Sarah and I tour Faculty Drive, a street that sounds like a Monopoly property. Faculty Dreams Boulevard, lined with mid-century modernist ranches and fields of daffodils. I recall and make use of a recently acquired distinction between war ecologies and plantation ecologies. What are some of the consequences today of the American South’s history of slave plantation monocultures? I appreciate the hollow rumble of an empty plastic water bottle as wind rolls it across an Einstein intersection. Eave’s “The Night of The Burning River” shocks me into a state of wakefulness.
I indulge my tastes with caramels and chocolates. Narratives open rifts onto radically heterogeneous worlds. Of different kinds, degrees, or dimensions. Reconciling these worlds with the combination of first-person and third-person perspectives needed to access them is the great challenge facing the student of consciousness. Modification of sense organs causes modification of experience, yet the self is something else, persisting eternally in a dimension of dream. This dimension is as foreign to experience as are the worlds of players from the worlds of their games.
Detritus of old media. Layers of illegible ancient signage. A fairy tale about the wind. Up from it rises a mirror image of old age. I resolve to feed my head so as to forestall the end of time. The latter also an ingredient in a canticle. An overlay of voices, as with Paul Simon’s and Art Garfunkel’s, gives word of revolution. This is a game, says one. Bonus rounds are added whenever shit gets tight. Keys appear thanks to invisible algorithms. The game-board eased ever so slightly of its obstacles. The realm of the known is known to expand outward, adding continents. There is a magic performed on homes involving flowers. Imagine for once the immensity of that kind of universe, where others know such words and such things. We are of a priestly class, we keepers of words. We run free of the barriers to speech put upon others. As Psalm 139 reminds us, “the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” In other words, stop worrying about the future. Whatever will be, will be. And besides: “marvelous” are the lord’s works, “and that my soul knoweth right well.” So reside again in the brightness of day, even when winds seem heavy. Do so even toward day’s end, sun sinking into treeline. Thought detaches from self-conscious behavior. The self becomes joyfully dissociative, recognizes itself as an expanding universe on the verge of a phase shift. The back catalog from Astral Spirits weaves through the experience like a narrative thread, especially a pair of tapes by The Gate and Bouchons d’Oreilles / Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra.
Why must our thoughts remain in line with the thought-systems of others? How dare the capitalist state intervene in development of consciousness through compelled education? This is the great riddle posed by Rousseau, the great inexplicable evil: “Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.” There is, as Wilhelm Reich notes in The Murder of Christ, “something in operation that continuously and successfully diverts attention from the carefully camouflaged access to where attention should be focused.” Confess, writes Reich to his readers. Come now, admit it, he adds. You and I? We’re in prison. Admit this, and the Trap begins to become comprehensible.