Category Archives: art

Distorted Reality…

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I stood outside my son’s bedroom, bundled up against the cold that was dropping a few meagre snowflakes on the morning. Camera in hand, I was snapping away happily when I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window. The double glazing caught a pair of misaligned reflections, within which was caught yet another reflection from the infinity mirror on the far wall. You could see both the garden outside and the inside of the bedroom too; the one indistinguishable from the other to the eye that caught only the two-dimensional image on the glass.

At first glance, the eye saw what the lens sees, a single flat image. It took a few moments for the mind, filled with its knowledge and experience of the three-dimensional world, to begin to tease apart the various overlapping images and make sense of what they eye was seeing. I was conscious of the process and couldn’t help but wonder what someone from a different dimension would make of it. A two-dimensional being would be quite happy with the initial impression. Except that a two-dimensional being wouldn’t be able to distance themselves from the image in order to see it at all…they would, of necessity, be part of it, just as I am part of this image and reality.

What if there was a being that moved through more dimensions that we do? Would our three-dimensional image of the world look just as flat to it as the image on the pane of glass did to me?

Do we really live just within three dimensions though, when time has been posited as a fourth? The softly falling snowflakes were a visual representation of time as I watched them move  through space from one place to another. And as I was in those dimensions, watching them, where was the ‘I’ that was able to watch? It cannot be within those nominal four dimensions, for if it were, it would be unable to separate itself from the image in order to observe it.

After proving, to my own satisfaction at least, the necessary existence of the fifth dimension, things got more complicated. While holding a conversation about cats with the son dangling out of his window, I wondered about the fact that the observing consciousness can always observe itself in the process known as infinite regress. Even in that moment, I was aware of the layers of my own consciousness as I chatted about mundane ideas while exploring an inner vision of infinity. And I wondered about the implications of that. I wondered too whether time was simply space observing itself… and if you view space as consciousness, which is far from a new idea, that opens up some intriguing and mind-boggling lines of thought.

While all this was going on, I was looking at the reflections in and through the window. In itself, it was a perfect illustration of both the distorted perception of reality we may have and the many layers it holds. Multiple reflections came together as one image. It is only my experience of those layers of reality that allow me to distinguish between bedroom and garden, inside and outside, mirror, glass and lens. It is only that experience that lets me know what is the image and what is the object.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

Deja vu?…

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“I want to talk about our responsibilities in the face of danger.

The events of this year may have helped to illuminate that danger,

but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years.

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There is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of this danger to our survival.

Its challenge confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.

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This challenge imposes upon our society a requirement of direct concern:

the need for reliable public information.

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There is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation

if our traditions do not survive with it.

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I ask every news publisher, every news editor

and every news man and news woman in the nation

to re-examine their own standards

and to recognise the nature of our country’s peril.

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Our way of life is under attack.

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The danger has never been more clear

and its presence has never been more imminent.

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We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless organisation

that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence…

On infiltration… On subversion… On intimidation…

Its preparations are concealed,

its mistakes are buried,

its dissenters are silenced.

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I commend this problem to your attention

and urge its thoughtful consideration.

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I cannot believe that those citizens who serve

in the news media business consider

themselves exempt from this appeal.

It is your obligation to inform and alert the people,

to make certain that they possess the facts that they need

and understand them as well…

the perils… the prospects… the purpose of any proposed program,

and the choices they face.

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I have complete confidence in the response

and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed,

complete confidence, when fully informed, that they will

strive to remain what they were born to be,

independent, and free…”

– Count Jack Black (apologies to JFK)

‘The Cavalry’?…

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‘I remember when I was with Special Forces…

Seems like a thousand centuries ago…

We went into a camp to innoculate the children.

We left the camp after we had innoculated the children for Polio, and this old
man came running after us, and he was crying, he couldn’t say…

We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every innoculated arm.

There they were in a pile… A pile of little arms.

And I remember…I …I …I cried… I wept like some grandmother.

I wanted to tear my teeth out.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

And I want to remember it.

I never want to forget it.

I never want to forget…’

Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now!

Pieces of Nietzsche…

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ON PHILOSOPHY

It is clear that every ‘great philosophy’ is, no more and no less than, the confession of its author.

To explain how a philosophy’s highest flung claims have been derived, therefore,

we need only ask, ‘what really makes its author tick?’

The desire to know, is not, then, the Mother of Philosophy.

For, look, here one desire, and now there, another, has put knowledge

to use as a means to, shamelessly, further its own ends…

The fundamental desires of Man have always been ‘philosophers’.

And each of them is only too happy to present itself

as the be all and end all of existence!

As master of the others.

All Man’s desires are tyrannical.

And for the philosopher, everything is personal.

His ideas, inevitably, bear testimony to the hierarchy of his secret desires.

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Friedrich Nietzsche, philosophical and psychological genius of the nineteenth century, in his book, ‘Beyond Good and Evil’, presaged the breakdown of the Western Aristocratic ruling elite and the irresistible forces that led to two catastrophic world wars. This new poetic interpretation of his master work teases out still relevant lines of thought for the reappraisal of our rapidly disintegrating current world order.

