The Four Seasons Trilogy

dominique appia's Four Seasons

Here’s one conception of my novel notion:

  1. Treuth by the Rath of Spyryt (Spring)
  2. Atle’-Antis (Summer)
  3. Psychlotron (Autumn)

There are many ways to describe this project.  Its scope is pretty severe.  I’m going to use the approach here that will be used within the books themselves, that of compounding amplification.  The important thing, in this approach, is to build a whole from the start, and continuously smash things into it (Psychlotron) in just such a way that rather than breaking apart it incorporates them and expands into a (k)new (w)hole, which nevertheless contains the old one, in some way or another.  Lets call this approach “fusion”.  Fusion will be essential in the making of the philosopherstone, which itself is like the seed of “cold fusion”.  Which, in our case, is mind itself.  Amplify.

In summary:

“Treuth by the Rath of Spyryt” is a bildungsroman adventure through levels of the soul and the world in pursuit of the philosopherstone.  (TRS)

“Atle’Antis” is the movement of the storyline from individuals to their world (which was more theoretical in TRS).  (AA)

“Psychlotron” is the completion of the movement into a dissolution of the boundaries between individual and environment.  The unio mystica in the real world. (Psy)

A bit more detail:

  • Treuth by the Rath of Spyryt:
    • Starts with the story of Rath, who is focused upon catalyzing the creation of a virtual reality world from his own unique angle (very contentious).  He is a startlingly efficacious programmer/ninja who is always emerging from remote vantage points (to-iri no jitsu).  Along his way he encounters Spyryt, an enigmatic woman with her fingers on the pulse of the nexus of change in the world.  Together, their activity rustles up Treu, a self-described wizard bent on creating artificial intelligence, which he calls the philosopherstone.  Rath and Spyryt come into a conflict fueled by Treu in his spellcasting Psychlotron.  Conflict is the nature of the dynamism of his mechanism. Conflict is the precursor of movement.
      • At the same time this narrative is being developed, an iridescent bildungsroman layer slowly forms in which the story is commented upon and developed in relation to a fourth character, Auth.   The Auth layer shows the other narrative of the book to be in part representative of the psychodynamics of Auth.  Auth layer gains sway and suddenly, the narrative is about Auth publishing a book and an ecosystem of apps that work to bring about a future he prophecies, in a certain way.  Thus the world becomes a main character in a story that had until then treated it as a passive environment.  End book 1, the Spring of what is to come.
  • Atle’Antis:
    • Auth has published his book and his apps are gaining notoriety.  Especially the text editor (lapis documens) and the scheduling app (projenda), but also, increasingly, the blog software (thoughtstreams), the tutorial software (bootstrapps), then the global game Western Wizards.  Western Wizards, as a character development game, starts bleeding out into the world (as planned by Auth).  It slowly evolves into a user interface into global information and power, into national and international politics, economics, education.  A global conversation tool is developed that increasingly starts to look like the amalgamation of a static textual Constitution with the legislative process centered on its evolution, dissemination and practical application.  Governance starts happening through a custom-designed “operating system” that people interact with through an open source API.  A world emerges sideways to the one traced by history.  This is Atle’Antis.  This is the summer of Auth as he frolics in the fields of his karma.
  • Psychlotron:
    • Atle’Antis continues to gain momentum.  Influence that at one time was important for one reason starts to become important for another.  The evolving governance OS (gOS) had always taken advantage of machine learning and other insights from traditional discipline of AI.  However, as resources start to pour in to the evolution of the technology of the gOS AI research increasingly becomes tied up in the evolution of gOS, until finally, gOS becomes self-aware.  From here is traced in quick lines the warp-drive acceleration of meaning and world towards the Singularity which itself comes to be related to in the religious, fateful, spiritual-essential sense as an inevitable feature of matter/energy systems in the universe as it exists and evolves phyically/informationally.  In Psychlotron, all the forces in play come to their fruition and all that came before is plunged into the winter of left in the wake of their passing.

