ZaUM and Technomaya by Franco Beradri

Bifo

The following chapter from After the Future by Franco Berardi addresses the development of several themes that charged the cultural environment stretching from the mid 19th into the early 20th century as modernity took a collective turn inward in a new exegesis of subjectivity which plumbed its mysterious depths at the moment when technoscience (chemistry) had begun to externalize its most intimate reveries and eidetic function in the new arts of photography and cinematography. This  was a double movement of consciousness in which its technological articulation as pure object also inspired the artist’s escape attempt from the panoptic gaze of the positivist camera.  In this subjective turn natural realism yields to the impressionist canvas as the subject evades its rational calculation as pure object, nature as copy. One way this was done was by disorienting the subjects sensorium or by sparking creative imagination.

The genius of  ZaUM is that the author is able to extrapolate how concepts that were pioneered by Symbolism in the mid to late 19th century have evolved through early 20th century Avant Garde, particularly in the movement known as Futurism, into our virtual worlds of cyberculture. In this short essay, Bifo traces the evolution of the linguistic consciousness through modernity as it turned itself inside-out.

Not surprisingly many of the themes that were widespread in Symbolism and the early 20th century mysticism of Theosophy and the  Avant Garde are also found in the work of Sri Aurobindo who was influenced by Symbolist poetry and who shared a common language of Guru-English with Theosophy and many in the Fin de cycle cosmopolitan Avant Garde.

The themes explored by Berardi are mantra, a transmental language, maya, telepathy, space, time and virtuality. Berardi explores how those powers that were thought by the poets and mystics of the late 19th and early 20th century to be available only through subjective experience of creative imagination, siddhis and the general paranormal persist and infiltrate new communication forms of virtual environments.

Compare for instance these passages the first two of which are from Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine and The Synthesis of Yoga with what Berardi writes about the telepathic ability of virtual reality:

“Wireless telegraphy is Nature’s exterior sign and pretext for a new orientation. The sensible physical means for the intermediate transmission of the physical force is removed; it is only preserved at the points of impulsion and reception. Eventually even these must disappear; for when the laws and forces of the supraphysical are studied with the right starting-point, the means will infallibly be found for Mind directly to seize on the physical energy and speed it accurately upon its errand. There, once we bring ourselves to recognize it, lie the gates that open upon the enormous vistas of the future.”(Aurobindo: Life Divine)

“The awakening of the psychical consciousness liberates in us the direct use of the mind as a sixth sense… It becomes possible to be aware, more or less accurately and discerningly, of the activities of minds whether near to us physically or at a distance, to understand, feel or identify ourselves with their temperament, character, thoughts, feelings, reactions, whether by a psychic sense or a direct mental perception or by a very sensible and often intensely concrete reception of them into our mind or on its recording surface. At the same time we can consciously make at least the inner selves and, if they are sufficiently sensitive, the surface minds of others aware of our own inner mental or psychic self and plastic to its thoughts, suggestions, influences or even cast it or its active image in influence into their subjective, even into their vital and physical being to work there as a helping or moulding or dominating power and presence. (Aurobindo: Synthesis of Yoga)

Sri Aurobindo evokes a translingusitic experience of communication not reliant on physical organs. But the use of symbols, mandalas, deities suggest that there is even a semiotics of psychic experience. If so this would involve decoding the other’s inner emotional and cognitive states to instantiation meaning through a transmental consciousness that extends self-awareness to include a “co-dependent other”.

If as Berardi contends that any form of language is the transmission of signs intended to trigger in the mind of the receiver the building of mental models, following the intentions of the sender, the transmission of signs that bypasses linguistic representation to directly evoke in ones mind/body the experience intended or imagined by another would begin to blur the lines between the virtual and psychic ether.

