Originally featured at The American Sun
“…and she answered from within saying, ‘Here am I.’ Quoth he, ‘Knowest thou who is our guest to-day?’ Replied she, ‘Yes, it is the Lord of the Cloud.’ The King said, ‘Come forth: it mattereth not for him.’ And behold, there entered a woman, as she were a vision, with a face that beamed like the new moon; and she wore a gown and veil of wool.”
– And Scheherazade perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
unto the cloud
an ark of hope
for the peopled
Michael Aaron Kamins – Clouds
“a storm is coming …” -Q
When I was a kid I used to lay down in the grass and look at the clouds a lot, which I’m sure you’ve done as well – maybe you still do it. Clouds can be peaceful just as much as they can be ominous, where their absence is seen as a clear day, or their presence can bring a needed rain or torrential ruin. Some people have a degree of apophenia, where they wonder if the clouds are really doing what they’re seeing or if it’s their mind making the pattern. Philip K. Dick claimed that one day that when he looked to the sky, he saw a massive winged helmet that the Teutonic Knights wore that terrified him the rest of his life. Dick seeing that is interesting because his entire body of work is about invasion – a higher Being that is the embodiment of authority – Outsideness coming into the world interior.
It’s initially strange to think that the heavens crashing into the Earth is seen as an act of confusion and obfuscation, which is how fog has always been portrayed to us. So much of the Occidental Faustian experience is about expansiveness – the filling of space, conquest of the unknown, and an eternal outwardness seeking the warmth of a new frontier. There’s the paradoxical tale of Icarus however, that portends to there being an outer limit. One flies too close to the Sun, and in their avarice, comes crashing back down to the Earth. But what of the heavens itself crashing into the Earth?
I work with clouds all the time, albeit in a lowly position. EMC, IBM, HP, a lot of VNX and CX/Clarion systems that are constantly churning. Thousands of disks spinning a virtual shard in which we experience something as a new solution for us – the Cloud. An Outsideness, but one we’re fully immersed in, and literally.
When you’re looking up at the clouds, you’re also looking at the Cloud. The Earth is captured in the hyperobject known as the internet, and thus the Earth is captured in the Cloud. There’s the virtualized image of this in which the beams, webs, and signals are creating a mesh in which the Earth is fully ensconced within, however it’s literally true – there are several-thousand satellites in which the Earth is loosely caged within, making the Earth a technologically-captured object trapped in a fog of obscure connection.
In the first part, we went over the conditions of the last spiritual meme cycle which seems to be coming to an end now. There were other general observations made, however not many about the medium itself, or at least in a macro sense. What makes this both challenging and intriguing is actually being able to intelligently delineate the mediums in which we exist from which we “exist”, which are not very clear – at least not anymore. We explored the crumbling memeweave before, exposing the Scheherazadeian narrative structure snapping back into a series of false awakenings, until we made it to base reality. We need to figure out what base reality is – assuming it’s there, and we’re going to examine three modes of existence that we thus far, have linearly (though not fully and cleanly) moved through. These are Hybrid Reality, Factual-Separated Reality, and Integrated Reality – or perhaps more simply – the Odyssey, alchemy, and the internet.
Bruno Latour is a French sociologist and philosopher who uses the term hybrid to identify something that exists naturally and socially in the modern era. While one could granulate this down into an incredibly complicated exploration of sociological development, we’re operating with just the very basic strokes of a hybrid so that we can explore Hybrid Reality. Latour is looking at a pre-modern human as being a hybrid, where endless categorizations that separated people from nature hadn’t taken place yet. Nietzche (who is a critical analyst in this model, keep him in mind) makes this quite easy for us because in his early work “The Birth of Tragedy”, he identifies an important set of distinctions within the Dionysian and the Apollonian dialectic- the Dionysian representing a rapturous and ecstatic hybrid body, whereas the Socratic is the avatar of the Apollonian – reason, logic, and categorizations, in which to alienate the Dionysian from it’s interconnected experience through rational separation and be subject to annihilation through Socratic dialogue.
Looking at the Odyssey or even Scripture, it’s difficult to truly understand and experience them because they are the products of Hybrid Reality. Ancient Greek and Hebrew have a similar dimension in that they’re both exceptionally good at conveying multiple interpretations and meanings within a text simultaneously. A passage can be both funny and sad, true and dubious, making an authoritative narrative a difficult task, should an institution be keen on doing that – and they are.
