Wygart is having some kind of a dispute with a friend elsewhere in the digisphere that is revolving around the extreme difficulty there is in talking about the authenticity of knowledge gained from non-ordinary experiences. Hopefully, with the able assistance of our senior editor Upaya, some type of gainful resolution will be brought to the matter.
I’ve decided to be helpful by illustrating how things actually work around here. Usually trouble starts with something Phi does or says, [as ironically happens to be the case between Wygart and his friend ] – it’s simply amazing the amount of trouble that fool character causes! Next the Meme Merchant team gets together to start to work on the problem. The method that is used around here is to use characters to represent mythologically various endogenous and archetypal psychological functions. These characters are then worked up in the form of some kind of art: a picture, a story, poetry, epigram & etc to attack the problem at the archetypal and mythological level. Once this is done it is easier to interpret down into the more mundane psychological levels without the human people’s hurt feelings getting in the way – or – being limited by discussing higher level psychological functions in a lower level mind-space.
The image above is a quick Photoshop mashup of three images: François-André Vincent’s 1777 painting, “Alcibiades Being Taught by Socrates“; one of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s etchings from his 1761 volume “Carceri d’Invenzione” [prisons of the imagination]; and a portrait of a four year old Ada Lovelace as Pee.
A Quick and Dirty Interpretation
At a glance you can see that all of the characters, Upaya, Phi and Pee, have been to some degree: cartooned, super saturated, made monstrous, and seem to have some kind of a Pinocchio thing happening [except for Pee] – that is they all lie, either unconsciously and habitually, or consciously as a heuristic device.
The busyness of Piranesi’s Carceri in the background stands in stark contrast to the very muted background of Vincent’s original painting, a drab shield and sword hung wall. Here all of the characters have been placed inside of the dungeons and machinations of the mind, but the light of Illumination does penetrate even into the depths, where the characters, as psychological functions, hold their discourse.
The character of Upaya, Socrates in Vincent’s original, at his most basic level represents the heuristic method of ‘skillful means’ and the Socratic method being brought to bear on the unprocessed experience of Phi, the fool. He is also carries the archetypes of both the Magician and Hierophant. I have dressed Upaya in the royal purple, which contains symbolically both blue and red, by the way. I’ve done a kind of Michelangelo on him, He has a very tall forehead and his hands are made too big.
One of the most important symbols in the composition is also the smallest and most peripheral, Upaya’s scroll. The scroll is held firmly in Upaya’s grasp and represents the knowledge gained by non-ordinary experience. On the outside it is all ‘plain brown wrapper’ on the inside is knowledge revealed by non-ordinary states. The blue/white fractal image contained within the scroll corresponds to the faerie wings of Pee, white is of the airy-fairy mind and its blue color representing the watery blue of cosmic disolution.
It should be noted, that on careful examination the fractal image is not mapped at all onto the perspective geometry of the outside of the scroll, but is a window that opens directly into the hyper-dimensional world beyond, This is not a static map, a representation of the psychedelic terrain rendered onto parchment and handed down from ancient authority, this is the living knowledge of direct experience that rests upon inner authority for its truth, and communicates directly to the subtle realms.
The character of Phi, at his most basic level represents the archetype of the Trickster, The Fool, and unprocessed non-ordinary experience. He is also the Shaman newly returned from his inner voyage of discovery. He is dressed in the red of the fiery nature of intense non-ordinary experience, the alchemical rubedo and the Jungian self.
Phi is armored and carrying [sheathed] the sword of the intellect. His attitude is both insolent and sly. His shaman’s helmet, a dazzling and overblown affair, represents the intellect of the traveler [and its limitations], and also suffers a bit from the Pinocchio effect. In its plumage we see displayed the dazzling Cauda Pavonis or peacocks tail of the alchemical initiate. In Western Alchemy, the Cauda Pavonis is often attributed to the alchemical operation of distillation, and sometimes putrefication.
This bird flies during the night without wings. By the first heavenly dew, after an uninterrupted process of cooking, ascending and descending, it first takes the shape of a raven’s head, then of a peacock’s tail; its feathers becoming very white and good smelling, and finally becoming fiery red, indicating its fiery character. [Gerhard Dorn-16th century]
[Interestingly a prescient, pre-anticipation of the psychedelic experience.]
The character of Pee at her most basic level represents the Higher-Consciousness, feminine, uncorrupted, and wise. Pee is a revisioning of Vincent’s version of Socrates’s angelic daimonion [literally: ‘divine something’] or carrier of the logos and a regular member of the Meme Merchants Consortium. The golden light of her nimbus is reflected in the yellow sunlight light entering the Carceri from without. She also represents the partnership of the sly-elf-chemists within the endogenous human brain and in the vegetable kingdom that make non-ordinary states of consciousness available. She travels intra-dimensionally on faeries wings.
It is also notable that Pee is a silent, passive, observer. Instead of whispering truth into Socrates’s ear she takes a slightly more distant position. She does not take part in the conversation, she has no human voice – she shows. Her power is that nothing escapes her notice and her power of vision.
BTW – if you think your higher-self has something to say, understand that your ego is mediating the experience. Any ‘voice’ you hear in your head, in your native tongue, is being mediated by the ego through your personality at some level.
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So that’s is the basics, there is of course much more that can be said, and much more that could have been done in more than a few hours work by the fully competent. So, what do you think of our method – or is it madness?
Commentor Dionissis below lead me to think I needed to make a point about the Meme Merchant process I have been describing in this post, which is, that first and foremost this is the process that you use on yourself in order to gain insight into your own mental process [and its possible errors] and how that might be contributing to the dispute rather than performing this analysis upon you interlocutor. Since you don’t usually have access to that person’s mind the process outlined above is probably of limited utility. All of this is in line with the Meme Merchant theory on the ‘Trickle Up’ nature of human thinking, namely that to lesser or greater degrees we all tend to be held in carceri the subconscious and the subconscious, per-programed parts of our own minds and psychologies and that is an enormous limitation upon our human potentials – the slope-browed-retro-troglodyte rules.