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  • Writer's pictureDan Thompson

New West, Northwestern, New Wild (NW)

The following is a test post for a chapter in the book of which this blog is the exploratory sounding board.

Working title is a combination of New Wild, Northwestern, New World out of which a theme and story emerges. It is the place itself which decides, I merely transcribe.

Thanks for reading

New World, Northwestern, New Wild (NW)

What we call the New World, is one part (the largest part) that broke off of the main landmass of Pangea and was ‘lost’, hybridizing in obscurity for tens of millions years until it was ‘discovered’ again in the 1400s. Or what we might better describe as rediscovered; since a thing can never really be discovered if it is already there. It is only the experience of the ‘discoverer’, ‘discovering’ a part of themselves that had previously been unconscious. The unknown, distributed across an expanse of ocean, sand and salt, call it, the Pantholassic.

All of the water on one side and all of the land on the other. The perfect conditions for a cover-up. The majority of humanity believing not only that the world was flat, but that it was confined to the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and the North. But also the perfect conditions for a mythology, recounted several times in several separate, though complementary creation stories of Turtle Island, the mountain in the center of the earth, and the flood stories of the Hopi.

This is another example of how early civilizations used phenomenology to talk about things in the life-world (wild being, brute existence) “wild being is ontologically prior to the ‘alleged objective condition’ of appearances (Merleau Ponty 1968:200 see Trigg, memory).” This was before spoken language, or even more importantly, during its inception when every word and gesture was magical in its intention and every member of the species was a ‘hermeticist’ initiated into the ceremony of language.

Again, the most literal use of the word initiate. They would start the day (or end it) with a session of ‘what we need to do is find these animals so that we may eat,’ after which they would say, ‘we must propitiate these beings for their sacrifice,’ quoting Bamford, “Phenomenologically, the Hermeticist starts with the unity of existence…”

The people thus became, or already were, part of their environment (through the process of projection and introjection); what some might call ‘shape-shifting’, but which is simply Being in the Heideggerian sense. Blending in amoungst the herds of deer and buffalo in order to catch them, but also to properly honour them, because if they did what we do now (taking without giving anything back), they wouldn’t last long… and we wouldn’t be here.

America, including Canada, Mexico and later South America, is the unacknowledged ‘Old Land’ (W.S. Burroughs), precisely because it is so new (nothing like it existing in the old world for tens of millions of years). It is the land of the dead, the setting sun, while the East is the rising sun to which traditionally the entrances to the temples had been oriented. While the world was advancing in one location, so too were changes and advancements taking place in others. Or rather preparations, arrangements in the case someone did show up, which they surely would. Possibilities becoming probabilities and eventually certainties. Thus, there were many parallel, simultaneous events going on, adaptive radiation, each unknown to the other until there was contact.

They were no longer alone. A new timeline had been introduced and the old one abridged. Things that they didn’t notice before became apparent. It could not be put into language and so it could not be part of their experience, yet, they could not see what was actually there until they learned how to ‘be there’, to interpret the land from the inside. Making the strange, familiar, and the familiar, strange.

It is likely that there was a covert voyage from the old world to the new before the official Columbus voyage, composed of members of a secret society (Italian aristocracy, including templar allies), which is why we have heard so little about it. Only after their missions were determined to either be successes or failures, or for whatever reason, it was allowed to be common knowledge and everyone was allowed to go there, and to aver the roundness of the planet, now that that part of the mission had been accomplished and its agents, (See: Giordano Bruno) put to death. So from the perspective of the later ‘explorer’s’ it was about colonialism. The timeline had been shifted, and instead of starting the new world off on the right foot, they sought to impose the will of the old upon the new.

In order to do so, the colonialists had to kill a lot of the original inhabitants, who from their perspective actually did see the ‘explorer’s’ as otherworldly, where the ‘explorer’s’ saw the natives simply as savages. This is a recurring theme amoung religious people who adulate the visitor, or stranger as a god, when in fact they are simply a future version of themselves. History has always been like this, perhaps it is just human nature, and whatever influence has imposed itself on humanity; those who would impose their will do so, and succeed, while those to whom it would never even occur, do not.

People interpret the same things in different ways, either physically, mentally, or emotionally and depending on the sensitivity of these faculties. The way things are always already there. We see them, notice them, they’re already there, but it seems sometimes that they’re there in relation to us, we notice them at just the right time or they happen through synchronicity and disappear in the same way. The significance we give to these events and places, that of phenomenology itself, seems to be the enfolding and unfolding in and out of the implicate order and whether we are projecting or introjecting, absorbing, receiving information, or putting it in after we have absorbed it, (our reaction to it is inside-outside, outside-inside expressionist, impressionist dichotomy that crosses the expanse of this perception, inside-outside that is so surprising,) the effect almost instantaneous so we don’t really perceive any distance, expanse at all, but it is there, as sure as we are distinct from any other thing and are as much a thing as anything else.

It wouldn’t matter if we were the first people to have inhabited a place, had actually ‘discovered’ it. There was always something there, even if it is something that we cannot comprehend, but that was somehow anticipating us, as the Hopi say, ‘we are the ones we have been waiting for’, Hopi Elders’ prophecy, forming one corner of the space-time trinity, conscious of everything that has ever happened or would happen tying vast cycles of time together.