It’s this distance from the hybrid experience that makes it so difficult to understand what these works are conveying.It’s no fault of the translations, as these are some of the most studied “works” to ever exist. Some argue that you’re not even really supposed to read them, and that they should be experienced through theater or at least lyric – removed from the pure textuality that they exist in now. It’s the conquest of the right brain by the left that forces people to fully disregard these works as “fiction”, designating them as “myth” -which will become more problematic as we proceed with our model.
To Nietzche’s, Latour’s, and maybe even your own dismay, hybrid reality is peeled away – question by question, dialogue by dialogue. While we’re going to be moving to our next model of reality that we’ve been subjected to, please recognize that this is absolutely not a clean linearity in moving throughout this. Christianity is going to be mentioned, however we’re going to be forced to take a large detour, along with the fact that other core ideas across these realities were all in existence and explored – merely not primary in the consciousness.
While Christianity isn’t going to be ignored, especially due to the fact that it’s existed (in different capacities) throughout all three of these reality models, we’re only going to make some brief observations that are immediately relevant. Entire volumes could be written about Christianity in the given context, and that’ll need to be further explored. One thing that’s interesting about Christianity however, is that its origin and functionality in its initial stages is very similar to how the internet works in regards to form. Christianity is a liquefaction of prior forms that was then modernized to become an Egypto-Grecoroman mythical lingua franca for the explosion of Christ on Earth. While I’m going to abstain from Christianity and it’s cascading effects throughout the Roman empire, it seems clear that Christianity was a universalized medium in which vast amounts of people could ontologically ground themselves within the triangulation of the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman spheres of memetic existence and forms. Thomas Aquinas firmly moved the needle from the Platonic to the Aristotilean, but the absolute peak of this reality is probably with Descartes’ declaration “cogito, ergo sum” – moving the world interior entirely into one’s mind – not being able to even ascribe others consciousness with certainty.
That’s as far as the overworld goes in this heavily-truncated model, in private the renaissance brought back a large interest in what can generally be called the occult, but specifically alchemy. Alchemy is a great image for understanding Factual Reality, especially looking at the seven stages of alchemical transformation, and the general striving for the philosopher’s stone. Separation and conjunction is an occult parallel for the Socratic separation, and removal of hybrid reality.
The mercurial demon
Alchemy strove to separate the monstrous and conjunct them back into a harmonious order, and a lot of the artistic interest in alchemy was a continuity of older forms along with new synthesis. The Enlightenment rolled in, political theory developed, and natural philosophy made way for science as a methodology, and a prophet came with it – Nietzsche. It’s incredible how early both Nietzsche and Schopenhauer saw the coming calamity, especially with the prophetic exactness that Nietzsche did.
Atlas was charged with holding the heavens up for eternity as his punishment for leading the revolt against Zeus. When you look at Atlas, you’re looking at the pillar in which the supersensible is held above the real – the platonic higher realm above the lower realm. Christ’s cross was the conduit that separated Heaven and Earth. Nietzche is constantly misunderstood by everyone (especially myself), and understandably so, however when it comes to the advent of nihilism, I don’t know how many people recognize that as the coming of a new reality. When God died, it wasn’t a passing of belief, it was Atlas losing his grip on the sky and Christ’s cross splintering as both pillar and conduit holding up the heavens, which came crashing into the Earth – he was saying that the supersensible crashed into reality. When clouds come to the Earth, we have the fog.
If you’ve kept interest, you’re now able to visualize those cope memes where there’s a list of a dozen stages pointing to where they currently are in the coping-realization process. When it comes to Integral Reality, you are here, maybe.
Integral Reality was coined by Jean Baudrillard in order to define that the virtual was totally ensconced within reality, and there was no longer any meaningful separation. This is the fog, the Cloud totally enmeshing the entirety of base reality. In the last piece, I said that the Sultan (industrial-information complex) woke up from his layers of nested dreams that we (Scheherazade) have weaved for him to dream, and now the knife is at our throat. Stated earlier, this is not a clean, linear movement throughout our experience – namely our experience of time. Nietzche made the declaration in the nineteenth century, however the postmodern mode of being the coroner for Occidental grand narratives didn’t really occur until Integral Reality manifested in the academic mode of this experience of time – being in the latter half of the twentieth century. Furthermore, it didn’t really occur en masse until a catalyst such as the Gulf War in Baudrillard’s case (in terms of description), 9/11 for the western-bureaucratic apperati, and social media for mass society – assuming they even really recognize it yet. Integral Reality is just as much a crisis of ontology as it is a crisis of time. Mark Fisher phrased it as a crisis in cyberspace time, and specifically designating it as such rather than a crisis in time – expounding upon both lost futures and hauntology and its forms manifesting the past as the present mode of being.