“Linguistic communication is made possible by signs conventionally and arbitrarily connected with meanings; here we speak of communication stimulating mental states corresponding to the image, to the emotion, to the concept that the sender wants to transmit. The production of technical tools for simulation, and especially machines for virtual reality, puts the problem in a new light. We may label virtual reality any technology capable of transmitting impulses from one brain to another, in order to stimulate in the receiver brain a synaptic connection corresponding to a certain representation, to a certain configuration, image, concept, emotion. In a purely abstract way, we may say that virtual reality is the simulation of a neuronic wave, structured following models that are intentional and isomorphic to the mental states corresponding to certain experience. We can say that this technology is the most apt for a telepathic sort of communication.”…….(Berardi: After the Future)

Even though Walter Ong believed that “technologies are not mere exterior aids but also inner transformations of consciousness” before beginning it is worthwhile not to naively conceive of virtuality in the context of the rift between natural and artificial, mind/body, subject/object but rather to also see it as extending into electronic environments what is classical known as ether, a medium in which cosmos infiltrates consciousness to act as a solvent of self and other. Joe Milutis in his pioneering book on Ether, writes:

This mystic inexpressibility that accrues to the notions of time and the virtual may seem strange to those who think that the fourth dimension is simple time and the virtual just another term for a heightened multidimensional cinematic dreamworld. The “virtual” in this context is not a reproduction of the act, with date gloves and headsets enabling ever more immersive representations. Rather, the virtual in the cosmologies of Bergson and Deleuze, is the elusive quality that enables representations, recollections, and the 3D dataspaces to cohere. For virtual art is not necessarily about immersion in another space but rather absolute space that activates all others.” (Milutis: Ether)

For Bergson the virtual is accessible to an intuitive consciousness that harmonically aligns memory, mind, matter, space/virtuality and duration. While Berardi does not get into the dynamics of the Bergsonian virtual in this piece reconciling mantra and transmental communication with virtual reality and technomaya what he does do is to brilliantly trace back the magic of cyberspace to the semiotic mysteries of consciousness as modernity took its new subjective swerve.

…….

Zaum and Technomaya

(From After the Future)

Franco Berardi

 

ZaUM

Franco Berardi

Zaum & Technomaia

The poetics of Chlebnikov may be viewed as a utopian and anticipatory appreciation of the new reality of language in the age of media technology. He was the prophet of the late century cyber culture, and the utopian thinker of the mix of technology, trans-mentalism and psychedelics.

He created the word Zaum, a trans-mental emotional language able to transfer meanings without the need of any conventional linguistic symbol.

This issue was felt strongly by the poets of symbolism: from the end of the nineteenth century, symbolist poetics tried to overcome linguistic limits to interpersonal comprehension and search for a form of communication freed from semantic convention. The point of arrival of the school of symbolist poetics was the notion of transmental language. Mallarmé sought a poetics able to transmit emotion rather than meaning. The Mallarmean concept of emotion needs to be understood with no reference to any romantic and decadent suggestions. In his poem Corrispondence Mallarmé wrote that symbolism is ‘une poétique trés nouvelle, qui peut peindre non la chose mais l’effet qu’elle produit’ [a very new poetics that can depict not the thing but the effect it produces]; the effect produced in the mind of the recepient of the message. His intention was far from the late-romantic aura: the emotional effect Mallarmé was talking about is the transmission of a mental state. The action of colour, of phoneme, of image and word is intended to work as a mental change, as a neurological emotion, and synesthetic telepathy.

Chlebnikov was influenced by symbolist poetics, although he joined the Futurist movement in the roaring years of the Revolution. The affinities between Symbolism and Futurism are much more interesting than their differences. Chlebnikov, who liked travelling all over Russia by train and loved the archaic ways of life and archaic magical-shamanistic practices of deep traditional Russia, wanted to create a language that was virtually planetarian and able to be understood beyond linguistic boundaries. He called this language Zaum, meaning a transmental emotional language. Angelo Maria Ripellino points out that ‘Futurism has two faces. On the one hand, it emphasizes technology, skyscrapers, machines; on the other hand it’s moved by troglodytes, the wilderness, caves, and the stone-age; and so it opposes the sleep of a pre-logical Asia to modern European metropolitan frenzy.”(1) Actually we are on ambivalent grounds, open to two different views: whilst Zaum is seduced by pre-symbolic forms of communication, original proto-linguistic vocality, and the language of original emotions, it is also predisposed to imagine the possibility of a post-symbolic form of commuication, i.e. a telepathic technology; in that sense we see symbolism and futurism as converging towards the imagination of linguistic utopias and merging archaism and future. Chlebnikov was charmed by the enchanting virtues of sounds and phonetic sorcellerie [sorcery] .

