“Many traditional religious encounters, after all, are equally “gauche” in their use of gaudy art. But just because something is encountered through the imagery of bad movies or sappy religious art does not mean that what is encountered is a bad movie or a pious painting; it might simply mean that all religious experience is culturally conditioned, and that the human imagination often draws on the most immediate, not to mention the most colorful, to paint and frame an encounter with the sacred. It is a lesson well worth learning early in our Super-Story: trauma and Technicolor, God and the gauche, are not mutually exclusive.”
—Jeffrey J. Kripal, “Mutants And Mystics”
Had a very vivid revelation last night (started this journal entry at 3 in morning, so it’s still all the same day).
It’s all a simulation, in a sense. Because: I have these memories of all these places and events, but they cannot be accessed in any solid objective way. They are gone.
Like the Towers: completely gone. I can’t access them in any solid way. I have various media that have “recorded” them. But they are just images and sounds and stories and recollections—that’s the truth of it.
(Or my father: he’s gone. There’s some dust in the ground, a handful of photos, and a bunch of memories and recollections that without a doubt have “mutated” over the years. There is a “dossier,” if you will, named My Dad; a manilla folder with a grainy photo paper-clipped to it. But that’s not “him.” There is nothing that will ever truthfully and completely approximate him again.)
And then on top of that—all these things can be convincingly reproduced as reality by technology—in terms of highly realistic special effects, digital recreations, and so on.
The actual Towers are no longer accessible. These gigantic structures and everything that went on inside of them—gone. All we have are these images and stories—truly, the stuff of Dream.
The images and stories and memories: it all exists in the same “pool”—pools of potentiality, pools of swirling ideas.
This is too much for the average person to deal with. And so we have “rules”—consensual reality.
Without the consensual reality, the “game” collapses. The game cannot function without structure. It makes sense.
But the game is falling apart anyway. Because consensual reality is falling part anyway.
If we say, “nothing is real,” or “only my subjective interpretation is real”—well, then we’re tearing down consensual collective reality & thus the game falls apart.
But maybe that’s just inevitable. It’s like the old-time arcade machines, like Pac-Man…there came a point where you could only go so far. You could only run up points so far. The machine was only built to go so far. And then it’d just freeze up.
Of course…there is also the idea that He Who Controls Reality—especially if he is somewhat of a bastard—can cause a lot of problems.
Today is the birthday of a one Mickey Rourke, who is 66 years old.
The first guy I ever slept with looked very much, and acted very much, like a classic mid-1980’s era Rourke; which explains a lot. It not only explains a lot, but really as Rourke’s life journey has gone on and on it still explains a lot. And I have a feeling that wherever Rourke’s life journey is bound to take him next, it will keep on explaining a lot.
My favorite Mickey Rourke movie is 1987’s horror-noir Angel Heart, directed by Alan Parker. The whole movie is like a metaphor for the ultra-macho pulp hero who profoundly doesn’t understand who he really is; sort of of like Rourke’s later character Marv in 2005’s Sin City. (Though I do feel that there is a sort of lack of irony in comic book movies of the period like Sin City and Watchmen...not a criticism of these films, but I just think a lot fans take those heroes at face-value and don’t see the irony.)
To me, it’s like Rourke, profoundly not understanding who he really was & wanting to “defend” his sense of ultra-masculinity at all costs, started by getting involved in all these alleged abusive relationships with women & roughing them up…then switched to being a pro boxer and turning all that violence towards this own face until it was literally unrecognizable…and his journey apparently now continues into other vistas.
Mickey Rourke’s life is a Mickey Rourke movie.
Have a good Sunday.