The perception of time was and is always changing. Hybrid Reality never viewed time as a long, linear line in which we experience events and then retroactively place that event in a place of time – a much more Factual Reality notion of time that is enmeshed with the Whiggish and Marxist notion of history. The image of the universe as a clock, with this line in which we teleologically advance through. Integral Reality totally annihilates that perception of time. If you’re in the camp of thinking of the future coming out of the present and the present coming out of the past, that’s totally metaphysically oriented. It is purely an anthropomorphic illusion and a metaphysical notion – time is time.
It’s a very Landian idea to conceive of time as the medium in which we are pulled to events, that the future “already exists” (a thousand and one air quotes on that) so to speak. It’s easier to conceive of the past because of memory, but to say one “has a past” is illusion. Trying to remove the humanity out of time is difficult, but with the memetic and Hyperstitional concepts at play and in mind, it’s to most people a dark and eerie idea that some ideas (events) already do exist in the future, and they want to become manifest for us to experience as a now. Symbols throughout time have done this – assemblies of semiotics that make the synaptic flash in our minds, and rhizomatic webs to embed within forms for transmission to others. People that became self aware of memes became self aware of Integral Reality, but it’s still within the realm of intuition – for most. I get the image of “House of Leaves” when I think about it – a closet that wasn’t there, in which the next day becomes a room, the next a hallway, soon – a void. In the heavens falling down and being trapped in the fog of combined worlds, we’re opening a new door in which we can no longer view from the outside, and so we must step inside – becoming cartographers of the void.
“…fiction is not opposed to the real. Rather, reality is understood to be composed of fictions – consistent semiotic terrains that condition perceptual, affective, and behavioral responses….Kaye considered Burroughs’ work to be ‘exemplary of hyperstitional practice’. Burroughs construed writing – and art in general – not aesthetically, but functionally, – that is to say, magically, with magic defined as the use of signs to produce changes in reality.
-Ccru: Writings 1997-2003
In the last piece, I phrased the current predicament as a memetic spiritual cycle seemingly coming to an end, and trying to orient ourselves from our jolted awakening and trying to realize exactly where we are. If it’s base reality (or base Integral Reality, the virtualization makes even calling it reality problematic), then one would expect the next cycle to begin. It was intimated that some kind of catalyst or event would take place in which it would set it off. Something would stick, roll through the waves and amorphously bleed into the Normiesphere. Until then, endless vagueposting and vibeisms would float around on the timelines (an odd word to type after all this). Tik-Tok witches, Q-fanatics, crystal aunts, hell even Moldbug was deep in the schizoposting. They’ve all converged into what I said was a temporary event, but I feel quite stupid now in never really posing this question to myself – what if this is this it?
I’m not trying to pull some cheap twist here and say that dark sorcery was the friends we made along the way, though I’m serious. This murky water, the en masse realization that there is a crisis in the real (fake news for the plebs), a demarcation of misery and time converging on 2020, the “energy”, the VIBES, what FEELS like “X” but isn’t “X”. Q being the Lost Mahdi, with his acolytes with their ear to the cave, listening for the echo of the revelation. This might not be a cloudy moment, but a cloudy cycle.
It’s even represented in the semiotics of the US president. Please know that as of this writing, I know there’s a quarrel over who should even be president- another obfuscation of the representation of power and stability, but there’s some notable transitions I’ve seen between Biden and Trump. Whenever Trump is mentioned, it’s always in the context of Trump the individual, with a clear intent to make him the absolute top of the Platonic pyramid. They want him to be the chief cornerstone of the evil and the anti-democratic, but he doesn’t do it all alone of course. He has an entire apparati that is supposed to be a representation of power (ostensibly, that’s laughable in terms of how power actually works). How come he’s always referred to as an object of power in the individual? Trump did X, Trump did Y. Short, concise, cutting speech that’s even comically direct.
Notice with Biden that there’s oftentimes a discursive offsetting that makes it seem like some kind of rhizomatic representation of power – a plurality. The clouds are even in Biden’s mind. Trump made a whole nation copy his speech patterns, whether it be to mock him or to emulate him, regardless of it even if it be subconscious. Biden has an amorphous assembly of politicality that seems to kind of just come from the ether and out of sync with what’s around him. He’ll invoke several different moments in time in some chrono-nightmare collage of time.
