder"/blood to "cool"/freeze. Here the blood becomes metal, the imagery more industrial; rivets being beaten with hammers, belching sullen fires.

This is the fall into discontinuous time, which ticks via the passage of one repetition all the way through. Think of a loop, with a set of instructions:

Washing Dishes

Fill sink with soap and water
place dishes in water
rub dishes with scratchy pad
rinse excess soap from dishes
let dry

We execute this "script" (and I use this term variously to describe a tri-unal set of concepts) just once and the task is done.

A "script" can be like a movie script, or script for a play, it can be a chunk of instructions, like an algorithm, and by extension a recipe, or also a presecription, like a drug, hopefully a cure.

Each of these "aspects" of the script would be binary themselves in dimension, so what you have is threefoldedness which is two-fold at each point.

This sort of construction is limitless in terms of being able to rearrange it to fit into certain things. Four-folded-ness is a byproduct of this configuration, because it is binary, and so can be expressed as power of two. The problem then is that you have to rearrange the base.

Back to the actual text. Los demarcates time while Urizen sleeps. What's interesting is that Urizen controls with an infinitely passive force. By what compulsion does Los hammer the rivets, heave the bellows, divide and demarcate time, and find Eternals to confine?

Los' activities become the very chains that bind him, creating in their wake an opaque landscape of solid obstruction.

Chains, spines, snakes, Urizen rises as a dark negative of the body, growing out of its spine, connected in sequence to to the chains of ticker time, a "first age passes over, and a state of dismal woe.

Then, a second age, and branches shoot out of his bones like wires, like a vast net, a third age and it enclasps his heart, two little orbs, fixed in two little caves, eyes, you see, then ears, nose, throat, the orifices of the senses. Thirst and hunger now. His one arm goes up, the other goes down, like Christ pointing toward heaven and hell.

And thus the great body of Urizen is formed. A negation of the body, and itself a negative.

Los (called Time by mortals) prevents change in Urizen's void, his job is preserve continuity, but in the process of that preservation, certain inevitable changes occur, and thus begins the first Age of Urizen, with the Eternal Prophet (Los) “beating on rivets of iron” an image reused by Blake in several instances. Here Los beating at the rivets results in the measuring of time. It creates a chunking process, creating a discontinuous state of chunked repetitions.

Los also “heaves the bellows” and pours iron solder, and brass solder into molds, “inchained” to sleeping Urizen, who through Los creates and “inclos'd” roof, “in an orb, his fountain of thought. The motif of enclosing which was at once attributed to Urizen, is here attributed to Los who works under the agency of a sleeping Urizen. Forgetfulness, dumbness, necessity are introduced into the world as a result. Los beats on his own chains, and a vast Spine writhes in torment; “shooting pained ribs, like a bending cavern.”

The identification of the ribs with a cavern, which is by nature a negative space, like a hole, defined by the absence of surrounding rock. This isn't the body proper. This is an image of the body as a void, and as we've seen before echoed by Urizen's perspective that Nature's wide womb is also a void. And what the other Eternals see from there perspective is black globe, a negative image of the Earth, a place where light cannot escape. Urizen's desire is create a dark negative of the body to control the body. It is built out of laws and prohibitions. The simile however does not end with caverns, it extends to “bones of solid obstruction” which would be the result of a purely visual interpretation of the world around us. This image of the negative parallels the creation of the world of solid obstruction.

Urizen, although “rent from Eternity” retains his fourfold nature. Tharmas and Luvah rage from the fires in Urizen's void, and Los hovers above with the void for his feet, while Urizen himself sleeps. The primordial unity that existed in the Heavens among Urizen and the other Eternals, however has been deformed. Los is the fallen Urthona who comes into being when Urizen severs his connection with the other Eternals. Then First Age ends, with a state of “dismal woe.”

From the caverns of his spine, a red round globe appears and sinks into the Abyss. The result is “ten thousand branches shooting around his solid bones. Seven Ages pass over as Blake describes a body being formed from the inside out. First the bones appear, like caverns; then the ten thousand branches shoot around his bones, evidently appearing from with within the cavern, while at the same time sinking into the Abyss.

Slowly, Urizen takes corporeal form, on the one hand becoming a body, and on the other hand dividing into parts: the spine, the branches, and then the eyes, ears, nostrils, and mouth, the corporeal inlets of the five senses. His mouth, his stomach, are all negative spaces; they crave, they thirst, they hunger and they want.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Urizen by William Blake Chapter 3 [Part 2]

Urizen Chapter 3

I highly recommend keeping this open in another window as we work our way through the rest of chapter three. We are going to continue to read in a linear fashion, and do a parallel reading. With interjections from modern mathematics, science, philosophy and metaphysics and other disciplines which I know about.

I am intensely aware of the fact that the presentation I can offer you today will pale to that presentation that I can offer you in twenty years and that I am a master of none of these disciplines. So I hardly relate to any of this as if it is the final word.

Anyway, beginning with Stanza 4, Chapter 3. We find Urizen clasping his book of brass. Now, when I talk about the speech vs. writing we aren't exactly talking about two opposing forces as we would be in Derrida. We are talking about language which is subject to different laws.

The laws that govern speech: immediacy, cause & effect, human memory, and they are lost the moment they are spoken, movie.

The laws that govern writing: atemporal, cause in effect, uncorruptable stasis, photograph.