Final comments.  The kernel narrative of book 1, the projected psychodynamics of the author, largely trace out the overall development of the three books, with subtle differences.  Part of the purpose of nesting a story within itself is the perspective placed on the nested version of the story.  I understand, as an author, the nature of psychological projection.  Still, I have a prophecy for our world.  And while it may also trace out the process of individuation within myself as an individual human, it simultaneously traces out the individuation of human society and the inevitable influence of technology as an expression of that very same phenomenon that led prokaryotes to eukaryotes and humans to nations….  It can do this because the two phenomena are similarly rooted in the nature of Life.  This same nature of life is embodied in the dynamics of consciousness, or awareness.  Because life is, essentially, ramified awareness.  Or, awareness is ramified life.

Life is a word that sounds so simple.  We see it as warm and familiar in relation to the complex equations of physics and computation.  But Life is anything but simple.  Life is baked into the very foundation of the universe and physics will one day be subsumed by an understanding of the living nature of existence in the expressions of that understanding.  Old physics, today’s physics, will be seen to be little more than Newtonian approximation from an historical angle founded in the vagaries of the psychological evolution of animalia.

While this may all sound a little dry and theoretical hereabouts, the final product will be disconcertingly efficacious.

Dominique Appia Interview

I have sent these questions to my grandfather.  If he answers, as soon as he answers, I’ll post his responses.  If you have any questions you’d like to ask, put them in comments and I’ll vet them (interesting questions only) and pass them on.  It is for the purpose of gathering questions and refining these questions that post this “Interview” before it has actually happened.

Perhaps we can engage Dominique in a dialogue…?  I know his responses will engender new questions.

  • How would you describe your life?
  • Who was your first love?
  • What is important?
  • How has your family been important to you?
  • What have you found in art and in life?
  • What have you lost?
  • What has been your experience of aging?  Do you wish to be young again?
  • What do your paintings mean?
  • Is there something you have always tried to communicate?
  • I had an interpretation of entres les trous de la memoire, or at least I thought I opened the door partway once.  Valentine is escaping to her crystal sea while Marie Eve burns her childhood and past and Sylvie is absent across the ocean.  You view this symbolic allegory as a statue watches the ages pass.  It is a you that exists between the memories and lives beyond daily life, with all its dream like condensations of understanding.  We all have this.  Do you want to say anything about any of that?
  • I don’t remember you ever having a pet.  Have you ever had pets?
  • What do you think about where the world is going?
  • Has technology changed your life in any fundamental ways?
  • Have you thought about where technology is going?
  • What do you think about the possibilities of creating art on computers that are like movies that the viewer can step into, even touch taste and smell?  Is that art, or just a game?
  • Have you ever felt limited by paint and canvas?
  • If you could create dreams for other people to experience, would you?  Is that art?
  • How do you experience the play between exact knowledge of the tools used to create art (paintbrushes, paints, canvas, pencil, paper, et cetera) with the creativity of the subject of the artwork?
  • How do your paintings evolve?  Do they come in a flash of insight, or do they slowly distill over time?
  • Have you carried paintings with you for years before painting them?  Did they benefit from the time spent waiting?  Were they waiting for something?
  • You’ve always loved language.  What do you love about language?
  • Which language do you love the most and why?
  • Do you think it’s important to know many languages?  How many do you know?  Can you think of an example of how knowing many languages changes the speaker?
  • Have you ever encountered an(y) idea(s) that actually changed your life?  Can ideas have that power?  Where do they “get” it from?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to say?
  • You’ve traveled a lot.  How do you benefit from traveling?
  • What is your experience like?  What is it like to be you?
  • What do you think is the nature of consciousness?  What do you think mind is?
  • What is spirit?
  • What is God?

Not asked yet:

  • You have a deep connection to history, especially European history.  What does that mean?
  • Do you have a favorite painting of: your own?  another artist?

