Monday May 18, 2020

We arrive at a digital labyrinth, without memory even of our name. “Your guess as good as mine,” says somebody to somebody. “Here, inside our walls,” begins an orator, “what exactly is taking place? An anamnesis? A catabasis? A war against psychic repression?” Audiences shift in their seats and begin to type.

Wednesday September 11, 2019

Returned from work, I change out of my work clothes, settle in, listen to Intentions by Sunburned Hand of the Man.

The album’s soundscape is dreamy and cosmic, as on “Experiments,” instruments stretching into other dimensions. Afterwards, I find myself wanting to drum, sound erecting around me a kind of cosmic cottage. A voice pipes up recommending Laurence Veysey’s The Communal Experience: Anarchist and Mystical Counter-Cultures in America. History is ours to reclaim through anamnesis. It’s time to dive in and retrieve what was lost.

Tuesday September 4, 2018

Re-reading Plato’s “cave allegory” from The Republic in preparation for tomorrow’s class, I’m struck again by the distinction drawn by Socrates between “that which is coming into being” and “that which is” (Bloom translation, p. 197). Because of what I’ve been reading lately, however, (especially various mystical texts, including Ram Dass’s Be Here Now), I’m tempted to interpret “that which is” as another name for what Terence McKenna called “the transcendental object at the end of time.” As I imagine it, this object or divine being would possess the power to operate upon the dimension or construct we call “time,” pulling toward it those who allow themselves to be pulled. The spiritual journey, then — the climbing of the Holy Mountain, the ascent toward the true and the just and the good — all of this would involve the rediscovery of what we once knew and will come to know again. Plato, of course, refers to this process as “anamnesis.”