Thursday, September 18, 2008


Call Me DJ Ishmael. Welcome. This space here is a record of my path and my thoughts as they propel me ever forward.

I suppose an explanation of "my path" is important to begin with.
Have you ever noticed themes in your life? Do you notice similarities or connections in the media you enjoy? As a German major, one of the hallmarks of my "style" was verbindungen--making connections. I make sense of my world through how seemingly unconnected things are connected. Thus, when giving a class presentation on German author Herman Hesse, I got there by way of "the Beats" and Jack Kerouac.

Do you believe in the collective unconscious?
How is it that we have artistic and political movements at a point in time that are similar but in disparate locations? Now we come to the words: coincidence, convergence, synchronicity, conspiracy, providence, fate, God, etc.

I began noticing my path in 1991.
I was 19. I began detecting the similarities behind the things that I was currently interested in and then saw how those similarities might lead me to the next thing. As such this place, my blog, will also be a record for all the culture I experience. Two years ago I began keeping a record of everything I read. I did this to see the connections and create a portal to my state-of-mind for that period of time. It was the map of my moment.

An interesting column in
The Believer
is Nick Hornby's "Housekeeping vs. the Dirt". It is a monthly log about the books he reads, begins reading, finishes, quits reading and buys. His booklist reflects his moment better than mine because mine is merely a list of books that I read start to finish in the order that I read them. I don't list the books I didn't finish, or the books that I don't start. I want to. I'm going to in a monthly "Paper Trail". My annual book list won't change, but the "Paper Trail" will illuminate a smaller moment that the booklist can't.

As important as literature is to me, cinema is equally important. And to the populace at large, it isn't a stretch to say how movies are far more important than reading fiction. Fiction is the key to my path. (Fiction is going to be the key to "new" science in the "New Age", but more on that later--a tease: Virginia Woolf is the quintessential "new" scientist.) The thinkers and intellects that I'm drawn toward find truth not in reality, but in fiction. My guides upon the path have been: Freud, Nietzsche, Jung, Goethe, Joseph Campbell, Lawrence Weschler, and Slavoj Žižek. Jung's language is where much of this field comes from: collective unconscious, synchronicity.

So this field? This is a gray zone. My path takes me somewhere between philosophy and metaphysics. It is not religion, but my primary texts and references tend to be religious. I seek understanding in this state of being. I've found in my 30 plus years of living that the only meaningful thing in life aside from communion, (union with one's community-relationships) is art. Art is a big word too. The clearest expression of what makes life and living worthwhile comes from our creativity in whatever medium we see fit.

Here is something I read yesterday:

Why is the Human on Earth?

I believe that there is, despite the fact that we humans have done so much damage to the world, a reason for our existence on this planet. I think we are here because the universe, with all it's wonder and balance and logic, needs to be marveled at, and we are the only species (to our knowledge) that has the ability to do so. We are the one species that does not simply except what is around us, but also asks why it is around us, and how it works. We are here because without us here to study it, the amazing complexity of the world would be wasted. And finally, we are here because the universe needs an entity to ask why it is here.

--Sara Weschler, age 11

This came from Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes by Michael Benson with an afterword by Lawrence Weschler whose work A Convergence of Convergences came to me at a time when I was open enough to begin considering "convergence". Probably my next post will be about convergence and my story trough "Crazy Town."

Anyway, I like the Moon lately. I'm obsessed with it and have been for over a year now. That will be a post later too—with a lesson on microcosm/macrocosm and how characters in great literature contain both. So I checked out Visions because it has really pretty pictures of the Moon in it. One reason why I quote Lawrence Weschler's daughter is because of what her father says about her answer. He likes her response and says that it took Kant three thick volumes to arrive at the same place.

I guess this is the reason for my blog. I am seeking an answer to the question posed by Sara Weschler's teacher: "Why is the Human on Earth?"

What's your answer? And I bet you are wondering about "From the Belly of the Whale" too? That should be a pretty big post. Last Fall and Winter I studied "The Darkness". From the Belly of the Whale is my answer. America has gone into the Belly of the Whale. Of course, if you believe that "The Holy Grail is in the Belly of Whale" then America won't be annihilated, but rejuvenated by "The Darkness."

Well there is a start. I'll keep chipping at this marble. Let me know when it begins to resemble something.

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