I wrote some new stuff today for my novel. It’s first draft stuff but I’ll post it below. My novel is kind of a prequel, but a story I hope in its own right, about the relationships a guy has while he’s developing the technological breakthroughs in his proprietary Virtual Reality software and hardware that harbinger him later on leading a VR based cult. What I wrote today was more from the perspective of Crystal, talking about the guy, Shungyosai. And how he has ‘cheated’ on her with another girl. Though a lot of the story revolves around interpretation and shared experience, and he doesn’t see it that way. To him, they never defined their relationship, so he betrayed nothing. She just ‘read it’ wrong.
Some themes are emerging in the new developments and the research I’m doing. I know a large middle section in the novel will deal with time. And this section brought up again Crystal’s studies of architecture, with a theme of edi(face)s. I want to add more to that. And the video I posted above about Zack Snyder not understanding how to craft scenes but rather making imagistic ‘moments’ trying to make you feel something speaks to another theme. Awareness, attention, meaning, ‘the unbearable lightness of being’.
Shungyosai is off on his mission to change the world by being a brilliant artist employing his great new technology. He will swell the music, he will give you the ‘awe-full’ moment. You there, in the audience… you will be made to care.
“When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake.” – Plato
~ ☆ ✶ ☆ ~
It’s not a betrayal, somehow. That he is seeing this other girl.
He acts surprised that I am calling him out about it. Like I’m the jerk.
Is it an act on his part? It’s hard for me to tell sometimes, when people are being sincere. And so it’s hard to tell when I’m, finally, being played.
I thought that people make the world in their image. That they build the place they want to live within, as a part of their own ordering of perceptions. The function of the brain is to make itself a place where the body can continue to do its thing, where the love within can expand.
But this process, like any process really, is subject to subversion. And it happens when one’s empathy breaks down. Because this, this is how we feel ourselves in the world. By knowing others. By relating to the feelings of other experiences, in our senses. By caring.
But empathy elevates compassion by degrees. Even empathy is a branching off of the term sympathy, which needed to be divided into a category more broadly explaining that one understood one’s pain and experience because one felt it too, and also one’s joys and triumphs. While also expressing that sympathy, feeling sorry for others, is enough in itself. To be its own category. That one should hold up a bit before drowning in the pools of other lives, as John K. Samson calls it.
And in those degrees of compassion, we do on some level feel the feelings of all the Being we enounter, in its forms and changes we encounter it. As the expression goes ‘This gives me all the feels.’ It’s like Heraclitus, the ancient philosopher’s belief, that all is fire. His cosmology was that everything is motion and change, and the element he likened this to, is fire. If one were unable to filter out the world, due to either a lack of well formed ego barriers, or perhaps to a super-heightened empathetical claim, and was subject to feel this being, the objectivity of reality expressed in living colour, it might very well manifest as flames. Like an acid trip or psychotic breakdown. It would be an uncontrollable conflagration of meaning, too rich and accosting of a self unable to keep one’s skin from peeling away. No way to let the uninterpretable-enough truths of every thing from cooking the self… into crunchy little nuggets. Nuggets of whatever one might end up retreating into.
So when one is studying diligently and of a sudden sees a bird smash into a window at the end of one’s desk, to fall to the ground below, frozen, stilled, and dead… One inevitably feels that sorrow. For the being of the world. The flying thing no longer free. The embodiment of joy and carelessness suddenly turned into a tomb. Daring to pull one into it’s meaning’s absence.
Even to express it in words, to eulogize it, is a way to distance oneself from its reality, and thus kill it again. To not feel it. And this is understood by any good artist. They brave the void in the hope you’ll skip across the pit and whistle in the dark with them.
An artist can’t, in my view, touch that window pane in your view, as shuddering as that thought might be. We can only beg you to remember to watch for the bird in flight.
The moment of unspeakability, what can it be, but silence?
There is a dry, chapped quality to the lips that tell the story here of the intimacy of the moment of grief. And I always thought of the communion of art as a kiss.
Can’t help but think of a broken tooth, a bloody lip, the stumbling protuberance of a broken jaw.
But that’s not what I’m trying to tell about. I’m trying to talk about empathy, and how, in its degrees, we are both anchored, and island-isolated, by our power of imagination.
I believed Shungyosai was a great guy. I thought he was one of the most compassionate people I had ever met. He seems to care about so many things.
But this, it turns out, might just be seeming.