In effect, it is a dichotomy that has nothing to do with speech and writing, that nonetheless gets expressed in terms of speech and writing, and in effect becomes subordinated to speech and writing.

Let's re-orient ourselves at line three, take a step back for a second.

Sund'ring, dark'ning, thund'ring
Rent away with a terrible crash

Sundering and rent convey ripping and separation, a violent separation, of a whole into parts. Urizen is taking control of the show and the other Eternals don't like it. Departing, departing, departing the echo of a fall, mountains rising around us, obstructing our view, fragments of life, frowning cliffs, and voidness, un-fathomable. Fires run over the heavens, whirlwinds, cataracts of blood, desarts, darkness, sparseness. The fires try to break in on the void, but the void continues to expand. No light breaks through. Black combustion. Motors, factories, black smoke, heat, flames. A vision whose main character is blind.

Urizen flees to the desart to retreat from the flames. It's hard to hide there, he has no survival instincts. Instead he burrows into the ground like a mole, "digging mountains & hills", piling, containing, enclosing, structuring a base, on all sides around him "like a womb", rivers, veins, networks, webs, lines. They are made of life, and set against life. The "eternal fires" are cracking through Urizen's structure and he uses his own blood to "cool the eternal fires" It works, allowing the energy creating instability to slow and slow and slow. "Like a human heart strugling & beating, the vast world of Urizen appeare'd."

As a whole, (the treatment of a part of a thing as a whole), this is Urizen's fall into a separation, a state Urizen identifies with wholeness. The separation into an on and off state inaugurated by the appearance of the human heart, the rhythm of the body. This inaugurates the fall into Time, and simultaneously, the emergence of Los, who “keeps watch for Eternals to confine,” while Eternity stands “wide apart/As the stars are apart from the Earth.”

This suggests that from the Eternals perspective, Urizen is a black geophysical globe who at once inhabits his own world of creation. At the same time this happens, he is not entirely separated from the other Eternals who are imagined as a flames pouring through a void encircled by mountains within Urizen's creation.

The moment Los comes into being, he feels anguish because Urizen is “rent” from is side, a term in Blake which always entails a violent separation. Relative to Los, the Void, is his feet, and he dwells among the fires of the Eternals, looking for other Eternals to “capture.” Los is subservient to Urizen's will which is to void Nature by creating a selfcontained indwelling which captures the impulses of the body, and emotions to create a cold center of ethics and reasons. So the other Eternals are partially voided in the process, and these Eternals, Urizen, Tharmas, Luvah, and Urthona, manifest themselves in Urizen's realm in specific ways. Urthona manifests itself as Los, the Eternal Prophet, here enslaved to be a restrainer, and judge, and a punisher, while Urizen himself lay shapeless, dormant and malleable, “unorganiz'd, rent from Eternity,” like a man whose turned his back on the skies: “Urizen is a clod of clay.”

Los heals himself, but Urizen cannot be healed. He just sort of lays there like a shapeless blob, asleep in a dreamless night. So Los arouses the fires “affrighted” at the blob. This image of the Sleeping God recurs in Blake's depiction of Albion in Jerusalem.

8. And Los round the dark globe of Urizen,
Kept watch for Eternals to confine,
The obscure separation alone;
For Eternity stood wide apart,
As the stars are apart from the earth

Hey, Los comes into being, and immediately has a job. Not bad kid. He's the policeman for Urizen, he's Urizen's goon. He finds eternals and "confines" them, he inprisons them. Again, Urizen is associated with the Sky, and identified here with the stars, carrying an Astrological sense of a "Divine Writ", a static destiny.

The separation scars and heals. Urizen is "a clod of clay", malleable, impressionable, depressable. A thing to be shaped. The Urizen think he's dead, but he's in a death-like state, a sleep, a snooze, a dreamless drunken sleep.


Hello and thanks to good folks over at Blake 2.0 / Awesome, awesome project. Can't wait to take a look through.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Urizen by William Blake Chapter 3 [Part 1]

The nature of blogs being as they are, the entries are in reverse order. In other words, this is the forth part, labeled the third part, in the first position. The other parts you can find by scrolling down.

1. The voice ended, they saw his pale visage
Emerge from the darkness; his hand
On the rock of eternity unclasping
The Book of brass. Rage siez'd the strong

2. Rage, fury, intense indignation
In cataracts of fire blood & gall
In whirlwinds of sulphurous smoke:
And enormous forms of energy;
All the seven deadly sins of the soul
In living creations appear'd
In the flames of eternal fury.

Imagery that is associated with the body is going to begin to become more prevalent. Special attention is going to be paid to the eyes, and cataracts have both the sense rivers forking into tributaries, as well as impediments to vision, as we'll see this is just about perfect.

The response by the other eternals is anger, though their reasons are not really clear yet, and I want to avoid jumping the gun a conclusion. The relationship between the presentation of Urizen's Book of Laws and the Eternal's rage is causal. The seven deadly sins are imprinted on their souls immediately. Flames, and sulfur. The imagery is downright hellish.

It is significant that Urizen first begins with a speech, and then opens the Book of Brass. The immediate result is rage, fury, and intense indignation. The speech which has the magical property of creation in the Book of Genesis, summons contempt in the Eternals. But when Urizen unclasps his Book of Brass, it throws all heaven in a fury. So what we have is an inversion of the tale of Creation in the Genesis text along the bounding contraries of speech and writing, the “limits” as Blake refers to them elsewhere.