At first all we get are the impressions of events on a grand scale, forces in opposition, natural elements taking on familiar roles, separating out of the agglomerate mass to become animals or animal spirits, spirits representing animals and vice versa who explain, in their ‘first’ language, how the world was created. Communicated through mythology as opposed to history, the way we remember things in order for us to perceive them the same way. Ruins existing as much now as they did then. They don’t look the same, but the place itself is—all times, one place—the same places, only the people have changed, their attitude and relationship to the land.

Our memories inhabit these places, they are full of memories, unlike the land when the ‘first nations’ arrived or the Vikings, stumbling upon an ancient and (comparably) empty wilderness that philosophically didn’t even exist until it was discovered, the way from an idealist perspective, the universe doesn’t exist until there is someone there to perceive it (unfold it). That is when the timelines merged, superimposed, observed, for the first time, or again, another time, changing it even more.

The one unknown, unaware of the other because they did not think, see or acknowledge the same things and therefore did not live in the same world. Only when their paths crossed was the comparison/ contrast clear, and the two worlds/ timelines met and collapsed each other.

The first nations arriving in on the continent via a N-S route—the past node—while the settlers/ colonists took the E-W—the future node. In the Navaho tradition, the North-South axis is the black road, the good way, while East to West is the Red or sinister way (J. Campbell Wildgander) it is also the road that the freemason takes as ‘the widow’s son’ from ‘the West to the East’ in search of more ‘light’. This orientation seems to be hemispheric. The continents of N.A. being oriented along a N-S axis, while the Eurasian is on a W-E axis. This facilitates the ease of transmission, both of goods and of culture, while N-S is a more arduous route, there are many ecological and climactic zones to cross.

The First nations were on the good path until they met with the ‘explorer’s’. There was nothing like this left in the old world, the land had literally been trampled, desensitized and had lost much of its wildness, as had its inhabitants. Civilization had seen to that; wars for territory which were then commemorated as events in History; dates to be memorized by rote; worthless trivia that passes for knowledge and understanding. As we know, much of the past has been ‘whitewashed’ or glossed over under the umbrella terms; ‘exploration’, ‘discovery’ and ‘colonialization’, which might also be translated as genocide or ecocide.

The New World had places that no one had ever been, what we refer to now as National Parks. Even the indigenous North Americans, avoided many of these places, sensitive, as they were to the noise of old battles, visitations or presences of those who may have come before them. Who had always been there. Haunted (see: Hauntology, Deriida 1993, Fisher 2014) by the spirits of the land itself. Described in the only way they can be; through close listening and observation which are translated into language as static scenes of description, mimesis (Hermetic phenomenology) for no other reason than it is the only way we have. “All phenomena—light, color, sound—and all natural processes—germination, growth, digestion and fermentation—contain the power to evoke in the prepared observer, the true response that is their meaning. Here is the foundation of a true science of phenomena, dispensing with all instrumentation and relying on consciousness alone (Bamford, Green Hermeticism 2009:56).”

Researcher and archaeologist John Sabol, has established a methodology for studying past events in situ through his ghost excavations and recreations. Dressed up in full battle attire Sabol and his crew undertake to re-create famous battles in history, such as Antetam and Gettysburg, as faithfully as possible through what he calls ‘ghost excavations’. These re-creations, or excavations, release the memory and leftover residue of the event that is still there. What has made the place significant in our time, and in our cultural context so that we may interpret it better than one that is far more remote and ancient.

As should be evident, Sabol’s research is a perfect example of phenomenological research in the disciplines of history and archaeology. Specific to the theme of this book though is his observation of a strata of memory that is sometimes “hidden” in the archaeological record i.e. ‘Hidden Archaeology’. Existing as much now as it did then. These rhythms, containing strata of memories, constitute, I propose, a continuous process of inscription and erasure “of emplaced engagement with the material, sensory, social and cultural contexts in which we dwell” (Pink 2007:62). They constitute one aspect of a “hidden dimension” of the archaeological record. An archaeological site is, therefore, never just about the past. It is a place that is still in the process of becoming, both now and in the future (Sabol What Haunts Us as a Surface Underground: The ‘Dirt’ of Archaeological Excavation as a ‘Hidden Dimension’: 2)

There is communication with a place, just as there is communication with an individual, but its speech is static rather than kinetic mimicking the various natural features of the landscape, including, that of the animals. What was once called the Green (Adamic) language or The Language of the Birds. A collection of rebuses and pictograms which preceded the Indo-European and Greco-Roman languages by thousands of years.

But all of these would still be just signifiers without the signified, land, they come from. More repetitive than any bird call, more resonant than any whale. What it has to say is instantaneous and present in every moment, yet varies as one’s orientation (parallax) to it shifts. Becoming clearer and clearer as one reaches a certain point. That place with the best view, whether in elevation or proximity, that one knows when they see it. What it says is profound, perhaps more than anyone has the strength or bravery to apprehend, yet incredibly simple or succinct. Practiced to the point of being nearly imperceptible, at the threshold of comprehension. Its speech goes quiet and it is the silence that communicates information to the recipient in the form of a feeling. 

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