Dominique Appia Plus

I’ve noticed that most of my traffic is driven by search engine queries concerning Dominique Appia.  In truth, there’s not a lot available on the web (in english) about my Grandfather.  In one sense, that doesn’t really matter?  But you probably care, since statistically speaking (as of 10/12/12) you’re probably reading this because you searched for information or art by Dominique Appia.  Does he care about his presence on the internet?  I’m not sure.  I’ll ask him.  Maybe, though, because he has his website.

In fact, I’ll ask him if he wants to start a blog.  He’ll probably say he’s not interested.  There’s only so much time in the day and typing and learning wordpress may not be his thing.  Maybe he’d want to author a post or two on this blog, however???  He loves writing and language and is quite computer literate.  He uses photoshop, and self-publishes books which he prints on his many printers and binds by hand in his studio:

Dominique Appia's book La Paresse Intellectual (Intellectual Laziness)

In any case, it’d be in French.  Sadly, I don’t even really know French.  A regret of mine, I grew up on the other side of the Atlantic and didn’t visit enough as a child to pick it up on my own.  C’est la vie.

My Grandpa did visit several times, and I went there, too.  Here he is in Tucson, in the early 80’s.

Dominique Appia in Tucson Arizona in 1984ish

I’ll quote my mom (I added the pictures and links):

In the mean time, the short biography you wrote is not quite accurate.

He was on his own without help or resources from the age of 18 when he got out of boot camp [military service is compulsory for males in Switzerland], and had to survive on various jobs from the start:

  • Agricultural worker
  • Delivery man
  • Postman
  • Milkman
  • Taxi driver
  • Theater stage decorator
  • Decorator
  • Photography re-toucher
  • Printing job
  • Advertising creator
  • Draftsman
  • etc.

He had gone in an art school for a semester as a teenager but his father took him out of it without reason. In his early twenties, he was painting as a hobby in a fairly different style; much more naive, even if quite charming. A famous graphologist analysed his handwriting and deducted in a peremptory way: zero talent for art; he took it for granted, because he felt quite insecure. He was hired as a draftsman in a architectural firm and worked his way up. He became quite involved with making architectural models and renderings while he worked there. In his late thirties, his boss asked him to do a mural for his billiard room. He had seen his paintings from his early twenties and gave him total freedom for the subject; with only one request, he wished to see the ocean. After more than 12 years of living, many of those doing architecture  made his style evolve quite a bit.

At around 40 years old, he was painting regularly in his spare time, and won a few of contests organised  by the city of Geneva. This enabled him to qualify for a part time drawing/teaching job at the decorative art school in Geneva; he then could paint full time. He had a few collective exhibits and on his first one man show, everything sold. Things started to really pick up from then on. He did some posters for the “Centre Pompidou” one of which “Le temps des Gares” (The age of railroad stations) became well known.

Dominique Appia's Les Temps des Gares (The Age of the Railroads)

As he continued painting, he was frequently asked to do murals; or paint the ceiling of the Victoria Hall, (a concert hall) quite a monumental job. [Victoria Hall later burned down  😦 ]

victoria hall

Dominique Appia Victoria Hall

He also did a series of paintings and sculptures for Rolex to decorate their headquarters.

Painting of overview of the Rolex building by Dominique Appia

sculpture mosaic fountain outside Rolex building by Dominique Appia

Ecliptique by Dominique Appia

le pendule by Dominique Appia

les phases de la lune By Dominique Appia

les plaisirs de la table 1 By Dominique Appia

les plaisirs de la table By Dominique Appia
I could tell you a lot more of course;  then again, I am not sure if you should put all that, but that gives you an idea anyway.

I’ll post again on Dominique Appia.  In the meantime, I’ll see if he’d want to write author a blog post or two on here.  Or start his own blog.

The Yoga Sutra 1.2

We are told that this is one of the most well known Sutras of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras.  Naturally, so!  It is the definition of Yoga.  And it speaks to everyone at all levels at once (even the most basic level, although the average ab-tightening westerner may have to concentrate a minute or two in order to appreciate the advice to focus on the happenings within their muscles and joints and organs and whatnot to the exclusion of ordinary (inner dialogish) thought patterns).

