We have patterns in our heads. That’s not news, of course. If we didn’t have patterns, we wouldn’t be able to read, or drive a car, or cook a steak. We have instructions, recipes, how-tos, habits, Pavlovian responses, Freudian imaging, Jungian archetypes… We’ve got it all. Our heads are pretty crowded. So let me tell you about granola bars.
That title isn’t necessarily a weird description. I’m trying to change it up a little compared to my past blogs, and one thing I have staunchly refused to do in the past is just talk about myself. It all has to do with starting out on Livejournal and being as whiny as one might expect on that platform. So let’s see what happens if I just start writing about my relationship to music.
From The Dispossessed. The scene is the main character, Shevek, walking to see his family for the first time in years. Suddenly there is a small earthquake. Nothing is damaged, no one is hurt. But it serves to remind Shevek of this fact, that everything is transient and the appearance of solidity, endurance, is in our heads.
You see, the book is about anarchism, capitalism, wall-building, physics, general field theories, and famine. Among other things. Shevek is the only individual who can possibly unite temporal and spatial physics, along with, perhaps, all the world’s of the galaxy. It is because he is Odonian, part of a society that functions through anarchism. Not the anarchism of angry children writing on bathroom walls, but real anarchism, where no one forces anyone to do anything but everyone is allowed to find what they want to do – and so everyone works, as though they were being made to.
The two ideas link up, transience and anarchism. In simple ways : if nothing lasts, one can’t own anything. And in complicated ways: the human mind is the only thing that can promise. We are gifts to one another, and only in giving are we free, because we are loosed from the impossibility of having.
Apparently it came as a surprise (at least to someone) when I mentioned, in my about page, that I’m a practicing chaos magician. So. I am. There you are. I’m writing today not to talk about that generally but to talk about the practice of invocation specifically, and how it can be useful to you — as well as how it’s useful to dealing with stories and symbols.
Do you know what the Nuzlocke challenge is? If you’re interested, here’s a link (source of the above image, as well). Basically, though, it’s “hard mode” for Pokemon, something players impose on themselves to make the game harder. At its core is a rule simulating the death of Pokemon — if a pokemon faints, you have to release it. Why do we do this?