“Are we human or are we Dancer?”, The Killers
In Michael Moorcock’s seminal series of books, “The Dancers at the End of Time”, the last inhabitants of Earth have gained the ability to completely manipulate their world. Matter is shaped in any way that catches their fancy, resulting in a constantly morphing landscape, instantly moulded and just as quickly destroyed according to individual whimsy and the latest fickle fashion.
Skip now to one of the obsessions of scientists throughout human history – to find the smallest building block of matter. In India, over 2,500 years ago, the concept of the atom was first recorded. However, at the start of the last century, as technological advances allowed scientists to observe activity at ever increasing levels of granularity, they discovered that below a certain scale there were no building blocks of matter, merely clouds of probability. Just think about that for a moment: everything we can see or touch, if we drill down far enough, is actually composed of nothing more than bundles of possibility. These nebulous clouds do ultimately “condense” into a particular state (although the mechanism by which they do so is still debated) and hence we have what we see as the material world.
Two well-known, but still highly pertinent, quotes from those making the discoveries are enlightening. First Niels Bohr: “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” And then Albert Einstein, unusually flying in the face of his own observations: “I, at any rate, am convinced that He [God] does not throw dice.” But that is exactly the point, reality turns out to be a roulette wheel, the ball spinning in indeterminacy until it finally “collapses” into one of the numbered slots.
Clearly, though, the roulette wheel is biased. I drop a coin; it hits the ground. Every time, the ball comes to a stop in the slot marked “fall”. It never seems to choose the “hover” option.
Or does it?
- A swiss visionary foresaw that if a chapel was built in a certain place in Ireland, beams of power would emanate. One of these beams would bring peace between the East and the West. The chapel was completed in 1988 and within 18 months the Berlin wall had fallen.
- What about Edgar Allen Poe’s first and only novel, “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket”? In this darkly imaginative work a ship capsizes and four sailors survive. One of them is called Richard Parker. Eventually, starving, the men turn to cannibalism and draw lots to see who amongst them will get eaten. Richard Parker draws the short straw and gets eaten. 46 years later in reality (and a matter of public record as it resulted in a criminal case) the yacht Mignotte sinks. Four people survive, drifting in a lifeboat. Finally one is selected, killed and eaten by the others so that they might survive. His name? Richard Parker.
- When psychic questers Andrew Collins, Richard Ward and Sue Collins “imagined” a brass box, the box was exactly what they found. In Andrew’s own words: “But I think what’s even more of a mind-messer is that we actually made up the artefact to find – almost as a joke, initially because we hadn’t found the previous artefact that we were looking for… and [we] said ‘alright, let’s make up an artefact to find.’ And you [Richard Ward] said to Sue: ‘What’s it going to be?’ And she said: ‘a box’. And you said to me, ‘what’s it going to be made of?’…[I said:] ‘Gold. No Brass.’ Very quickly, just like that…And when we found it, it was exactly as we had imagined.”
- Are Edgar Cacye’s “wild” speculations about Atlantis somehow being brought into reality by the focussed efforts of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) and by Drs. Greg and Lora Little’s ongoing exploration of Cuba and the Bahamas in particular? And does this dovetail with Bernard […]’s vision (and subsequent paintings) of the Crystal Chambers beneath the pyramids (echoing other material revealed by Cayce during his readings) which is tantalisingly hinted at by Andrew Collins’ recent discoveries at the Giza plateau?
In all these cases it is as if, by some supreme feat of imagination, the ball has been nudged out of its usual slot and drops into another resulting in a little novelty leaking into our world. If this is possible, – no matter how infrequently, no matter how inconsistently – then we can become like the Dancers and forge around us a reality of our own making.
I leave the last words – ringing with the eloquence bestowed to him by the mushroom intelligence – to Terence McKenna, that intrepid psychonaut. He is describing the DMT machine elves but everything could equally apply to the Dancers:
What they’re doing is making objects with their voices, singing structures into existence. They offer things to you, saying "Look at this! Look at this!" and as your attention goes towards these objects you realise that what you’re being shown is impossible. It’s not simply intricate, beautiful and hard to manufacture, it’s impossible to make these things. The nearest analogy would be the Fabergé eggs, but these things are like the toys that are scattered around the nursery inside a U.F.O., celestial toys, and the toys themselves appear to be somehow alive and can sing other objects into existence, so what’s happening is this proliferation of elf gifts, which are moving around singing, and they are saying "Do what we are doing" and they are very insistent, and they say "Do it! Do it! Do it!" and you feel like a bubble inside your body beginning to move up toward your mouth, and when it comes out it isn’t sound, it’s vision. You discover that you can pump "stuff" out of your mouth by singing, and they’re urging you to do this. They say "That’s it! That’s it! Keep doing it!".
- There is no “just” about my imagination; I respect it as the faculty of wave collapse
- I seek to introduce novelty and ambiguity
- I hold the tension of opposites
- I fight inertia by movement and action
- I reach out
- I give voice
In drawing up the manifesto the following ideas have been synthesised:
Paul Feyerabend’s anti-methodology of “Anything Goes”.
Terence McKenna’s Novelty theory and so much else.
Richard Kearney’s “Wake of the Imagination” – maybe we can resuscitate it yet!
C.J. Jung (in the general) – “Life is born only of the spark of opposites”; and
Wolfgang Pauli (in the specific) – [here paraphrased by Werner Heisenberg] “…Pauli once spoke of two limiting conceptions, both of which have been extraordinarily fruitful in the history of human thought, although no genuine reality corresponds to them. At one extreme is the idea of an objective world, pursuing its regular course in space and time, independently of any kind of observing subject; this has been the guiding image of modern science. At the other extreme is the idea of a subject, mystically experiencing the unity of the world and no longer confronted by an object or by any objective world; this has been the guiding image of Asian mysticism. Our thinking moves somewhere in the middle, between these two limiting conceptions; we should maintain the tension resulting from these two opposites.”
The Icon Chapel, the events and people that brought it into existence.
The mystics, artists and psychics; they create the treasure.
The questers, local historians and archaeologists; they find it.