27 June 2009

The Portality Notebook Transcripts Conclude

Filed under: Ktismata, Psychology — ktismatics @ 5:39 am

[This should end the transcriptions of my old Portality Notebooks.]

(11 Nov 02) Praxes of the Portals

The Portal inverts, goes inward, through myself. I follow myself in. Is this the ultimate self-absorption, or its opposite? Especially if there’s nothing on the other side…

Alternative Portals:

  • Church – prayer, meditation, etc. (The Mass turns to stone, part of the church itself, while the tourists come and go)
  • The Tao
  • Attachment (Once just a vector of genetic transmittal, now a self-oriented metaphor of love.)
  • Psychoanalysis, quest, consume, True Self, art, sex, travel, home, drugs.

What I need to do is to transform these prototypes, each of which is a praxis, into an Alternate sensibility, driven by the Discontinuum and the Interval.

(12 Nov 02) Truth or Truths?

I cannot say that the Portals and Intervals are true or real, more so than Solipsism or the Continuum. But I can create them, and then they are true-as-created. There is the overdetermination of shared fantasies: an Alternate picture is a delirium until others regard it as real already.

It’s like the Glass Bead Game: inside, the Game is integral; outside, it’s doomed. Or, perhaps equally true: if it’s embraced by the culture then it’s coopted, transformed into the Continuum. It has to stay marginal to exist, which means it can’t exist. Paradox and tragedy.

Does that make it art, “only” art? Is it virtual? The opposite of virtual – nowhere but everywhere, fictionally pervasive. The thing is Real, the “world” in which it’s embedded is imaginary. All the more reason then to make it extreme. But it must be possible, like the Bead Game. There’s no real reason it couldn’t be, except that the world renders it impossible. Not like Borges or Dick, where fantasy supports an idea.

A society in which the Portal functions is not tenable, because the Portal is a way out of culture. It must exist only for a Remnant.

Do I describe the Portal itself, and not just the ideas? Can I avoid telling a story?

(18 Nov 02) Cosmopolitan Reality

It is an Interval in which individuals encounter one another and create conversation with emergence. Not based on apathy, where the other self-absorbs.

(20 Nov 02) Emergence

Emergence of Self from the World ↔ Emergence of World from the Self

These are the two complementary movements:
Self from World → difference, plenitude, individuation, subjectivation
World from Self → difference, creation, (dis)engagement

Engagement is possible only with separation of Self from World and World from Self. But emergence implies more than separation: to “come out of” is also to emanate from, to be born by, to irrupt, to transcend.

Does the world emerge from the self? Yes! Self absorbs and consumes world → world loses its autonomy; world is “for” self, instrumental. Emergence of world from self is more than only separating and naming.

(21 Nov 02) Interval as Emergence

Is a Portal a link between Self and World? Is an Interval an emergence of Self from World and/or of World from Self? Perhaps always an Interval is the mutual emergence of Self and World.

An Interval of Creation

Something of the World emerges from Self. It’s not pure creation out of nothing, nor is it a thing that could have come into being independently. And it does separate off from Self to exist on its own.

Does Self emerge from World in the creative Interval? Do you become different in the act of creation? By separating off a piece of the world, do you also separate off a piece of yourself? Surely so.

It’s the Strands linking Self to World that are sundered and re-engaged in the Interval. An engagement of World where Self is lost: what is this? Good or bad? E.g., lost in a novel or a piece of music.

This isn’t Showbiz. But it might be fun.

*   *   *

In my second novel the main character returns to his old Portality Notebooks in preparation for turning them into some sort of system for exploring alternate realities. He reads these old notes and finds that they’ve largely lost coherence and meaning for him, as if he’s excavated writings from some ancient civilization written in a dead language. He ends up slipping through a portal that he hadn’t anticipated. I think my motivation in returning to the Notebooks now is to figure out how the portals-and-alternate-realities schema can retain its centrality for a real-world praxis. This feels like system design work, trying to adapt the alt-reality framework to customer demands/expectations, which seem invariably to invoke more routine paradigms of therapy and coaching and career counseling. But when people hear the words “alternate realities” they tend to think of scifi/fantasy or new age spirituality, neither of which is what I have in mind.


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