This gesture, the opening of the Book of Brass, signifies the beginning of moral slavery, analogous to Eve and the apple incident, and the fall from Innocence into the state of moral dualities. It signifies the beginning of Good and Evil. Good being at once in Blake's system, a Negation of Evil, and thus of energy, and the Divine Vision, which is the ultimate ultimate good. Thus it's necessary to untangle our references into a hierarchy.

Good to the Urizenites means this: “From these Contraries [love/hate, attraction/repulsion, reason and energy] spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy./Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.]” (TMHH). This sort of good which is the inheritor of judgment, self-sacrifice, punishment, and moral cruelty, is also the inheritor of evil, being itself, generated in contradistinction to evil. Good inherits Evil. Evil is Father of Good. Good is the Negation of Evil.

Blakean Good, is a Negation of Good and a Negation of Evil. The result is a sort of omne bonum est Divine Vision, that is seeing divinity in all things living, “for everything that lives is Holy.”

Also implied by Blake's Urizen character, is that the Created world exists before Urizen's creation, the Book of Brass in which is inscribed the Seven Deadly Sins, which then appear in living creations. What Blake is underscoring here is agency of the Seven Deadly Sins coloring perceptions. Greed, Gluttony, Wrath, Envy, Pride, Lust, and Sloth, each of which is the conditioned fear of certain sort of desire. Urizen acts of desire of fear. He seeks for a “joy without pain,” for a “solid without fluctuation. His is a world of identity in stasis, a self-enclosed selfhood whose foremost desire is “not die.” “Why will you die O Eternals? Why live in unquenchable burnings?” Urizen imposes a unity, a law, which in turn enslaves vision to a system of vision, reducing wholes in their minute particulars, to parts containing only what is relevant to a particular intent, and that intent, in which in this case is to not die, but also, to not change, is born out of a fear for certain forms of desire. This is the sort of austere selfhood which enslaves the passions of the body to the fears of the imagination, inverting perception, inward and somehow creating a dark negative out of prohibitions, each coming loaded with an intention, leaving the imprint of a motivation, attacking the bodies impulses like an anti-body. This is the forbearer of the accusatory doctrine of St. John's Revelation, a mass purgation of all that which is not holy. This implies a self-contained negative definition of Good which has become “Holy” - negation, which is Urizenic in nature. When Urizen looks upon Nature's Wide Womb, he sees a void, where nothing is.

This solves our Creator/not-Creator contradiction.

Urizen is a perverter. He takes what is already there, reduces its to its mean, set its on high as an ideal.

Northrop Frye refers to this as "Flat Disk" vision of the sun, where as Blake sees a sun orbited by angels. Why? Because it's prettier. Do you need a better reason? Blake can see that angel orbited sun, literally see the angels orbiting the sun, while also recognizing that other people can't.

This is an act of adornment.

From hence forth the rules of our game are about to change. We are going to start covering things in larger blocks so I don't have to repeat myself and potentially insult my readers by pointing out the obvious over and over.

We're going to be arguing a few things that will take some getting used to.

Number one, this system is consistent the rules of science and mathematics.

Number two, it opens up a discussion of paradox that would center around the fact of paradoxes being in a sense atemporal theories which are considering things transforming into time, often from one state to another which has been defined in contradistinction to each other.

We can say that the caterpillar is both a caterpillar and a butterfly if we consider it in terms of the entirety of its existence and not at any given point. This is the transcendence of dualities. To consider things externally to the temporal dimension is to enter the realm of paradox, and by extension contradiction. We can't just throw something away because there is a contradiction anymore.

The contradiction is potentially meaningful in and of itself (Francisco Verela, A Calculus of Self-Reference). It's worth noting that Joseph Campbell reaches the exact same conclusion in his critique of duality in mythology.

I'm going to break off here, and repost a second part which will cover the remainder of the chapter.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Urizen by William Blake Chapter 2 [Part 1]

In the second chapter we get Urizen's side of the story. It begins (ostensibly) before Time and Space are created:

1. Earth was not: nor globes of attraction
The will of the Immortal expanded
Or contracted his all flexible senses.
Death was not, but eternal life sprung

The description of the planets as “globes of attraction” contrasts with Urizen's characteristic of being all-repelling. We have a contrary, and a new way to connect Urizen with the sky. To define the Earth as a “globe of attraction” is draw it in terms of a repulsive contrary. Attraction and Repulsion are specifically named by Blake as constituting Contraries in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Also, as we begin, we begin in the state of “eternal life” which we can understand as analogically connected (or isomorphically descended) to the state Adam and Eve enjoyed in the pre-Fall Garden of Eden. To say it analogically connected, one need only reason and compare. To call it an isomorphism, presupposes a parent or an eternal form (in Derrida an origin that is not The Origin), from which the Book of Urizen, and the story of Eden are both articulations of. They are receptions of the loss of an eternal form of life, representations of an eternal form of loss.

2. The sound of a trumpet the heavens
Awoke & vast clouds of blood roll'd
Round the dim rocks of Urizen, so nam'd
That solitary one in Immensity

The sound of the trumpet heralds (or signals) the beginning of the fall. Blake is cleverly mixing his metaphors here, for the trumpets sound in Revelation to herald the beginning of the Final Judgment.

Here the final judgement is conceived at the moment it of it's entry way into this world. In other words "it came with the frame."

