Spinning is a dizzying activity and children love to do it because it throws them off balance. It induces feelings in their body that they otherwise don’t experience when they are grounded. Typically, children are in safe environments, and this sensation is foreign and delicious and naughty. They can go round and round, giggle with nausea and safely return to an axis and an anchor that they can trust—a coordinate on the grid.
For spin to happen, you need two things. According to Cartesian dualism, the mind and body are split entities, or more specifically the soul and body are two different substances. He believed in an independent, non-material soul inhabiting and finding expression in a mechanically operated body.* This seems absurd to mostly everyone today because this then begs the question of ‘what is this non-material soul,’ and ‘how does it control the mechanistic body,’ and a host of other questions that usually point to the mucky business of religion or morality. It becomes mucky business because it devolves into a potential hierarchy of control, one that becomes a convenient model for religions or other structures to puppeteer with.
I believe Descartes was onto something in realizing this split, but I think his trouble came when he was unable to create a feedback model for these two separate entities, instead of allowing them to dance or manifest a whole, which is greater than the sum of its parts. To his credit, he didn’t have the advantage of the development of modern psychology or its link to the feedback of language to really develop these points.
Descartes did point to the pineal gland as a source for interaction between these two halves, but pretty much left it there. A lot of his ideas about the pineal gland hovered around sensation, imagination, memory and the causation of bodily movements. He was unable to fully explore the nature of the soul and its relationship with the body, albeit pointing out this critical gland. However, his mark on the important mind / body distinction has been tantamount to Western ideology for centuries.
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain, which produces melatonin and serotonin. Its shape resembles a tiny pinecone and it is located near the center of the brain, between the right and left hemispheres. It is often associated with the third eye or the Ajna chakra. When activated, it can lead one to other realms of consciousness. In terms of psychedelic experiences, DMT is recognized as the chemical that promotes one to reach these states, and it is now available as a drug. Meditation is also another way to reach these states. The ajna chakra is considered a ‘third eye’ in Hinduism because it gives us perception, perhaps outside of our five senses. The pineal gland represents the point at which the body receives energy and acts as an main access point between the astral body and the physical body. Its function in the brain is essential to consciousness. Without awareness of the universe, you have no point of reference at which you have self-awareness. Without self-awareness, you have neither consciousness nor logical thought.**
The spin of our projections is a product of the subject >< object relationship as it relates to the hologram of the mind and the space of the body. The anchor to the hologram of our corporeal experience is the frequency, which we inhabit at any given moment. It is the coordinate and the convergence of a myriad of factors. These interactions produce visions and illusions in our mind, with the pineal gland acting as the bulb to the projector. This is how the projection and illusion game works. It’s our biology, interacting with topography along with its natural physical laws, creating a consistent image and hologram of existence.
“Maya is said to have three powers. The first power is called the obscuring power: it shuts out, as it were, the white light of eternity. Maya operates like a mask or curtain over truth. Or you might think of maya as a prism: the white light strikes the prism and is broken into myriad rays. This is a second, or projecting power. Here the forms of the world are projected, just as the light through the prism. Now, no one who had never seen white light could imagine white light from looking at the seven multicolored lights. However, if these seven are arranged on a disk, and the disk is made to spin, you will see the white light again. So we say that maya has a third power, the revealing power. We are within her womb. It is the womb of space, time, and casual relationships, what Kant calls the ‘a priori forms of sensibility.’ This is exactly maya, and this is exactly why Schopenhauer, following Kant, was able to interpret the Indian terminology in Kantian terms, point for point.”***
Many ideas held within Cartesian dualism is actually very similar to ideas found in Hindu non-dualism. A Hindu non-dualist acknowledges this same body / mind distinction, but doesn’t see it as a distinct split. It is acknowledged as two separate entities, but it is less of a hierarchy. One informs the other and feedback is essential.
Certain practices of Hinduism, like the Advaita Vedanta school propose this seamlessness and more importantly states that it is our human task to seek and find qualities of peace and bliss amongst the muck and chaos—true liberation from the psychological loops and physical cycles we find ourselves in as it is a study of self through reflexivity and feedback.