‘Faith in the witchcraft of phonemes, interest in shamanic culture, search for a ritual language, this is the influence of symbolism: poetry is a magical action and an oracular message. Many poems by Bal’mont, Bel’ij, and Blok are conceived of as means of magical action, similar to the balms of witches, the brains of animals, the skin of snakes, the leaves of savina, belladonna or datura and so on.’(2)

Chlebnikov turned his back to the European modern world, notwithstanding his futurist flirtations, and preferred the timeless Asia; he dived in the ‘etymological night’, in the depth of a past protended towards imaginary origins. In this magic background he saw the possibility of a telepathic effect, of transmission of meaning without the mediation of conventional signifiers, through the direct stimulation of neurologic emotions that correspond to the meaning. Chlebnikov’s way leads to pre-symbolic communication, but his way must converge with post-symbolic research, which is our task today. Chlebnikov seems to be the point of connection of these two directions. The aim of Chlebnikovian transmental language is to find a non-conventional dimension of communication through the travel à rebours in the nocturnal territory of etymologies and origins; but now we move towards the same goal with the dangerous experimentation of telepathic techniques.

Shabda and Mantra
The research of symbolism is explicitly tied to those of mysticisms of all times, because mysticism knows the way to non-conventional modes of communication. In Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism , Lama Anagarika Govinda writes: ‘The essential nature of words is therefore neither exhausted by their present meaning, nor is their importance confined to their usefulness as transmitters of thoughts and ideas.’ Anagarika Govinda is perfectly conscious of the fact that on this ground Buddhist symbolism shows a deep correspondence with poetical symbolism, and notes: ‘The magic which poetry exerts upon us, is due to this quality and the rhythm combined therewith…The birth of language was the birth of humanity. Each word was the sound-equivalent of an experience, connected with an internal or external stimulus.’ The material consistency of the poetic sign (i.e. sound, rhythm, and vibration) produces its effectiveness and its ability to create mental effects. In reference to the Tibetan tradition, Anagarika Govinda distinguishes between the word as shabda and the word as mantra ; shabda is the ordinary word composing common speech, the word that is able to carry signification through conventional understanding. Mantra , on the other hand, is the impulse that creates a mental image, the power to change mental states. ‘Mantra is a tool for thinking, a thing which creates a mental picture’. With its sound it calls forth its content into a state of immediate reality. Mantra is power, not merely speech that the mind can contradict or evade. What the mantra expresses by its sound exists and comes to pass. It is the peculiarity of the true poet that his word creates actuality, calls forth and unveils something real. His word does not talk – it acts!’ Mantra is a force able to evoke images and to create and transmit mental states.

Virtual reality

Leibniz wrote: ‘A universal character could be introduced in communication, something better than the character used by the Chinese. We could employ little figures in the place of words, in order to represent visible as well as invisible things. This could be useful to communicate with faraway nations, but we could also use it in ordinary communication. The use of this way of writing would be very useful for the enrichment of the imagination, and for the production of thoughts.” The caracteristica universalis , as a trans-linguistic form of symbolization, opens up a question of great actuality, today, in the age of intercultural planetary communication.

Poetic symbolism and magical symbolism are both involved in the process of evocation that the word and the sign are able to produce. But today the issue needs to be reconsidered starting from a new datum that comes from electronic technology: the virtual reality machine begs the same question faced by poetical symbolism and magical symbolism, that is, the question of telepathic communication. Linguistic communication is made possible by signs that are conventionally and arbitrarily connected with a meaning; here we speak of a communication that simulates mental states that correspond to the image, to the emotion, and to the concept that the sender wants to transmit. The production of technical tools of simulation and especially of virtual reality machines puts this question under a new light. Virtual reality could be our label for any technology that is capable of transmitting impulses from a brain directly to another in order to stimulate in the receiver’s brain a synaptic connection that corresponds to a definite representation, a configuration, an image, a concept, or an emotion. In purely abstract terms we may say that virtual reality is the stimulation of a neuronal wave, structured in accordance with models that are intentional and isomorphic to mental states that correspond to a definite experience. In our view, this technology is the most apt to a telepathic form of communication.