The question of value goes to the heart of who we are, what we are and why we think we are here… A tendency to make certain assumptions about our environment appears to be intrinsic to our nature, yet the meaningful existence we crave can only ever be granted by a ‘higher power’ which we now seem loathe to recognise outside of ourselves… We have always looked to those best qualified to answer our most fervent questions but what if they too have fallen foul of the ‘Auction-House of Things’… And what of the Beyond?

Pieces of Nietzsche: A Thinker’s Bias

available from Amazon UK, Amazon.com and worldwide.

Back to Llandudno…

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“The Great Orme, it seems, hasn’t quite finished with us, yet.”

“So it would appear.”

“There is a walk…”

“Not more walking.”

“…Which can be driven.”

“Let’s do that, then.”

*

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“You see faces?”

“Yes, I see faces.”

“Then you are possessed. You are a believer, born again, and yet you see faces so you are possessed.”

*

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“Possessed by what precisely?”

“The Spirit of Animism.”

“Oh, good!”

*

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Stairways of the mind…

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“There are a lot of ugly looking lions in Portmeirion.”

We shrink from wondering whether or not one of them is devouring the Buddha’s missing right forearm.

“And lots of steps.”

“Number Six spends a lot of time in the village running up and down steps.”

Run up one set of steps in Portmeirion and a Mansion becomes a Two-up-Two-down.

Run down another and one is accosted by a plaster-cast-christ declaiming on a balcony from which depends a black sheep.

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“Soft clothes?”

“Perspective. One is spatial, the other, intellectual.”

“Clever that.”

Here, the ridiculous jostles with the sublime to unfeasibly pleasing effect.

“It’s nothing more than a clutter and jumble of odds and sods, lovingly reassembled into, well, something, uncluttered and well ordered.”

“Much like memories, perhaps.”

“Or what memory makes of experience.”

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In the corner of that courtyard there, a manicured tree sprouts in-front of a doorway.

Or rather, a doorway, which leads nowhere, has been constructed behind a tree which is then kept manicured.

Its the perfect place in which to reconsider one’s cardinal points and be reminded of one’s priorities.

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Given III…

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“The problem with ‘religious art’ is that whenever you start to enthuse about it people put you down as ‘God Squad’.”

“And then impose their own conception of ‘God’ on you.”

“Which is usually a hideously naive one.”

“I’d be happier with ‘Spirit Squad’.”

“‘The spirit moves where it listeth’.”

“And cannot be tied down by any religious organisation.”

“Saint Michael isn’t a particularly Christain saint, he has his origin in Hebraic magic as an archangel.”

“The notion of sanctifiying an already holy entity is a curious one. Sanctification would normally only be appropriate for a human being.”

“It’s what might be termed an unholy error of hubris, perhaps, and has for it’s champion the ‘Vox populi’.”

“Which in itself is no bad thing.”

“It is not, though, the only mistake people make. They continually objectify when they should subjectify.”

“And they continually subjectify when they should objectify.”

“The depiction of Saint Michael subduing a dragon does not actually refer to any future or past time ‘out there’, but to an inner state which can be achieved by any and all. When it is achieved the ‘out there’ becomes irreversibly changed, for the better.”

“Which might even be described as something of a revelation.”

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The Celebration of Mister Fox…

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I never knew Holmfirth in the days of mill workers and clogs.

I really got to know her in the Post Industrial gloom,

Of swish Cafe Bars,

And cosy restaurants,

All day drinking parties frequented by the nouveau riche…

Who leap from still moving taxis,

Done up to the nines,  dressed to kill,

While up on the hill,

Something feral is stirring…

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Something ancient and unsought…

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So, as the lazy cars slow crawl,

Through tight-cobbled streets,

Held up by roaming party-goers,

Soft parading their unsteady path from the park…

And boozers sing boldly in the late afternoon heat

With rabid mouths, foaming,

Never quite finding the beat…

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A beast is preparing,

to be unleashed,

In the dark…

Free Day II…

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…Left alone in my room for long enough I thought I might discover how they did it, how they worked it.

I thought I was being clever.

Initially, I had suspected the lights, either the lights or the heating, or perhaps both or maybe they sprayed something on the tiles?
But my room was just a room, cold and empty, ordinary, harmless.

The only thing that felt even remotely uncomfortable about it were my memories; the only ghosts in there were created by myself yet those feelings were real enough, too real…

They were more convincing than the six, blue, square edged pillars which ran down either side of the centre of my room, they were more convincing, than the old, piped central heating, and they were more convincing too than the fluorescent light fittings which droned overhead for that was how they worked it… they worked from inside your mind.

They turned the screws and tightened the bolts in there, and everything they did or said, or did not say, and did not do was designed to get in there and there was no way to prove it which suited them because they always needed proof, facts, solid objects, evidence…

And in that room, at that moment then, totally empty and bare and ordinary, there were only ghosts, phantoms which could be driven away, dispersed simply by looking at them and saying their name.

“Samuel!”

“SSS-AAA-M-UUE-EL”

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