As we anchor ourselves with sound and syllable to search for an idea that is at once a blob and a coordinate, we are able to contour ourselves and watch our cells magnetize and grow and repel and echo their frequencies, to be able to tolerate finer tones and wavelengths and make a choice to move towards them, or not.
Today, we are living and thinking through online spaces, and that is a very different reality for our body and our consciousness from any other era we have lived through as humans. To wake up to our bodies, and feel and think and talk with our bodies in a digital conscious era, we must be mindful and aware to open up to all other bio-informational fields that are circulating around us. The digital age of information and connectivity becomes a good analogy for a digital consciousness we have access to, and we occupy. It becomes a contained space where we can create events outside of present time and space. It is built to hold memory, knowledge and reasoning ability. In relation to the chakra system, the point is to be able to move gracefully through these spaces of physicality and spirituality using knowledge, memory and reasoning ability while having an interaction through our hardware and software.
The first step in this process of multi-planar and inter-spatial living might be to open up to the nuances of the in-between through the vibration of sound to really see what’s happening, past illusion, and sense something else entirely through our mind-body perceptions.
We live in code. In a matrix of DNA, language, image, signs and symbols. A part of this code is a matrix of one’s and zero’s which weave a secondary reality. A tapestry of insights and connections, which live preserved behind a glass screen, flattened into 2-D while maintaining a 3-D shape and shaping a 4-D reality.
Verticality and horizontality are two important zones that can help create rows and columns a.k.a. a grid, to hold us in place. I think once we open up to other planes, we understand the floating part pretty well, but it’s the grounding that can feel increasingly difficult. Neither of these planes are either good or bad, but it’s mediating between the two spaces and finding a pulse and rhythm to navigate these two spaces, which become an art.
Since sound art depends on orientation of the body, I want to set up the analog modular synthesizer as the tool that reminds the body of its own gurgling fragments and frequencies so we can coax the channels of corporeal desire to open up. Upaj is a concept in Indian classical music that is about the act of emoting, and getting into the flow, or the zone. It is taking a trip with the twists and turns of melody and getting the body involved in this trip. It is feeling lit within a flow, but not feeling too hot where you burn out.
Feeling the acoustics of our genome is a sensational thing. It is enlivening because of its subtlety. The awakening of kundalini and our subtle network is likened through the vehicle of sound. “The subtle envelopes are related to the gross of physical participles at several psychic points, and these points are interlinked by numerous subtle channels known as nadis (from the Sanskrit root meaning motion, vibration). Though attempts have been made to identify these subtle channels with the anatomy of the physical body, they are practically untraceable by direct empirical observation. If the nadis were to be revealed to the eye, the body would appear as a highly complex network.”****
Dropping into this subtlety and noticing expansion feels odd and almost discomforting because we have entered an era of indifference. Ideas, places, markets, almost anywhere is overpopulated, and there is not much to do but cancel out and dive into the overwhelm. This coordinate of diving into consumption without questioning is a choice, but it is also a mechanism directly built into everyday infrastructure, which is tough to avoid as it is used to distract and subdue. Apathy is a byproduct of extreme stress.
“The essence of Enframing is that setting-upon gathered into itself which entraps the truth of its own coming to presence with oblivion. This entrapping disguises itself, in that it develops into the setting in order of everything that preserves as standing-reserve, establishes itself in the standing- reserve, and rules in the standing-reserve.”*****
We are the reserve, and we’re volunteering for this. Selfies are the definition of this deep dive as they are an image of us willingly giving ourselves over to technology, to frame us in its own vision, and with smiling faces—masterful manipulation where no one is to criticize because we have volunteered ourselves over. We are allowed to exit ourselves because we have left an image as a placeholder.
* "Mind - Chapter Two. Web. 1, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes/ Sept. 2015.
** "The Meaning of the Pineal Gland." Fractal Enlightenment. Web. 1 Sept. 2015.
*** Campbell, Joseph, and David Kudler. Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal. Novato, Calif.: New World Library, 2003. Print. 49.
**** Mookerjee, Ajit. Kundalini: The Arousal of the Inner Energy. Print. 16.
***** Heidegger, Martin. The Question concerning Technology, and Other Essays, “The Turning.” New York: Harper & Row, 1977. Print. 36.