Jaron Lanier, the first creator of virtual reality machines in the 1980s, used to speak of post-symbolic communication. If you can provide a reality as you do with virtual reality tools, and if you can share this reality with other people, you no longer need to describe the world because you can simply create this contingence and coincidence; you don’t need to describe an action if you can create it.

Dynamic Ideography

Starting from this premise, we can go back to the problem posed by Leibniz, the problem of caracteristica universalis , i.e., in contemporary terms, the problem of a planetary language, a language able to connect people that belong to different cultural and linguistic traditions. Pierre Levy proposed the idea of a communication technology that he called dynamic ideography. What does it mean, in synthesis? Dynamic ideography is a communication technology that enables people to transmit mental states, images, emotions, concepts, and configurations of meaning without any conventional means. The transmission is made possible by a direct stimulation of the neuro-physical connections that correspond to the configurations of meaning. Dynamic ideography is a communication technology that can transfer the mental models involved in seeing an image, in experiencing a situation, and in thinking a concept from a communicating person to another. It’s easy to see the relationship between virtual reality and dynamic ideography. Dynamic ideography is a technique that activates a sequence of virtual realities, corresponding to the contents that I want to send and communicate. Dynamic ideography is the transmission of mental models (emotional or conceptual models): an analogical tool of a global and synaesthetic kind, directly acting on the imagination.

What is the Imagination?

Imagination is an infinite variation of analogical combinatory items. Imagination is an infinite variation of possibilities that the mind processes, starting from disposable engrams. The storage of memory is limited but the possibilities of composing the items stored in memory are unlimited. The process of combining these analogical plastic items is named ‘imagination’. The theoretical and practical study of the becoming of imagination can be defined as psychedelics.

Psychedelics actually mean the possibility of manipulating and transforming mind activity through chemical, electrical or other stimuli. How is it possible to produce a programmed, intentioned, and controlled stimulation of the mental activity of our communication partner? From the possibility of transmitting mental models, to stimulate synaptic waves corresponding to the mental states that we want to communicate, we can now see how it becomes possible to share imaginary words, in mental co-evolutions.

‘To understand a proposition is to guess and imagine how the world would appear if this proposition is true …We can think signification as following the metaphor of joining fragments, rather than following the classical conception of translation or expression’. On this basis we can say that any form of language is the transmission of signs intended to trigger in the mind of the receiver the building of mental models, following the intentions of the sender.

Techno-Maya

William Gibson sees the world as Cyberspace.

‘An hallucination daily shared by billions of operators all over the world, children who are taught the mathematical concepts, a graphic representations of data received by the desks of every computer of the nervous human system.’

Cyberspace is a hypothesis of the world: ontology and epistemology are on the same level of consistency, since being is essentially a projection. ‘We are in a sort of cave, like Plato said, and they’re showing us endless funky films.’ Philip Dick says. We can think that reality is the infinite projection of endless movies on the screen of our brain. But, if we want to move from the hallucinatory to the real-world dimension, we simply must introduce the notion of communication, i.e. sharing the hallucination. ‘When two people share the same dream, it ceases to be an illusion: the fundamental proof that distinguishes reality from imagination is the consensus gentium , the fact that another person or several people see the same thing that I see. This is idios kosmos , the private dream, opposed to the dream that all of us share, koinos kosmos . In the age of virtual technologies we are beginning to see the plastic and vibrating quality of the common world, and this scares us, because of its insubstantiality, and we are beginning to see that the quality of hallucination is not mere smoke. Like science fiction, a third reality is emerging between the two.’

The Hindus call it Maya. But the concept of Maya is not easy to understand in his deepest meaning. Maya is illusion because it has been torn from its living connections and limited in time and space. The individuality and corporality of the unenlightened human being trying to maintain and preserve its illusory selfhood is Maya in this negative sense.

Also the body of the Enlightened One is Maya, but not in the negative sense, because it is the conscious creation of a mind that is free from illusion, unlimited, and no longer bound to an ego. ‘Maya does not mean illusion, but something more: I would say that it means projection of the world. The projection of the world can be frozen and become mere illusion, self-deception, if we think that the imagined world is independent from imagination, and if we think that the imaging self is independent from communication and from the becoming of the world. But Maya in itself means projecting action, creation of the world’.