…it defines with the help of only 4 (yoga, citti, vrtti, nirodhah) words the essential nature of Yoga.  There are certain concepts in every science which are of a basic nature and which must be understood aright if the student is to get a satisfactory grasp of the subject as a whole.  The ideas underlying all the four words in this Sutra are of such a fundamental nature and the student should try to grasp through study and reflection their real meaning.  Of course, the significance of these words will become sufficiently clear only when the book has been studied thoroughly and the various aspects of the subject considered in their relation to one another. (pg 6)

Have you ever wondered what sort of great parties we are missing in our favorite books?  Modern language is so linear, so mismatched to the non-linear meaning it is embodying (reminds me of the disconnect between mice and keyboard and the large number of discreet actions required to accomplish a simply conceived action, check out: What Comes After the Touch Screen).  I once fancifully imagined that when we close a book all the straight threads of text just start massively bunching and knotting up, like a synthetically held-flat string of amino acids (polypeptide) released to fold through a natural progression towards its environmentally stable conformation (hey, that’s kinda like Yoga…):

A problem with books is that they’re misleading.  What I mean is, while a statement on page 126 may be related to the narrative context w/in which it is directly couched, it is definitely related to numerous other contexts w/in the book.  Say on page 621.  The way we read books, as if they were extremely long strings of words we densely fit into packages as chromosomes w/ DNA, limits our ability to understand their massively parallel nature.  But this is only true w/ open, being-read books.  For a closed book has 3-dimensional sentences that eye/light dependent readers are largely ignorant of.  Oh, the semantic dances that must twirl through the closed book’s volume.  I can only suggest that you learn to close the book in your mind so you can get an inner vision + invitation to the book’s great ball.

“…learn to close the book in your mind…”  Good advice when reading the Yoga Sutras.  Just afterward I wrote:

Learn to mentally mind map books while you read them.  Think of my Grandfather’s painting Entre le Trous de la Memoire–the ability to condense an entire narrative into a single unified vision.

Taimni then begins his discussion of the 4 words, starting with Yoga.  Yoga derives from Yuj, meaning ‘to join’.  What is joined through the practice of yoga?

According to the highest conceptions of Hindu philosophy of which the Science of Yoga is an integral part, the human soul or the Jivatma is a facet or partial expression of the Over-Soul or Paramatma, the Divine Reality which is the source or substratum of the manifested Universe.  Although in essence the two are the same and are indivisible, still, the Jivatma has become subjectively separated from Paramatma and is destined, after going through an evolutionary cycle in the manifested Universe, to become united with Him again in consciousness.  This state of unification of the two in consciousness as well as the mental process and discipline through which this union is attained are both called Yoga. (pg 7)

Whew!  It’s no wonder that everyone likes 1.2.  Talk about a hall of mirrors of numinous definitions.  You know, I’m not Hindu, but I can appreciate all this stuff.  I mean, in the end, were talking about a description of a state of affairs and a relationship between two levels, and then we have some cultural words that point to this (with their own cultural subtleties, of course).  A Jungian archetype.  I’d ‘like’ (The ‘Like’ Phenomenon: A Parlance of Our Time) the essential relationship embodied above if I could.  +1!  Of course, Taimni doesn’t get into conceptions not at the summit of Hindu philosophy (why beat around the bush?).  I’ll just add that one can certainly consider (as a skillful means) yoga to involve the yoking of the mind to the body (or the body to the mind, depending on your own personal excess), or again, individual to society [if you go in for all that ‘altruism’ stuff  ;)], or again, conscious mind to unconscious mind (my nod to those western mystics, the depth psychologists), or again, your self to (your) God, et cetera.

Tracing with our minds the continual involution of the bunching and knotting up of meaning, we get to Taimni’s definition of Citta.  ‘Citta’ is derived from the middle of the three (recognized) aspects of Paramatma (Over-Soul, remember?) Sat-Cit-Ananda.