But in order to do so it must play itself out in time, some great script whose beginning, middle, and end has already been written, yet hasn't unfolded.

3. Shrill the trumpet: & myriads of Eternity,
Muster around the bleak desarts
Now fill'd with clouds, darkness & waters
That roll'd perplex'd labring & utter'd
Words articulate, bursting in thunders
That roll'd on the tops of his mountains

Again, Blake mixes up imagery, waters and clouds in bleak deserts, and again we're called back to the “image” of voices (articulate) bursting from thunders on the tops of mountains. Time and again, we're being called back to that same image of the preacher on the mountain.

4: From the depths of dark solitude. From
The eternal abode in my holiness,
Hidden set apart in my stern counsels
Reserv'd for the days of futurity,
I have sought for a joy without pain,
For a solid without fluctuation
Why will you die O Eternals?
Why live in unquenchable burnings?

For the first time we hear Urizen's voice, for this is Urizen who speaks, addressing the Eternals. He is about to present them with his religion! Firstly, (however) “unquenchable burnings” suggests an almost Buddhist sensibility toward desire. Urizen sees desire as the cause of suffering. Restraint restrains with the ultimate goal of eradicating the desire, holding it down, and suffocating it so that it by degrees becomes passive. So all the passions that spring from the body are now deemed sinful. The desire is for purity, and purity finds its ultimate expression in uniformity, and this uniformity will be imposed on the other Eternals, because Urizen is pretty certain that it's in their best interests.

A solid without fluctuation is one that does not change. A joy without pain could only be a negation of suffering. His holiness and stern counsels are born out of the depths of his solitude.

5 First I fought with the fire; consum'd
Inwards, into a deep world within:
A void immense, wild dark & deep,
Where nothing was: Natures wide womb
And self balanc'd stretch'd o'er the void
I alone, even I! the winds merciless
Bound; but condensing, in torrents
They fall & fall; strong I repell'd
The vast waves, & arose on the waters
A wide world of solid obstruction

Firstly, he fights with fire, and is himself “consum'd/Inwards.” And once again, Urizen's void is identified with Nature, this time as “Natures wide womb.” Then Urizen “stretches over” the void/Nature's wide womb, like a sky. He draws a lot of attention to himself in his speech: “I alone, even I!”. The winds condense and fall. He repels the waves, and emerges on the waters into a wide world of solid obstruction.

The conflation of the Void with Nature's Wide Womb is of course, counter intuitive. Also, if we think of Nature's Wide Womb as the Earth itself, and we can see Urizen stretching across her like a sky. Visually, the Womb, or the Uterus proper, is an inversion of the sort of generation brought forth by the Earth. For the womb, like an Egg, incubates within, while the Earth teems upon its surface.

6. Here alone I in books formd of metals
Have written the secrets of wisdom
The secrets of dark contemplation
By fightings and conflicts dire,
With terrible monsters Sin-bred:
Which the bosoms of all inhabit;
Seven deadly Sins of the soul.

Here now, is Urizen, creating a measure for the soul.

Most of this is pretty self-explanitory; Urizen is presenting his religion before the other Eternals. Dark contemplation, battles against sin-bred monsters; “Which the bosoms of all inhabit.” Blake could have said here, “Which inhabit the bosoms of all,” but this would have clearly demonstrated the locus of the inhabitation. There is a sense of potential inversion. The bosoms of all can inhabit the Sin-bred monsters. And we find out these are the Seven deadly Sins of the soul: Greed, Pride, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath.

7. Lo! I unfold my darkness: and on
This rock, place with strong hand the Book
Of eternal brass, written in my solitude.
8. Laws of peace, of love, of unity:
Of pity, compassion, forgiveness.
Let each chuse one habitation:
His ancient infinite mansion:
One command, one joy, one desire,
One curse, one weight, one measure
One King, one God, one Law.

This pretty much speaks for itself. Thus ends chapter two.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Derrida's Erection

Riddle of the Day:

Derrida's web of erections is based on the this Greek verb

Click question to find answer!

Urizen by William Blake Chapter 1 [Part 2]

PART 1: Click This

Urizen, suffice it say, is a sort of personification, and there is one distinct difference between the Ancient Poets, and William Blake. Blake is personifying something which by nature is abstract. And it's only in his character that we may discover his qualities. And we can safely get the sense now that when the other Eternals would not be subject to his laws, he separated himself from them, and created/or was given a space of his own in which to dwell. What does he do there? So far, he only divides and measures.

3. For he strove in battles dire
In unseen conflictions with shapes
Bred from his forsaken wilderness,
Of beast, bird, fish, serpent & element
Combustion, blast, vapour and cloud.

He battles against shapes which are “bred from” his “forsaken wilderness” of “beast, bird, fish, serpent, element.” His senses are being inundated with the heat of combustion, the blast, the vapour, the cloud. His forsaken wilderness is the animal kingdom, and he contends against the shapes that it begets. It seems that Urizen's void in the North is being adorned with the creatures of nature. But he himself has no agency in this creation, so it is therefore in a sense wrong to fully equate him with the Hebrew God, because Urizen is in no sense a creator. We know he measures.

I point this out to avoid claims that Blake is a Gnostic. What the Gnostics do to the God of Old Testement is similar to what Blake is describing in the Urizen character, a sort of Demi-urge who like Ialtobaoth, the Gnostic demon creates a world of his own, and attempts to enslave.