‘Seen from the consciousness of Dharmakaya all separate forms of appearance are Maya. Maya in the deepest sense, however, is reality in its creative aspect, or the creative aspect of reality. Thus Maya becomes the cause of illusion, but it is not illusion itself, as long as it is seen as a whole, in its continuity, its creative function, or as infinite power of transformation and universal relationship’.

We are witnessing a process of proliferation of technological tools for simulation. The social technology of communication is aimed to connect imagination and the projection of individuals and groups.

This projection-web could be called Techno-Maya, a neuro-telematic network endlessly projecting a movie shared by all the conscious organisms that are connected.

This techno-imagination, this mutual implication in the koinos kosmos is socialization itself. Through the proliferation of machines for electronic, holographic stimulation, and of programmed neuro-stimulation, we can enter the domain of Techno-Maya, because we can produce worlds of meaning and transmit these worlds, triggering the imagination of other men.

London, May 2009

Bibliography

Angelo Maria Ripellino, ‘Tentativo di esplorazione del continente Chlebnikov’, in Saggi in forma di ballate, Torino: 1978, p. 93

Lama Anagarika Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism , London: 1960, p. 17

P. Levy, L’ideographie dynamique, Paris: 1991

W. Gibson, Neuromance

P. Dick, Only apparently real , New York: 1974

 

Khlebnikov’s poetics can be viewed as a utopian and anticipatory appreciation of the new reality of language in the age of media tech. He was the prophet of late century cyberculture, and the utopian thinker of the mix of technology, transmentally, and psychedelics. He created the language of “Zaum” transmental transemotional language, referring to the ability to transfer meanings without the need for any conventional linguistic symbols.

The issue was seen clearly by the Symbolist poets. Since the end of the nineteeneth century, Symbolist poetics tried to overcome linguistic limits to interpersonal comprehension and looked for a form of communication freed from semantic convention. The Symbolist poetical school started from a notion of transmental language. Mallarme sought a poetics that could transmit emotion rather then meaning. His concept of emotion should not ne understood in any romantic or decadent sense. As he wrote to Cazalis in 1864, Symnolism is “une poetique tres nouvelle, qui peut peindre non la chose maid ‘leffect q’uelle produit.” To paint he says not the thing but the effect produced in the mind of the person receiving the aura ; emotional effect Mallarme is taking about in the transmission of metal states. Color, phoneme, image and word are intended to act as mental change, as neurological emotion, as synesthetic telepathy.

The psychical consciousness, as it develops, makes us aware of the great mass of thoughts, feelings, suggestions, will impacts, influences of all kinds that we are receiving from others or sending to others or imbibing from and throwing into the general mind atmosphere around us. As it evolves in power, precision and clearness, we are able to trace these to their source or feel immediately their origin and transit to us and direct consciously and with an intelligent will our own messages. It becomes possible to be aware, more or less accurately and discerningly, of the activities of minds whether near to us physically or at a distance, to understand, feel or identify ourselves with their temperament, character, thoughts, feelings, reactions, whether by a psychic sense or a direct mental perception or by a very sensible and often intensely concrete reception of them into our mind or on its recording surface. At the same time we can consciously make at least the inner selves and, if they are sufficiently sensitive, the surface minds of others aware of our own inner mental or psychic self and plastic to its thoughts, suggestions, influences or even cast it or its active image in influence into their subjective, even into their vital and physical being to work there as a helping or moulding or dominating power and presence.

Khlebnikov had been influenced by Symbolist poetics before joining the futurist movement in the roaring years of the Revolution. The affinities between Symbolism and Futurism are much more interesting than their differences. Khlebnikov who loved to travel all around Russia by train and who loved the archaic ways of life and magical-shamanistic practices of deep traditional Russia wanted to create a virtual planetary language, able to be understood beyond linguistic boundaries. He called the language Zaum. Angelo Maria Ripellino points out that Futurism has two faces. “On the one side, it emphasizes technology, skyscrapers, machines: on the other side it’s moved by troglodytes, the wild, caves, and the Stone Age: and so it opposes the sleep of prelogic Asia to modern European metropolitan frenzy” Here we are on ambivalent ground, open on two different sides: Zaum is seduced by pre-symbolic forms of communication, the original protolingusitic vocality, the language of original emotions. But at the same time, it is predisposed to imagine the possibility of a post-symbolic communication i.e. a telepathic technology; in the sense we see Symbolism and Futurism converging toward the imagined linguistic utopias, merging archaism and Futurism.

