Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My own feeling are to privilege Darshan as embodiment

The ultimare cathedral as Matrimandir (virtuality and imagination) by Richard Carlson by Rich on Tue 23 Jan 2007 12:31 PM PST Permanent Link
Having a chance after three years to go to the last few meditations at Matrimandir before its official "grand opening," I could not help but to consider this statement from the preceding article I posted on the Ultimate Cathedral:
“Whoever stands in the Sistine Chapel sees with his own eyes the image of God full-length in all His glory, and even his aging face. Furthermore, he also sees Him behind as though hovering with him at the time of the Creation. In his work, Michelangelo corresponds to God, because he succeeds in describing the human point of view like that of God, while he hovers at the side in the background, to witness the fateful events. The Chapel, like ritual structures that preceded it, is an "instrument" helping believers to bring about a collapse of the Universe infinite wave function of the Biblical stories, to a discrete state concealed in the consciousness singularity of the believer.”
So would this translate into the Matrimandir story as well? One does not have to be a Structuralist to see that the experience it facilitates shares some of the mytho-poetic qualities of the "ultimate cathedral"; does it not? And what if as these authors suggest this same experience could be induced as part of the consensual hallucination of cyberspace? Would its semiotic operation be also to collapse the universal wave function into the singularity of individual consciousness; folding the divine into its evolving moment?
Or could the collapse of the wave function into the singularity of the aspirant just more simply be called: crystal silence? (which is also the title of a song by the jazz composer Chick Corea) Since the silence gathering of consciousness seems to be the resultant experience?
And what about the claim the authors make that in cyberspace:
“ can see in this description an expression of quantum mechanics in which particles are in a state of super-position, that is to say, at the same time in every location in space (net), until the act of differentiation is carried out, (action on net data), leading to the collapse of the super-position wave function to a discrete state absorbed by the surfer's consciousness. The surfer too is in a state of super-position and is part of the Universe wave function that comprises everything. Man's consciousness indeed influences the reality in his vicinity via cyberspace”?
If true that one could partake of the cathedral experience which interrupts the space/time field of surface consciousness in cyberspace, what happens when the collectivization of consciousness is shifted, from the intensive space of the “localized” cathedral” into a million individual multi-verses of singular nodes (homes) as we become transfixed by the light wave and crystal technology of an emerging epoch. (e.g. via the connectivity of light waves (fiber optic) and crystals (silicon) )
Could the self same cyberspace of streaming capitalism which virtualizes the commodity form convey electronic Darshan as well?
I suppose if one could have a large enough telematic experience “the whole house itself a projection apparatus, - as envisioned by Apple or if we are unlucky by Microsoft -. The warping of our experience space time by the superposition of particles may indeed deliver quite a phenomenological kick, just as does good cinema now! But how will individual embodiment express itself within such a virtualized collectivity?
My own feeling are to privilege Darshan as embodiment (the singularity being embodiment itself) rather then an experience to be had by gazing through a crystal screen into the anamorphosis of cyberspace; a process of virtualization or an outering of the body.
In such virtual spaces minds may meet, but will they leave their bodies behind as so much data trash. Or is the function of noospheric collectivization meant for something different, as Teilhard would have us believe, the preparation for the emergence of another order of being, of a God yet to come? -with all the caveats of false gods implicit -.
Or could Virtual Reality not only collapse space but concretize time as well to convey - as Gebser would say - Verition?
Ronald Purser in his excellent essay on Gebser and the limits of cyberspace presents two alternatives regards the collapse of the “virtual” wave function in two different applications of virtual reality, which I interpret as being to immerse oneself in the samsaric imagination – which the alchemist called the imagitio phantastica - and the other to body forth creative imagination of “imaginito vera”
The former process leads not to the integral structure of Gebser, but rather to a hyper-mental dimension where the noospheric connectivity of collectivized consciousness ends in the nilhilisim of streamed consumption; our subjectivities interpellated in the windowed environments of virtual corporatism ?
My own feelings is that the vanishing into technology which critical theorist warn of involves the imaginito phantastica (in SA associative imagination) and the technological vanishing into the human which is detailed in a life divine requires sadhana and the deployment of what Sri Aurobindo calls creative imagination.
The latter could induce the anamorphosis envisioned by Jaron Lanier, as a tool which facilitates creative imagination; the imagination of Blake & Goethe (imaginito vera). But transformed as an emergent mode of imagining, in which a collectivity can come to share the illumined internal states of its co-evolving multiplicity. Could what Sri Aurobindo refers to as “creative imagination" be facilitated or conveyed to a wider planetary collectivity through the experience of virtuality? Is peak experience in the cathedral itself merely a form of virtuality? (as Joyce seemed to allude to in his pre-history of cyber space)
And where would such creative imagination, in its feedback loop with technicity, ultimately leads us; toward facilitative embodiment or uploading into the machine?
I have included passages from the Future Poetry and the Life Divine which describe the transformative action of the creative imagination, now what would happens if such creativity could be shared simultaneously at a billion singularities of crystal light around the globe? Would a new form of collective consciousness suddenly light up? Or merely collapse into a billion singular interpretations, leaving the world as alienated as before ?
Well maybe this subject would have been something better left to the imaginations of Stanislaw Lem, Italio Calvino, or Jorge Borges, if they were still with us, but for the record here is Sri Aurobindo on the ordering power of creative imagination:
“For the image making power of the human-mind, its imagination, which is in his physical life only an indispensable aid to his acquisition of knowledge and his life-creation, may in a higher scale become a creative force which would enable the mental being to live for awhile amid its own images until they dissolve in the souls pressure”
“Man because he has acquired reason and still more because he has indulged his power of imagination and intuition is able to conceive an existence higher than his own and even to envisage his personal elevation beyond his present state of existence.”
“The imagination transformed by Supermind acts on one side as a power of true image and symbol, always an image or index of some value or significance or other truth of being. On the other as an inspiration or interpretative seeing of possibilities and potentialities no less true than the individual things”. (1949)

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