It is this aspect which is at the basis of the form side of the Universe and through which it is created.  The reflection of this aspect in the individual soul which is a microcosm is called Citta.  Citta is thus that instrument or medium through which the Jivatma [Jerome reminder: Human Soul] materializes his individual world, lives and evolves in the world, until he has become perfected and united with the Paramatma. (pg 7)

This all reminds me of some thoughts I had once concerning Schopenhauer’s Will and Representation.  I considered life.  Not life, but mind.  Not mind, but consciousness.  Not consciousness, but beingness.  I considered life.  I thought of terrestrial beingness (fairly speaking, the only kind of life that I’ve probably encountered, and thus the only kind of life some ways of thinking would say that I could draw conclusions about, nevertheless…) in comparison to extraterrestrial beingness.  The best thing I could say about their alikeness was that they were both of the self-same, one & only, physical Universe (manifesting existence).  Our physics endeavors to describe this physical Universe.  We have found it to be amenable to mathematical reasoning.  These disparate beingnesses were of one substance (energy, substratum, architexture).  That much I was willing to go out on a limb and believe, balance on.  A solid three legged-equality: self-being, other-being, some-portion-of-nature.  Anyway, my point isn’t that our experience is alike, experience is a highly complicated organic fusion.  But, like how water and stone stand on the common ground of the periodic table (atoms [protons, neutrons, electrons, et cetera]), so too the paint in the brushstrokes being.  Atoms are atoms.  Electrons are electrons.  They are patterns of something behind them, like how solid and liquid have to do with how sticky are the atomic (molecular, macromolecular, heck, even social groups can flow like liquids) components.

Strengthened by these reflections I am able to flow confidently through Taimni’s subsequent warnings (meaning as asana) not to confuse Citta with the ‘mind’ of modern psychology, limited as that concept is to thought, volition and feeling.  It’s important to have something (however inaccurate it may be) to replace the lacuna left by ‘mind’ in the semantic protein unfolding.  Consider that your only warning from me (and it applies generally to a great deal of level-hopping protein structure conformational changes [and sometimes we want the hole left by the release of a previously held ‘word’ [read: pattern of thought {pg 5, quoted in 1.1}]) and a hidden finger pointing to the secret door between mind and matter.

Taimni goes on to assert that also we should not confuse Citta as some “sort of material medium molded into different forms when mental images of different kinds are produced.”  I also consider this warning to not apply to my conception, above.  But I imagine that many would consider my posture accurately described.  Shall I reveal the subtle differences?  There’s two polarities and a verb in this statement that matter: ‘mental images’ and ‘material medium’ ‘molded’.  First of all, we must consider the ‘material medium’ to not be a noun, but a verb (witness nominalization).  A doing, not a done.  Considered this way, we are admonished not to consider ‘mental images’ (another nominalization) to be mere synchronizations of material movements.  In other words, an epiphenomena.  The essence of the inapplicability of the characterization is that Taimni is arguing against materialists, proponents of the primacy of the reality of reified solidity, the primacy of atomic impenetrability in space-time.  My concept is process denominalized solidity.  IOW, I’m talking about dissolved prima materia.

Now, Taimni states that: “It is fundamentally of the nature of consciousness which is immaterial but affected by matter.”  This of course glosses over the hundreds years of contention over the mechanism of the interaction of the material and non-material (again, a non-issue because of the reified material process) most notably initiated by Descartes (Columbus discovered America, but Leif Erickson came first [I mean the general pattern of thought, who cares whether it was Cabot, Erickson, Columbus, or Socrates]).  When matter is understood as reified energy this warning too makes sense.  But what sort of story am I telling myself about energy that allows me to blithely assert that it “reifies” into solid matter?  I’ll share it (quoted from a 2007 journal):

Consider this: the very “reactibility” of matter/energy, the fact that matter can come “into contact” w/ matter, that energy transfers, that the plenum fills the vacuum–this is the referent layer of consciousness or awareness, rather: the property of matter to come into contact w/ itself has a dense form in/as experience.  IOW, how matter clumps + those clumps collide instead of passing through each other.