Khlebnikov is charmed by the enchanting virtues of sounds, by phonetic sorcellerie (withcraft) Faith is witchery of phonemes, interest in shamanic culture, research in ritual language, this is the Symbolist influence; poetry is magical action, and oracular message. Many poems by Bal’mont, Bel’ij, Blok are conceived as means of magical action, similar to witches’ balms, animal brains, snake skins, Savina leaves and belladonna or datura and so on (Ripellino 1978,93)

Khlebnikov turns his back on the modern European world, notwithstanding his Futuristic flirtations, preferring eternal Asia, and he dives into the “etymological night” into the deepness of the past that reaches toward imaginary origins. In this magical background he sees the possibility of telepathic effect of transmitting meeting without the mediation of a conventional signifier, through direct simulation of neurological emotions corresponding to meaning.

Khlebnikov’s approach leads to presymbolic communication, but this must converge with presymbolic research, which is our task today. Khlebnikov seems to be the point of connection between the two directions. The aim of trans-mental language is to find a nonconventional dimensions of communication through travel against the grain in the nocturnal territory of etymologies and origins; but now we progress toward the same end through dangerous experimentation of telepathic techniques

Symbolist research is explicitly tied to timeless mystical quest, because mysticism knows the way to nonconventional dimensions of communication. In Foundations of Tibetean Mysticism Lama Anagarika Govinda (1960) says: “The essential nature of words is therefore neither exhausted by their present meaning, nor is their importance confined to their usefulness as transmitters of thoughts and ideas” Anagarika Givinda is perfectly conscious of the fact that, in this regard Buddhist symbolism has a deep similarity with poetic symbolism and notes: “The magic which poetry exerts upon us, is due to this quality and the rhythm combined therewith… The birth of language was the birth of humanity. Each word was the sound-equivalent of an experience, connected with an internal or external stimulus”(1960) The material consistency of the poetic sign (i.e. sound, rhythms, vibrations) produces its efficiency and capability to create mental effects. Referring to Tibetan tradition, Anagarika Govind distinguishes between the word as shabda and the word as mantra.

Shabda is the ordinary word composing common speech the word that is able to carry signification through conventional understanding. Mantra on the other hand, is the impulse that create a mental image, the power to change mental states. Mental is a tool for thinking a thing which creates a mental picture” (1960) With sound it calls forth its content into a state of immediate reality. Mantra is power, not merely speech which mind can contradict or evade. What mantra expresses by its sound exists, comes to pass. It is the peculiarity of the true poet that his word creates, actual calls forth and unveils to be real Mantra is a fierce able to evoke images, to create and transmit mental states.

The characteristica universalis, as Leibniz calls it, or translinguistic symboloization, opens an issue of great significance today, in the age of intellectual planetary communication. Poetical and magical symbolism are both involved in the process of evocation and the word and the sign can produce. But we must reconsider the problem starting from a new datum, coming from electronic technology; the virtual reality machine, which involves the same problem posed by poetical and magical symbolism, that is the problem of telepathic communication

Linguistic communication is made possible by signs conventionally and arbitrarily connected with meanings; here we speak of communication stimulating mental states corresponding to the image, to the emotion, to the concept that the sender wants to transmit. The production of technical tools for simulation, and especially machines for virtual reality, puts the problem in a new light. We may label virtual reality any technology capable of transmitting impulses from one brain to another, in order to stimulate in the receiver brain a synaptic connection corresponding to a certain representation, to a certain configuration, image, concept , emotion. In a purely abstract way, we may say that virtual reality is the simulation of a neuronic wave, structured following models that are intentional and isomorphic to the mental states corresponding to certain experience. We can say that this technology is the most apt for a telepathic sort of communication. Jaron Lanier who in the 1980s was the first creator of virtual reality machines, spoke in those years of post symbolic communication. If you can provide a reality with virtual reality tools, and if you can share this reality with other persons, you no longer need to describe the world, because you can simply create this contingence, this coincidence; you don’t need to describe an action you can create it.