So he makes the wilderness, forsakes it, and contends against the shapes that arise out of it. This is Blake's interpretation of the "priests" reception and teachings concerning the Old Testement God. Very anti-body, anti-animal, anti-desire.

These are foundation negations in Western Religious theory and Western Philosophy.

This however doesn't fully excuse the fact that Blake's understanding of Judaism is somewhat lacking. Blake sees Christ as a Satanic figure rebelling against traditional laws passed down from the Old Testement. This vision of Christ does have a very Gnostic feel to it. We must, however, refrain from allowing that to Gnostify what is happening here, which in many ways would cause us to conclude the opposite of what Blake is actually preaching, which is actually closer to Native American spirituality or Taoism in it's relation and reverence for the life present in this world.

Blake sees it as an abomination to sacrifice this life to the next, and Blake, naively, wants to "free" the Jews from the OT-Laws.


4. Dark revolving in silent activity:
Unseen in tormenting passions;
An activity unknown and horrible;
A self-contemplating shadow,
In enormous labours occupied

Self-contemplation shadow, interesting idea. Well. Number one, the hermit who rejects the world for a time is going to return with the fruits of his labor, perhaps some great book about God.

When I say it like that, it seems obvious, but I've read Urizen six hundred and sixty six times, and on the 314th I picked up on it.

My head was so up my ass trying to think about circularity, recursion, all these complex structural elements happening, that I'd completely glossed the most important thing about this prophesy.

All of these images are going to map to multiple real world figures, obviously here, Moses and Mohammed are being sort of lumped in the archetype of Urizen. It would be Blakean to say that Moses and Mohammed are manifestations of this Urizenic impulse to create a measure, a standard, external, from which to gage all things.

5. But Eternals beheld his vast forests
Age on ages he lay, clos'd, unknown
Brooding shut in the deep; all avoid
The petrific abominable chaos

Once again, Urizen's void in the north is adorned with forests, and things of nature. The linking of petrific to chaos once again presents with a counter intuitive tangle of meanings. The Eternals can see his forests, but he himself is unknown, and closed.

This is kind of neat. They can see evidence of him, but not him himself. Also "petrific" meaning "of stone" or figuratively unchanging. Urizen wants to stop time from changing his shapes.

6. His cold horrors silent, dark Urizen
Prepar'd: his ten thousands of thunders
Rang'd in gloom'd array stretch out across
The dread world, & the rolling of wheels
As of swelling seas, sound in his clouds
In his hills of stor'd snows, in his mountains
Of hail & ice; voices of terror,
Are heard, like thunders of autumn,
When the cloud blazes over the harvests

It's really easy when the writing is so fluid and well done to glaze over for a moment and let the analytical part of your mind kind of fall by the wayside. The problem is you won't pick up certain elements when you do. Then the issue becomes, well, I kind of have to force myself to see each element as a concept, and not as a sensation, and you miss the other half of what is going on.

The trick would be to see them both at once, using both manners of seeing at the same time, holding two different procedures, which often contradict and mutually exclude each other, as simultaneously true, and then employing them.

Now, this isn't the whole story. If it was I could draw a picture of a cube to demonstrate. There are four Eternals, and the trick is then to get them working all in sync, without a centroid (or with one, your choice).

The centroid method is Urizen's and Blake's critique is nearly identical to Jung's. We'll see
more of this stuff pop up when Blake talks about conglobing.

But, more to the fact, and less non-sequitur...

Thus ends the first chapter of Urizen. The Primeval Priest, prepares the ten thousand thunders to set some sort of wheels in motion. But from his cold hills and mountains, voices of terror (as opposed to say, screams) can be heard, themselves like thunder. From the frozen tips of mountains, their voices “blaze.” And then we get a reference to autumn, and harvests, which these blazing voices loom over like a cloud. Now, we need only summon in our mind the image of a man screaming from a mountain top, his words like fire, his body freezing, to understand the sort of picture Blake is painting here. The fact that this “voice of terror” looms over the Harvest, as an event specifically characterized by plenitude and abundance is also noteworthy.

It is also significant that blazing voices come from freezing bodies, as if the one is in one sense attempting to negate the other, or in another sense, acting to balance it.

Also noteworthy, is that Urizen acts from his clouds with thunders, which further identifies him with the sky.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Urizen by William Blake Preludium & Chapter 1 [Part 1]

(This is a line by line translation/interpretation of William Blake's Book of Urizen. It is largely rough draft-like, something I like to call a Delineation.

Of the primeval Priests assum'd power,
When Eternals spurn'd back his religion;
And gave him a place in the north,
Obscure, shadowy, void, solitary.
Eternals I hear your call gladly,
Dictate swift winged words, & fear not
To unfold your dark visions of torment.

Okay. So we got Urizen, the Primeval Priest being cast out and shunned in the cold, void, solitary north, literally at the top of the world. Our poet is going to side with the Eternals. This is their story of Urizen. The Eternals are Blake's muse, and their lot is dark torment.

1. Lo, a shadow of horror is risen
In Eternity! Unknown, unprolific!
Self-closd, all-repelling: what Demon
Hath form'd this abominable void
This soul-shudd'ring vacuum?--Some said
"It is Urizen", But unknown, abstracted
Brooding secret, the dark power hid.

With that in mind the peculiarly charged language that is being tossed about at poor Urizen should be understood as our poet taking sides. He is un-known, un-prolific, self-closed, all-repelling. He is a demon inhabiting and abominable void, a soul-shuddering vacuum.