But what is another way to look at this “property”?  Can I denominalize it?  Matter is condensed energy–condensed in relation to what (what does it puff into?)?–Time.  Time, then, is the dimension into which energy extends + matter is the dimension into which it condenses.  Two poles of a gradient or field. (I ought to extend those diagrams into the past, too)

energy expands into time and condenses into matter

What we call “matter” is a topology of “energy” in a plateau of ‘time’.  For instance, one could consider a solar system with its planets + asteroids to be a sort of “atom (plateau)” to some other process that existed over a longer span (++measure) of time.  Another solar system wld interact w/ ours w/ its “gravitational field” long before asteroids + planets + suns would start actually [today: “materially”] colliding.

[…skip a few…]

This very same process, transformed, is what goes into molecules, etc..  Molecules go into biochemistry which goes into Awareness/Being.

Each scale: subatomic, atomic, molecular, cellular, [brainwise], “cities”, solar, galactic, supergalactic, etc.; each scale is a transformation of the “logic of” the boundaries of “thing[hood{self<hood>}]”.

IOW, “systems of relation”, that can be “picked up” (by other systems) + not “fall apart” are “things”.  But consider, you cannot “pick up” a pile of sand, yet if you slam into it on your bick it will show coherence.  Astronauts cannot “pick up” the atmosphere, yet shuttles have to approach at the “right” angles or risk being bounced into space.

“Objecthood” is really a process of relation btw two coherent boundaries.  To the degree that one “object” can move through the boundaries of another it is ‘denser”.  (But moving through that boundary may not disrupt the less-dense object’s total coherence.)

That’s all I’ll say about the nesting of energy densities (for now, anyway).  Except to finalize all this with Taimni’s assertion that this reality can be experienced.  I would go on to say it is experience.  Matter’s “reactibility” itself

On to the third word, Vrtti.  Right in time, too.  It comes from Vrt meaning ‘to exist’.  “So Vrtti is a way of existing.”

In considering the ways in which a thing exists we may consider its modifications, states, activities, or its functions. [Jeromeyers: I would say, it’s anatomy and physiology, then invoke the complementarity of structure and function]… Sometimes the word is translated as ‘transformations’.  This does not seem to be justified because in transformation the emphasis is on the change and not on the condition.  The transformations of Citta may be stopped and it may still remain in one particular modification…”

That Citta may remain in a modification without transformation is an important card to tuck in your sleeve for later semantic protein folding master plays.

Finally, the fourth word Nirodhah:

This word is derived from the word Niruddham which means ‘restrained’, ‘controlled’, ‘inhibited’.  All these meanings are applicable in the different stages of Yoga.  Restraint is involved in the initial stages, control in the more advanced stages and inhibition or complete suppression in the last stage.

We are through with this round on the ‘four’, on to encomiums and amplications:

The effectiveness of [Patañjali’s] definition [of Yoga] lies in the fact that it covers all stages of progress through which the Yogi passes and all stages of unfoldment of consciousness which are the result of this progress.  It is equally applicable to the stage of Kriya-Yoga in which he learns the preliminary lessons, to the stages of Dharana and Dhyana in which he brings the mind under his complete control, to the stage of Sabija Samadhi in which he has to suppress the ‘seeds’ of Samprajnata-Samadhi and to the last stage of Nirbija Samadhi in which he inhibits all modifications of Citta and passes beyond the realm of Praktri (= matter, Purusa = consciousness)  into the world of Reality. (pg 9-10)

It reminds of a fantasy I’ve always had about having two (or more, on towards infinity [tip o’ the old Panglossian hat to Leibnizian Monads]) conversations at once.  Imagine holding a phone in your right hand to your right ear, and a phone in your left hand to your left ear, and in a single stream of words, carry on multiple, very distinct conversations at once.  It’s difficult to even contrive such a sudoku of meaning, and anyway, it’s not my purpose to play linguistic-semantic games at the moment.  But I tell you what, if I were ever to write a collection of Sutras, I would try to do this.  It’s like Vanevar’s memex, allowing multiple pathways over the same semantic foundation from various cast-off’s of understanding.

