Friday 12 October 2007

Thoughts In Time

After reading Is There Life After Death?, I was struck by the sound logic of a Peakean "Bohemian IMAX". Contemplating Nietzsche's theory of Eternal Recurrence never really worked for me. Too rigid and unyielding to the universal idea of change. Maybe it was Friedrich's strict 19th century upbringing, his inbred complicity with patriarchal authority or something, I don't know, but I saw two major problems with the idea. First of all, I couldn't believe that it was even possible to retrace one's life exactly, moment by moment in time. But worse yet, Nietzsche's conception allowed no room for the growth of human consciousness and therefore, existentially, it made no sense to me. What could possibly be the point of repeating the same life, ad infinitum, ad nausea, if nothing could ever be learned from the experience and then changed?

The Bohemian IMAX provided just that - meaning - the freedom of consciousness, the freedom of being to be transformed and grow. And there are other things too when one thinks about it. Peake's ADE fulfills so many of those grand aspirations of the human imagination. Time-travel, the Fountain of Youth, reunion with loved ones and old friends as we once knew them and ultimately, immortality and eternity itself - all of it is there and all of it already within our grasp as infinite, sentient beings.

Maybe we should have suspected that modern computer technology was leading us in that direction all along. Unconsciously perhaps, man has pursued the path of photography, cinema and digital sound recording in an ever-expanding effort to more accurately reproduce images. But why? Could it be that our race is secretly obsessed with preserving the past to the point of interactive participation? We long to know what people "looked like", what they did and what they thought. We want to "be there", again and again. We'd like to "speak to them", to set things right. And more than that, we'd like to feel as we once did. We yearn to relive our moments of victory and somehow undo our regrets. The theory of the "Bohemian IMAX" offers exactly this fantasic possibility.

In an effort to capture sense perception, to "relive it", our creative forms have moved away from those traditional arts of music, sculpture, painting, architecture and storytelling. Now we deal mostly in images, inventing them, recording them, and all mainly, for "the eyes only". But if current video games are any indication, the young are hungry for a more real participation and that means being able to control these images.

The Bohemian IMAX brings all of this to life. The five senses are not merely providing perceptual access to the outside world; they are recording it and in sequence, on a level of consciousness that we can barely even imagine. The miracle of existence is not just a cycle of continuous rebirth - we are perpetually creating our own personal worlds and thay are worlds that are completely interactive. These represent our real homes. At death, the sensory replay that cosmically expresses itself presents our world just as it last was, but the perceiver, the person who recorded it is, by necessity, changed! Thus, the growth of consciousness. But that is not to say there aren't questions and issues to be addressed.

How much will we remember from our last organic tour of this unique life? What can we do to increase those memories... now? Surely one's life is nothing less than one gargantuan mnemonic device, its people and places inherently designed to trigger impressions of what has happened before and meant to "clue us in". But what is the mechanism of "forgetting", of making the past unconscious? How do we overcome it? How do we "learn to forget" and how do we learn to remember? Those are the challenges with which we are now faced. And more than that, how should we really live accordingly? How do we perfect our lives, the ultimate of human art forms? And finally, what comes next?

1 comment:

Shaun McCormack said...


Current thinking as I see it sets Nietzche's theory up as nonliteral. In order for his theory to be true, the universe would have to be big banging and crunching like a heartbeat. I take it as a nonliteral theory on how to improve myself and enjoy my life. If I'm able to honestly and faithfully internalize the concept, that every moment of my life will repeat through eternity, I have no choice but to live every moment as if i want it back again. and again and again.

In my personal (psilocybin) experience with the circle, I literally experienced the same 10 seconds over and over and over to the point where I was convinced that I would be trapped in the loop for all eternity. There was nothing there- no sense, no existence, nothing but a mechanical pattern.