2.Times on times he divided, & measur'd
Space by space in his ninefold darkness
Unseen, unknown! changes appeard
In his desolate mountains rifted furious
By the black winds of perturbation

To this point, we've been given very little grounding, but what we do know about Urizen is that he is the Primeval Priest who broods in hiding, like a hermit in an ethereal wilderness separated from these Eternals.

The repetition of times on times with space by space, gives us an abstract sense of an emerging dimensionality that is forming ninefold in a darkness. Nine is a square, a two dimensional plain. We vaguely get the image of a two dimensional blackness that suddenly erupts with desolate mountains and black winds of perturbation.

Urizen divides, and measures, a notion closely associated with Blake's idea of Negation. “Contraries mutually exist. Negations exist Not: Exceptions & Objections & Unbeliefs/Exist not: nor shall they ever be Organized for ever & ever: If thou separate from me, thou art a Negation.” (Jerusalem)

The “voice of Devil” goes on to say in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, that 'All Bibles or sacred codes. have been the cause of the following/ Errors./1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul...' and later, Blake's logical contrary to this, which “the devil” affirms as “true”: 'Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses. the chief inlets of Soul in this age.'

There is a duality within the duality which I think is well worth exploring relative to Blake's construction of the Negation. It's clear from any angle that (positively defined from the examples Blake lists) a Negation is a rejection, which comes preloaded with sorts of despairing baggage relative to a young artist, well ahead of his time who was none the less considered out of style. This could be taken as a confession of Blake's attitude toward Negation, but there is nonetheless a subtle point being made about Negation as a process. Negation separates, it divides.

On the other hand, a Contrary exists because it is paired with an opposite. They exist as attributes, as states of being of a thing, as Blake says: “Qualities” such as “Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate.” Such “Qualities” are verbal in nature, they refer to processes, causes, motives, acts, energies. But they needn't be restricted merely to events, because qualities such as hot and cold, light and dark, are experienced in contradistinction to one another. In fact, darkness compels us to turn on the light, it is the cause of our doing so.

The Contrary to the idea that the soul is distinct from our body, is the idea that the soul is not distinct from our body. The Body, as Blake's Devil says, is a portion of Soul. Blake's Devil argues against their separation into distinct entities. There is a sense to which this separation of Soul from Body would be in Blakean terms a Negation, since there is a division of a unitary whole (the bodysoul) into separate wholes which are contemplated in terms of their individual properties. Thus care for the Soul takes on the attribute of being set against the passions of the Body, which are deemed Evil. This example of Blake's Devil's Contrary, upon further scrutiny, elucidates more about Blake's functional definition of what a Negation is, than his concept of the Contrary which has become ambiguous.

Let us say, first, that this is the Devil's Contrary. And let us recognize at once that the Devil's Contrary is a Blakean Negation. It objects, and rejects, and it asserts the truthfulness of its propositions which are the logical opposites of the propositions they were based on. So indebted are they to their forebearers that they claim almost identical nomenclatures being barely restatements of propositions of “All Bibles or Sacred Codes” in the negative form. This is an obvious case of P and ~P. The Devil's Contrary is a Negation, in this case, of a primordial Negation in which Soul and Body are separate individual entities. It is a Negation of a Negation. A marriage of body and soul, where the two become one, parts of a greater whole.

Thus the Reasoning Negative as Blake refers to it in Milton, is the Abstracting, Realizing, Concretizing, Defining, Measuring, Standardizing, and Systematizing impulse toward self-closure. In essence: machine logic; attributed to Urizen, the Primeval Priest, who divides and measures his desolate void alone.

This concept in turn has a close relationship to the Spectre, which is like an abstraction, a negation, and it is not coincidentally identified by a word which comes from the Latin word 'to see.' It denotes a refraction, some sort of reduction; a part, that fancies itself the whole.

My reader needn't buy this lengthy digression on Negation just yet. So far all it suffices to do is explain the choice of two adjectives: “abstracted,” and “self-closed.” It also distracts from Urizen as a character, who as the personification of this Negating-principle, acts in much the same way as Blake would have understood pagan mythological systems. He states in the Marriage of Heaven and Hell:

'The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses,
calling them by names and adorning them with the properties of woods,
rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged
and numerous senses could perceive.

...Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav'd
the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from
their objects: thus began the Priesthood.'

Two things deserve explicit mention here. Firstly, the animation of sensible objects is accomplished through personification. Secondly, a system is formed by priests to enslave and this is accomplished by realizing or abstracting, two words which have an interchangeable value in the context of this sentence. Thus “abstraction” in the parlance of the The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, means to concretize or to “realize” in the “literal” sense “to make real” or to believe as a fact; to make believe this Genius is actual. This probably runs counter intuitively with the way most people would consider an abstraction, which generally involves a reductive generalization of some sort, a reduction of things to their shapes for instance is an abstraction. The fact that these serpentine priests could at once Abstract and Concretize the mental deities suggests multiple dimensions of meaning which are being tangled in a single sentiment. Can we take the Devil's words in earnest?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Penis and Vagina

Psychoanalysts, for a variety of very good reasons, want to sexualize the concept of sign.

Some will say: The sign is like a penis pointing to the signified.

Others will say: The sign is like a vagina enveloping and containing a meaning.

