Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Symbols of Immortality 4: Snake

On 12 September 2013, HuffPo reviewed a new book of poetry, "that could very well reinvent how the world may now view poetry as an art form." That is high praise for poet Gary Lemons, and his new volume, Snake. His poems concern one character, Snake, who is the last creature left on earth after the apocalypse. According to the Amazon blurb about Lemons's book, Snake embodies everything that has gone before; and Snake reaches toward everything that will come after. The character marks the changing of an aeon (a gnostic idea, where time and existence unite in one semi-divine principle). Snake also represents the changing of an aeon's reality:
In Snake, Snake is the last thing left alive. He’s all that remains of our voices. The bodies of all living animals and plants have escaped down the Dreaming Way, leaving behind a residual ego trapped inside Snake: the sole survivor the Earth must destroy to complete the cleanse and start over. All that is gone—all that has been reduced by fire and ice and the other dynamic retributive forces of Earth—lives on in Snake. Snake is the extracted limbic brain removed from the collective consciousness and hunted across an emptied landscape. Snake is the bad ass reptile holding back the end of time by sticking himself into the spokes of Samsara. Snake is a single narrative sequence, a frontline account of pursuit, avoidance, and even friendship, forged in the heat of struggle.
The HuffPo interview with Lemons confirms the poet's awareness of contemporary Millennial themes, especially rapid change, altered values and shifting consciousness. His post-apocalyptic character is a Phoenix-like symbol; Snake describes our awareness of the significance of the turn of the Millennium and our related sense that everything will be smashed in order to create an incontrovertible transformation of the world:
[HuffPo:] Despite its post-apocalypse setting, Snake's reflections on the human condition feel thematically urgent to our rapidly changing times. What was the basis of creating a story from a far-future Earth where humanity has long been vanquished?

[GL:] ... I've come to realize ... that the narrative--or the message coming through--is about the line between life and death--how it isn't carved in stone, and how graves aren't any more than wounds that heal on a larger body--and how what we call spirit is the dream around whatever the current reality seems to be. In other words--the future that Snake describes--where life forms on Earth are destroyed in a final cleansing--is not about the death of those forms but the transformation into a new reality. Like a quantum loop world. Uncertainty rules and realities are probabilities contained inside of one another. Events hatch out of events. What dies isn't important--what can't die is.

The character Snake at times ... behaves like a physical entity, preoccupied with food and other basic needs. It also seems like a complicated stream of leftover consciousness, an artificial intelligence drawing upon leftover big data to contemplate its existence. What was the basis for creating the background for a character so difficult to pin down?

This is Snake describing itself--its physical needs are memories of the time it spent as a human being--a time when it had a wife or husband, and a child--a time when it filled the car with a fuel made from ancestors and tasted the bright flesh of cherries on its tongue--these still live in Snake and often in its exile--in the billion years of desolation--as it roams the atomized flesh of creation. It sucks on its memories like a brief neon sign flashing on the lost tavern of its tongue--memories drift into reality like they do all the time. And in Snake's world they become indistinguishable--like protons wandering into the field of electrons--new shapes emerge from this random coupling.

So though Snake is the composite of everything that is gone--the infinite hard drive where the missing data is embedded--waiting for retrieval--it's also the world around the leftover world the hard drive of humanity holds its secrets--it's the dream of the hard drive out of which the hard drive appears--and Snake is the current that runs between them, powering both of them. When it returns to the dream, and when he goes back to Berlin and watches the people walking the streets continuing their lives as if they still exist--Snake's actually present there because that world is also real--curled into the emptiness like an imaginary number inside the mind of the unborn. Snake is real everywhere--like we are--even as we hold to the conviction there is a single reality and the belief we can die in that reality forever.

Intelligence that risks everything is the entrance into creation--or one of them--according to Snake. Everything flowers out of our willingness to risk everything we know for the next step. In any direction.
See my other posts on Immortality.

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