I like the last thing he says:

The full significance of the Sutra can be understood only when the subject of Yoga has been studied thoroughly in all its aspects and so it is useless to say anything further at this stage. (pg 10)

The Yoga Sutras, 1.1-4-34 are the “anything further”s.  Sometimes you can condense information and sometimes it can’t be losslessly compressed any further.  Your stuck with a maximally minimized Godel Number (towards compactness of the represented meaning) and the only way to communicate it is to communicate it in all its (zipped up) details–then the receiver will have to unpack it with their 7zip process, or whatever.  Maybe our essential nature is the 7zip program, or more accurately, the double derivative, the essential nature of our essential nature.  Yoga Sutras, like the pulsing metabolism of a seed, may move us through our asanas and other plateau’d, reified processes (forms, bodies, fixed patterns of behavior, meanings, self-definitions, chakras) towards a new conformation of being.  Or perhaps, back to our un-flattened nature.  Our enfolded polypeptide emergent being.

Glossary:

Yoga – Thing being defined

Citta – Mind

Vrtti – Modifications

Nirodhah – Cessation

Jivatma – human Soul

Paramatma – Over-Soul

Sat-Cit-Ananda – three aspects of Paramatma

Samkhya – Philosophical school, tradition, ryu of Yoga

Vedanta – Hindu (sacred hindu texts)

Purusa – consciousness

Prakrti – matter

Random Works of Blart

‘Blart’ or ‘blog art’ shall henceforth be known.  ‘Blart’, which shall not be held in probationary quotes any longer by me, is the blogging art of expanding upon a random thought in a random way, preferably engagingly.  What one ends up talking about and what the blog started out about are two very different things.  However, if you title it in relation to the original seed of motivation (which is natural since the cursor starts in the title textbox) then you’ll often have a pithy title.

Blart is not a euphonious word to and its other definitions aren’t appealing either.  Nevertheless, I champion blart, and although many do it, I wonder if we’ve named it yet?  Oh blart!

We’re in a period of unprecedented naming.  A person can only barely keep track of all the words being invented (Neologist).  But it reflects the fact that so many gnew things are coming into being.  Like an infant absorbing languages of body and voice and light.

Names used to be thought to ‘contain’ power, and to be capable of unleashing it.  Speech was powerful.  This must have been before acting became somatic (from autonomic), when only the religious voiced the unthought.  There are two types of power naming may have had.  Power in minds.  Power in matter.  Power in a mind is the ability to move the mind, move the angle of thought.  A mind speeds through time with a whole lot of momentum.  How can any mere meaning ever hope to slow it down?  These words point to themselves and stop meaning right where they’re at.  All boxed in nowhere to go.

But that sort of spelling magic is unappealing these days, effective as it may be upon some readers.  In fact, I try not to inhibit meaning too much, unless I’m really trying to be particular about things.  I usually use metaphors to carry all my meanings around (metaphor in Modern Greek means ‘baggage cart’).

The Lighting of my Fire

Dominque Appia's Le Palais

I wrote about my Grandfather in (Dominique Appia…).  He and his paintings have strongly influenced how I see.  They have been like seeds of meaning, and are in all stages of development, from seed, to sapling, to fruiting, to withering.  Not to say that I am completely encompassed by his paintings (I would hope).  They point to the world outside themselves (moreover, they have always been part of the world).  (Can there be a biosphere (disconnected from the outside)?  Are not biospheres equivalent to living bodies with flatlined brains being kept alive by machines for years?  Or museums?  Useful in their way, of course.)