It’s not this piece’s intent to draw a line of the Biden administration with Communism, but the image of “rule by politburo” is kind of interesting. Shadowy viziers of REAL power whispering in his ears like Théoden being controlled by the curse – ghouls whispering in his ears what is true as he merely is a vicar to the true mechanisms of power.
The potential for a catalyst that lifts the fog and adds an exactness and a direction is certainly still possible. “Lone wolf” attacks, political violence, terrorism, and surface-world cultural warfare will still occur, but the issue is placing them meaningfully in people’s conception of metanarrative and perhaps more importantly – time. History is being made every day, but most people don’t seem to think that. When the Stephen Paddock event took place, it was by all means history being made, but history of that event given the semiotic planes of reality with which people’s awareness of their imprisonment is within – is ultimately nearly meaningless, and it’s precisely because it was history being made and not a vitally, alive, semiotic structure to proliferate. We sang a eulogy for the dead and the bump stock, and that was it – relegating it to the past immediately. It’s not a matter of an event taking place, it’s a matter of converging upon an event that meaningfully charges the plane of Integral Reality that we inhabit. Given that COVID-19 is running parallel with the haze we’re in, who really knows what it would take to lift it. If one were to be a semiotically-engaged Hyperstitional time-binder (also known as a shitposter), one would have to become a lord of the clouds. Confusion, prophecy, feels, vibes, it’s all here and it may be a moment, may be a temporary reprieve from memetic warfare, or in my opinion – a cycle. It’s like being in Silent Hill, you know you’re in an alley, but you have to walk up to the bricks you know are right next to you just to truly ground yourself and remind you that there’s form to the world – that reality is still out there, but it’s more distant and more fleeting than we’ve ever had to endure before. It’s the secret rooms in House of Leaves that are spatially impossible. The closet, hallway, the room, the abyss – what’s it like to actually explore that? Do we really want to?
There’s going to be a next piece to this series. It started off explaining a peculiar moment in time for a lot of people and with a lot more levity than this, and in you reading this part of the series, it may feel even more strange.
I want to leave you all with a heart-felt message that I hope doesn’t come off too sappy but it’s a sincere one. This entire series isn’t dedicated to a certain wing of politics or any initiated, it’s for anyone that is really trying to exist in a world where existence is elusive. Just because it’s hazy out, don’t disregard the people around you. They might be harder to see right now, whether it be by plague conditions or the fog rolling in, but do try to keep in touch and help people out – they need it. I ended the last piece with an image from the film Inception, with the top spinning on the table and still wondering if it’s even spinning. I want to do that again for moving into the next part.
I’ve found the scene where Cobb is remembering Mal standing at the windowsill ready to jump because she’s convinced that they’re not in base reality more emotionally haunting than any other time I’ve watched that scene. I think we might have friends or family that are in that situation right now – fully convinced that the shared plane between you and them isn’t the real one, and if we were to to just jump into their version of the truth, that everything would be better – convinced of there being one more dream to wake up from. I was reading family members of people that are seriously into the Q thing so much that they’ve actually destroyed their family, not a passing interest, but an all out religious belief in a revelation to come. I know people whose entire waking hours are utter hysteria on twitter, thinking that the Russians are running it all from the shadows. Countless times I see people not able to go to funerals, weddings, see new-born children in their life, either at all or without some kind of nightmarish contraption to completely shatter the intimacy of moments that might come once in a lifetime – if at all.
I’m not removed from this because as you read this right now, you’re Cobb and I’m Mal. I want to show you one more place – a schism in reality and outside of any kind of time you’ve known as time – and I know it’s real. Some of you might have certain beliefs looking into the past, and you’re not going to come along and I understand that – I hope you enjoyed reading. There’s a chance that I jump and just smack into the semiotic pavement of existence and this IS it, this is the waking world and I just departed from it.
But if I jump and you jump with me, you might wake up on a beach – face down in the sand and soaked in salt water just like Cobb did time and time again. If you make it there, it’s because there really is one more place to go and it wasn’t just an abyss. If you find yourself wandering around wondering where you are after you make this jump, I want you to know you’re in Madagascar, and if you’re looking for me, I’ll be chillin with some syzigitic lemurs with Captain Mission and William Burroughs, playing with a tool-kit for dabbling in the dark.
By the way, you pronounce it Cuh-crew, not C C R U.
Time is a human affliction; not a human invention but a prison.
You’ve been doing Kabbalah the whole time.
“Vortex reigns having expelled Jupiter” – Clouds