I saw a porn once, there was this girl with two inch long lee press-on nails (as I recall) and she took two of her fingers and jammed it in a man's urethra, penetrating it with her fingers.

The video was called Tricky Dicks so you can go look it up if you don't believe me.

The point I guess is, that I couldn't get this image out of my mind and my guess is that most men reading this post are holding their crotches right now just thinking about it. It's painful just to think about it.

Suffice it to say. The signifier can hold meaning, but it makes it very uncomfortable.

Just kidding.

The container motif is analogous (or isomorph) to a seed, which is contained in the urethra of an ejaculating penis.

Now let's go back to "This Sentence is False"

"This Sentence" = "This sentence is false."

...So we can swap out the entire sentence for a portion of it (ie: a metanym contained in the system which itself is a part, but can be swapped with the whole)...

In a sense it cannot stop "signifying itself", and psychoanalysts everywhere would read such an utterance as the phallus/signifier in an everlasting state of ejaculation/signifying.

At any rate, what's seriously interesting, and not merely hilarious, is the idea of the Word as Seed. Derrida writes about this and so does Stanley Fish both via Phaedrus, and to me all this stuff is also expressible in terms of variability in number theory. The X is an undefined state of pure potential.

At any rate. We are now going to have to talk about different kinds of nothing. The first nothing being the corporial nothing is pure reflection, as an essence.

The second nothing, which is nowehere, is more like anything.

I leave this intentionally vague though I mean something very specific by it. And so it has the sense of a sort of autological expression of how that variability becomes unvaried or assigned some value.

We want to collapse the potential states into a single value. The ability to do this is really important:

Imagine that there is a wild beast running at you. You think maybe the wild beast is trying to harm you, or perhaps he has a gift he's really excited to give you.

The guy who ponders this dies. So for very good reasons, the impulse there is to conclude.

So people often ask me, Dave, are you not drawing conclusions, are you not trying to explain things in a single unified theory.

Yes, I say, why not? It can't be done, so the damage that it would cause is irrelevant. We try anyway, and we advance. To "not try to close off the debate" is the death of the argument.

Anyway, we find something like evolution which didn't come perfect out of the box, but gradually was elaborated and its general premises proved invaluble to hedging our bets in the act of inquiry.

We're gamblers really, we bet our time on such and such idea, that this is the one that's going to blow the others all away. But that's not how it goes. Truth is we're all just a rungs on a ladder, and that's the best of all philosophers if such a label even applies anymore.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Death Drive

I haven't read a lot of theory on the death drive but I like to consider it in the terms that Campbell used to refer to a specific psychic impulse. As the body grows older, the mind seeks to identify itself less and less as an embodied entity. The mind has to deal with the fact that the body is in a state of decay followed by cessation, and this knowing compels us to seek external stuff to identify with. Mementos of our presence, in our absence. So, we become like signs. We enter the realm of the unchanging symbol, etched like stars into the sky. Carried on in the memories of those we knew.

Sometimes our minds can drive our bodies to death, sometimes, even intentionally and immediately. It is telling that we are the only species (I think) capable of such a feat, and we are also the only species (we assume) that makes a distinction between our minds and our bodies.

Is this the sentience we talk about when we consider ourselves in contradistinction to other forms of animal life on earth? This ability to negate our bodily desires and act in accord with other stimuli of a more abstract and less immediate nature. This is what we seem to want to say is different about us than other forms of animal life.

This is really the religious argument for human identity, and I think in many ways it is more compelling than something like:

1. our use of language is unique (more highly developed)
2. our usage of tools and our ability to manipulate the external environment is also unique and more highly developed

Which are scientific-style arguments.

You can't really wrestle with them. Of course our usage of tools is unique because it's more highly developed.

At any rate, this history of Western religion which is Platonically influenced, pits the mind at war with the body in a very conscious way.

At any rate, the evolution of Western Economics involves the coin which is the representation of wealth or property, slowly losing its connection to material wealth and thus mirrors the Death Drive.

It also coincides with a disjunction between the word and concept found in Post-Modern critiques of the Western philosophic tradition.

Think of it in terms of:

Bought the farm
Bit the dust

You have two cliches which are dead metaphors which refer to the same event, but convey the sense of it in distinct ways.

If you are hearing "bit the dust" for the first time you may be thinking hmm, I got some dust in my mouth, I guess I'm on the ground, or in the ground, oh yeah, I'm dead." But we don't have to parse this out anymore. We auto-swap the death for the "bit the dust" and it loses it's tangible connection to the sensibility it had.

Friday, November 5, 2010

General Hello

I've been updating more frequently due to an influx of visitors which has caused me to go back and reread my Much Ado paper and consider its shortcomings and its strengths.

Shortcomings first:

It's hyper-dense. I think most people are bothered by that, the Chaucer commentary needs to be elaborated with extra emphasis on the Confession Generating Mechanism that follows the Manciple's tale, no longer a story about not telling stories, but a tool for making your own story, and seeing it in the vein of a confession. Really interesting stuff to branch out on has been left out and a defense of density in writing isn't going to help that any. I wanted a lot of what I was doing to be implicit and I think maybe it was too implicit. It has a poem-like sense of reference to it, but, if you consider the breadth of its implications and how short it is, then it's forgivable (for me). Anyway, I need to write this book.


