--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "A New Refutation of Time." Jorge Luis Borges ...;every time I remember the ninety-first fragment of Heraclitus "You shall not go down twice to the same river," I admire its dialectical dexterity, because the ease with which we accept its first meaning ("The river is different") clandestinely imposes upon us the second ("I am different") and grants us the illusion of having invented it;... [...] Lucretius (De rerum natura, I, 830) attributes to Anaxagoras the doctrine that gold consists of particles of gold, fire of sparks, bone of tiny imperceptible bones; Josiah Royce, perhaps influenced by St. Augustine, judges that time is made of time and that "every /now/ within which something happens is therefore /also/ a succession" (The World and the Individual, II, 139). This position is compatible with that of this essay. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The Aleph." Jorge Luis Borges. I complied with his ridiculous requisites; and at last he went away. Carefully he closed the trap doop; the darkness, despite a crevice which I discovered later, seemed total. And suddenly I realized the danger I ran: I had allowed myself to be buried by a madman, after having drunk some poison! Behind the transparent bravado of Carlos was the intimate terror that I would not see the prodigy; to defend his delirium, to avoid knowing that he was mad, Carlos /had to kill me/. A confused malaise swept over me; I attempted to attribute it to my rigid posture rather than to the operation of a narcotic. I closed my eyes; opened them. Then I saw the Aleph. I arrive, now, at the ineffable center of my story. And here begins my despair as a writer. All language is an alphabet of symbols whose use presupposes a past shared by all the other interlocutors. How, then, transmit to others the infinite Aleph, which my fearful mind scarcely encompasses? The mystics, in similar situations, are lavish with emblems [...] For the rest, the central problem is unsolvable: the enumeration, even if only partial, of an infinite complex. In that gigantic instant, I saw millions of delightful and atrocious acts; none astonished me more than the fact that all of them together occupied the same point, without superposition and without transparency. What my eyes saw was simultaneous: what I shall transcribe is successive, because language is successive. Nevertheless, I shall cull something of it all. In the lower part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere, of almost intolerable brilliance. At first I thought it rotary; then I understood that this movement was an illusion produced by the virtiginous sights it enclosed. The Aleph's diameter must have been about two or three centimeters, but Cosmic Space was in it, without diminution of size. Each object (the mirror's glass for instance) was infinite objects, for I clearly saw it from all points in the universe. [...] ; I saw the Aleph from all points; I saw the earth in the Aleph and in the earth the Aleph once more and the earth in the Aleph; I saw my face and my viscera; I saw your face and felt vertigo and cried because my eyes had seen that conjectural and secret object whose name men usurp but which no man has gazed on: the inconceivable universe. I felt infinite veneration, infinite compassion. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The Zahir." Jorge Luis Borges. And also I remember the odd anxiety with which I studied this paragraph: "A commentator on the Gulsha i Raz says that he who has seen the Zahir will soon see the Rose; and he cites a verse interpolated in the Asrar Nama (Book of Things Unknown) of Attar: 'The Zahir is the shadow of the Rose, and the Rending of the Veil.'" [...] Time, which generally attenuates memories, only aggrivates that of the Zahir. [...] According to the teaching of the Idealists, the words "live" and "dream" are rigorously synonymous. ... thinking ... of the passage in the Asrar Nama where it says that the Zahir is the shadow of the Rose and the Rending of the Veil. I associate that saying with this bit of information: In order to lose themselves in God, the Sufis recite their own names, or the ninety-nine divine names, until they become meaningless. I long to travel that path. Perhaps I shall conclude by wearing away the Zahir simply through thinking of it again and again. Perhaps behind the coin I shall find God. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Terence McKenna "The Archaic Revival" page 44: There is a very interesting story by Jorge Luis Borges called "The Sect of The Phoenix." Allow me to recapitulate. Borges starts out by writing: "There is no human group in which members of the sect do not appear. It is also true that there is no persecution or rigor they have not suffered and perpetrated." He continues, The rite is the only religious practice observed by the sectarians. The rite constitutes the Secret. This Secret... is transmitted from generation to generation. The act in itself is trivial, momentary, and requires no description. The Secret is sacred, but is always somewhat ridiculous; its performance is furtive and the adept to not speak of it. There are no decent words to name it, but it is understood that all words name it or rather inevitably allude to it. Borges never explicity says what the Secret is, but if one knows his other story, "The Aleph," one can put these two together and realize that the Aleph is the experience of the Secret of the Cult of the Phoenix. page 45: In travelling around the world and dealing with shamans, I find the distinguishing characteristic is an extraordinary centeredness. Usually the shaman is an intellectual and is alienated from society. A good shaman sees exactly who you are and says, "Ah, here is somebody to have a conversation with." page 181 What fascinates me most about the Voynich Manuscript, above and beyond the historical puzzle and beyond how interesting it would be to know what is actually says, is the idea of an unreadable book. It is a kind of Borgesian concept that there must be, somewhere, an unreadable book, and perhaps this is it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Terence McKenna "Time and Mind" (audio tape) May 26/27, 1990 - New Mexico ... DMT is interestingly enough, the commonest of all hallucinogens in nature; it occurs in many plants, and in certain animals. It occurs in the human brain, it occurs in fish. Uh, but it rarely occurs in amounts sufficient that it can be concentrated into an unambiguous trip. It's always just a hint, just a touch. Uh, it's very hard to get. I, I have an almost mystical attitude toward it. Some of you may know Jorge Luis Borges' book "Labyrinths"? Well, in "Labyrinths" there's a story called "The Sect of the Phoenix", and if you go back and read "The Sect of the Phoenix" with DMT in mind, you'll see that this is what it's about. He says: "There is a sect, a cult, and it's practitioners have been persecuted in every pogrom in history, and it's practitioners have participated in every pogrom in history. It knows no class barrier, no racial barrier, no place no time. To the initiate it seems ridiculous. One child may initiate another. Doorways are propitious places." Uh.. so forth and so on. So years ago, when we first encountered DMT the real miracle about it is: How do they keep the lid on this? Why isn't it 4-inch-high headlines? I mean, we live in a culture where people jump out of airplanes for the fun of it! And yet, there aren't DMT societies, nobody is talking about this, and it makes jumping out of an airplane look like peanuts in terms of "If you want Thrills, This is THRILLS." So, I think, I mean it's an oblique and perhaps to you not satisfying answer, but I think the way you find DMT is you cultivate an attitude of expectancy. It also helps to know such a thing exists... 'cause if you don't ask, you know, who will tell you?
From: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley page 54. "...Greece had not been enslaved, Caesar would have spared his country, America would have been discovered more gradually, and the Empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed" page 95: "... I ought to be your Adam..."