Starting from this premise we can go back to the problem posed by Leibniz, the problem of characteristica universalis i.e. in contemporary terms, the problem of planetary language, of a language that should be able to connect people belonging to different cultural and linguistic traditions. Pierre Levy (1991) proposed the idea of a  communication technology he calls “dynamic ideography” hat does this means, synthetically? Dynamic ideography is a communication technology that enables people to transmits mental states, images, emotions, concepts, sense configurations. Dynamic ideography is a communication technology that can transfer from one person to another, mental models involved in seeing a certain image, in experiencing a certain situation, in thinking a certain concept. Its easy to see the relationship between virtual reality and dynamic ideography. Dynamic ideography is a technique that activates a sequence of virtual realities, corresponding to the contents that I want to send and communicate, an analogical tool of a global and synesthetic kind directly acting on imagination

Imagination is an infinite variety of analogical combinatory items, an infinite variety of possibilities that the mind processes, starting from disposable engrams. Memory storage is limited but the possibilities of rearranging the items stored in memory are not. The processes of combining these analogical plastic items is called imagination. The theoretical and practical becoming of imagination can be called psychedelics.

Psychedelics is the possibility of manipulating and transforming mental activity through chemical electrical or other stimulation. Starting from the possibility of transmitting mental models, to stimulate synaptic brain waves corresponding to mental states that we want to communicate, it is possible to share imaginary words, in mental co-evolution. On this basis we can say that language itself is the transmission of signs intended to trigger in the mind of the receiver the building of mental models that correspond to the intention of the sender.

In the pages of Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984) sees the world cyberspace. A concensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts….A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system.

Cyberspace is a hypothesis of the world: Ontology and Gnoseology are on the same level of consistency, since Being Is essentially a projection. “We are in a sort of cave, like Plato said, and they’re showing us endless funky films.” Says Philip K Dick (in Williams 1986) We can think that reality is the infinite projection of endless movies on the screen of brain. But, if we want to move from the hallucinatory to the real-world dimension, we simply must introduce the notion of communication. i.e. sharing the hallucination, Dick continues:

“If two people dream the same dream it ceases to be an illusion: the basic test that distinguishes reality from hallucination is the consenses gentium, that one other or several others see it too. This is idios kosmos, the private dream, opposed to the shared dream of us all the koinos kosmos,. What is new in our time is that we are beginning to see the plastic, trembling quality of the koinos kosmos-which scares us, its instubstantiality- and the more than mere vapor quality of the hallucination. Like SF, a third reality is formed halfway between (in Williams 1986)

The Hindus call it ‘Maya” But the concept isn’t easy to understand in its deepest meaning. Maya is illusion because it has been torn from its living connections and is limited in time and space. The individuality and corporality of the unenlightened human being, trying to maintain and preserve its illusory selfhood, is Maya in the negative sense.

The body of the Enlightened One is also Maya, but not in the negative sense, because it is the conscious creation of the mind that is free from illusion. Maya does not mean illusion, but something more: I would say that it means projection of the world. The projection of the world can be frozen and become mere illusion, self-deception, if we think that the imaging self is independent from communication and from the becoming of the world. But Maya in itself means projecting action, the creation of the world. Thus Maya becomes the cause of illusion, but it is not illusion.

We are witnessing a proliferation of technological tools for simulation. The social technology of communication is aimed at connecting the imaginations and projections of individuals and groups. This projection-web could be called Technomaya, neuro-telematic network endlessly projecting a movie shared by all the conscious organisms who are connected. This techno-imagination, this mutual implication in the koinos kosmos, is socialization itself. Through the proliferation of machines for electronic, holographic, and programmed neurostimulation, we can enter the domain of Technomaya, because we can produce worlds of meaning, and we can transmit these worlds, triggering the imagination of other people.

This entry was posted in Theoria. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.