Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Decoding the Archaic Experience

I'm in it. Finally IN IT! That is, I am in a book. I should clarify; I am into a book, that relic of a more refined era. I am actually addicted to this heap of parchment!

There is a part where the protagonist, Lindsay, speaks to his grandfather in a dream. But at this point, the universe of Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix still feels concrete and tactile; it hasn't the slippery notion of reality that imbues most net-entwined cyberpunk fare, and it is unclear that the grandfather hears. But is doesn't matter.

For I impose my own vision of metaphysics on everything my brain touches. And it says that there is a tiny molecule of deterministic truth in every thing, in every being, in every moment. When we talk to our friend in a dream, it does not matter whether subatomic particles facilitate instantaneous communication-at-a-distance, or if even more refined mystical unities of consciousness devolve to us. It needn't matter, for the Truth has always been there, always will be, and It knows every thought whispered in our dreams. Maybe it is akin to Leibnitz's monads, unitary particles of being that contain every possibility and compose every thing; maybe it is because every drop of water contains a trillion shelled universes-within-universes; maybe it is because the world is constituted of universal Forms and Archetypes; perhaps because a computerized Creator has written our code in infinite layers of parallel RAM. But rest assured, when you speak in dreams you are heard.

Right now, I feel like this book is the story of my life! (well, why isn't everything we read the story of our life? We are all connected to everything, right?!). I drift in space, the hum of environmental controls and air vents and life-support machinery an ever present subliminal soundtrack. Distant noise from Earth (at least 17 light years-- I mean stories-- away) may as well come over static-soaked radio transmissions. I am alienated from my environment, while literally and figuratively above it. Spent so much time lately in a green haze that my eyes see the age in things, in people. The metahuman mind learns to operate on a different timeline. As the enhanced Shaper Lindsay says in Schismatrix-- "They were young, and breaking all the rules, and after a few long whiffs from the inhaler they were brighter than anyone human had a right to be." Yes, that's it. We can all be posthuman, and it is really, really easy; basically, it just requires the will. I posit the existence of a secret institution called The Coalition for the Mind; we live in a matrix of auto-hypnosis, fantasy, REM sleep, lucid dreams, meditation, drug states, and psychic awareness; children of Icarus adrift in a circumsolar ark.

Assuming there is at least one domain of reality that is deterministic (as in, pre-programmed to run like a well-oiled machine) and all-knowing (inferring some variety of instantaneous action-at-a-distance), you should still exercise your God-given free will, and remind your loved ones that you love them.

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