As far as I can tell, the general structure of the first chapter, which would be Much Ado About Nothing, is really great. The feedback I've gotten is: you jump around a lot, there's no transition between blah and blah, blah. Whatever. Get used to it. The point is to make connections that are not obvious, obvious, the motif repetition that accesses a different center of the brain in learning, is actually better suited to the task of remembering, since you are remembering without having to remember, or necessarily even being aware that you are remembering anything. You will simply notice that certain things seem to "pop out" at you.

The big thing is this: It all comes back to the motif of the circle, circularity, encircling, and eventually circle-ness.

Deleuze's and Guatarri's work, though forgivably problematic is going to be indispensable to mine, and in fact, really helps me to prove this critique on the humanities in general that the dehumanized subject is commensurate to a personified language and that the two appear to be in sort sort of ratio to one another. S/s maybe?

Anyway, to me it's a little goofy to talk about it like this. I prefer to say that people invest in languages, ideologies, politics, religion, and ideas at large with their own agency and act on their behalf.

There is also a problem of inversion in Deleuze, where he wants to say the opposite of this or that thing, to say difference is the ontological given and sameness is derivative is largely to reify a paradigm which subordinates a negative to a positive.

My understanding does not subordinate anything to anything. Sameness and difference come into being simultaneously being themselves two sides of one coin, ends of a spectrum. The spectrum exists because more than one state is being linked in a continuum. Light and Dark, don't turn on an off, but rather gradually change via interstitial periods, Dusk, and Dawn. You cannot have sameness without difference. If it were always light outside, there would be no reason to say, "It's light outside."

The other problem here is that the Derivative being derived is not vulgarized or shittier than the thing it was derived from. Often what happens is we start at one point and we move in a certain path, and that path will lead to other points which could have also been starting points and lead to derivatives, and all this origin-derivative stuff really says is that you followed such and such path along a chain.

For whatever reason, I find people bemoaning constructs they themselves investing in. I perhaps am guilty of this too. When criticizing Anti-Oedipus for "analyzing" schizophrenics, I think I opened up a can of worms. I have also written about schizophrenics here: .

The idea then would be to empathize and express this schizophrenia, and then go analyze it.

Again, as our will to analyze increases our capacity to empathize decreases. There is an intrinsic subject/object division that cuts itself off from human-embodied methods of knowing like feeling and empathy. Far from being useless vestiges of our animal past, they are cues to our internal states and provide us with the sort of awareness that pure mathematics will forever fail to give us. While they often lead us into ruts that only reason can free us from, they also prevent us from becoming satisfied with sameness and hopefully compel us to improve ourselves on a daily basis.

This also gets into different methods of using language to convey ideas, namely explanatory vs. descriptive.

The general argument is not that descriptive methods are better, but rather, that explanatory methods are descriptive methods which describe their own methodology rather than what it is that they are referring to.

That is, we general don't accept the possibility of an explanation that has as its object some truth, (any truth). Part of what the continuation of this thesis will entail is proving this, and by so doing, hopefully with the end goal of setting it aside like Freud in the place where quaint yet influential theories go to be mused upon by historians.

So, if there's anyone out there who's on board with this, send me an e-mail, I love to talk about it.

A lot of what I've working on recently involves geometry and temporal objects, information theory, and dimension-theory.

It works because you don't have to prove what you can demonstrate.

Thanks for your interest,


Thursday, November 4, 2010


This is a list of books I consider canonical to what I'm trying to discuss. I've never been completely transparent about my source material, but then again, that was probably wise considering the areas that it wants to explore.

#1. Snow Crash. Neil Stephenson.
#2. Dissemination. Jacques Derrida.
#3. Self-Consuming Artifacts. Stanley Fish.
#4. Philosophy Through the Looking Glass. Jean-Jacques Lecercle.
#5. Godel Escher & Bach. Douglas Hofstadter.
#6. The Book of Urizen. William Blake
#7. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. William Blake

Let's talk about Snow Crash for a second, since it's the one I'm firstly, the most interested in currently, and second, the one which gets me asked startling and annoyingly pointed questions by psychiatric professionals:

"What exactly do you program?"

You stinking . Do you honestly think I think I can "program" people? That my evil eye can penetrate their minds and make them do this or that thing at my beck and call?

Anyway, I was interested in hypnosis. Why? Because these techniques are used every day in advertising and in tv-broadcasting in fact are so commonplace that they are largely ignored.

However, if someone who was paying close enough attention to point it out, in fact, to utlize the same methodology in his own work, this poor fucker is psychopath.

What a shame, to judge your own culture so harshly purely for using techniques of manipulation that sometimes work and sometimes don't. We are agents after all, capable of making choices, we can choose how we react to those images and thus if we are manipulated we are manipulated because we want to be manipulated.

My interest in Stephenson's work revolves around the idea of some psychic algorithm that can blank slate your conditioned response matrix leaving you hyper-susceptible to suggestion. This is largely because many mystical religious communities, secret societies, and mystery religions of the Ancient Greeks practice this method as a means of really making their peace with their old world so that they can be successfully reborn anew.

It becomes a right of passage for adults, and for the Ancient Greeks ensured immortality in the next world.

These things are powerful, so we're afraid of them. So am I, take a look around you. It's everywhere.

Once you're aware of it, you can control it and thus hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Now if you think of the way hypnosis works, by pendulums and countdowns, and repeating patterns of sound and motion, you can see why work which is cyclic and patterned would seem "hypnotic."

Yes, Snow Crash is the major reason I am interested in the recursive properties of language.

Please don't lock me up.