I have looked at his paintings my whole life, and honestly, until the last 5 years, I never thought about what they meant.  And even now, the connections between my representations of his paintings and linguistic expression is tenuous.  I always looked at them openly, without judgement or analysis, like a child learning to speak as a natural way of coming to terms with his environment.  But it wasn’t painting or drawing that I picked up.

It was wizardry.  Which is really psychological in nature.  Consider that, since the mind and body are one (an axiom of mine [this is a crude expression of: consciousness is directly coexistant with the energy and structure of the body {complementarity of structure and function, which is the principle that function is dependent on structure and that the form of a structure relates to its function <our bodies distill ever finer resonances, which explode in through out our living being _consider yoga_>}]), psychological efficacy (value [motivation {will}]) translates through the body into real world efficacy.  But I’m not talking about the magic of the engineers.  Nor that of politicians.  I’m speaking of the magic of life (which is both organic and inorganic, energetic and material), which includes the others, but in a wholistic glance.

Jung‘s mysterium coniunctionis in play.  Jung’s insight, so far as I’ve penetrated, is that what alchemy meant to the Self in psychological terms was actually the driving force behind the research, not what both presently and also historically was popularly considered to be the purpose, namely, becoming rich or enriching lords through transforming lead into gold, or becoming immortal, or whatever.  What really happened, IOW, was matter became a rorschach medium (like dreams).  Chemistry, so little understood at that time, was prime real estate for psychological projections, what, with all those amazing transformations of malleable forms (and also, I imagine, the poor handling of all sorts of exotic [in-]organic material, probably led to more than a few cases of loosened or poisoned minds, amenable to plastic association).  He’s also saying that it is a natural tendency of our psychology to attempt to unite the opposites, but also to see in terms of opposites (that then need uniting).

What?  Does my clarity shimmer between depth and inscrutability?  Dig it (with the shovel of your mind): how do you get inanimate parts to animate?  3 to 1, 3 parts in agreement and one part in conflict.  This’ll stir things up, get the dynamo turning, start the whirlpool whirling, set the AI self-inventing (1) itself (mutating?) past its representations of its limitations (3-a) in relation to the immensity of its representations of the world out there (3-b) in relation to its greatest maintainable representation of self (3-c).  At least, that’s the spirit of Europe.  Maybe China’d try 1 to 1 with their yin and yang.  The proportions of the two may not matter much to the basic enterprise of animation.

The key, if you will, is to have a lock.  Something to turn you in turn.

Dominique Appia (My Grandfather in Geneva)

Dominique Appia

Today I want to write about my grandfather in Geneva (I have two grandfathers, one in Geneva, Switzerland and one in Tucson, Arizona [about whom I will dedicate another post [he keeps the batteries going {in fact, I’ll write about my grandmothers too <4 posts, total>}]).

My grandfather in Geneva paints.  He also loves to speak and to write.  And he likes good food, and to travel.  And he likes humanity, history, language, psychology, architecture, art, music, wine, women, Gitanes and probably a whole lot of other things that I haven’t had the chance to share with him.  He likes life.  While that may be a simplistic characterization, it well sums up my understanding of him.  His influence upon me is immense.  I am a different person with different influences, as well, but in subtle and obvious ways, I am an evolution of his character (in a different time and place [culture]).

If one were to view human personalities as consisting of some finite number of characterizable versions (let’s say 23, for the sake of concreteness [chromosomes]), and one were also to say that which was dominant in a person was passed through genetic-environmental codetermination… well, let’s just say that my grandfather in Geneva’s personality is the 1 of 23 that I inherited.  The 1 of 23 that, like fish in a river, swam through my parents’ DNA and slithered through time into me. (But I have another majority vote, too [do we all have two majority votes?])  And we slip through time, carrying the flame (read here too, for further embedded resonances).

My grandfather paints.  That is what I have known him to do since I have known him.  This is perhaps my favorite painting, although I include another favorite right after.

Dominique Appia's painting Enter the secret and the danger

I see many things in here.  Psychological things.  Personal things.  Archetypal things.  Also, family things.  Sometimes I think this painting…  An arrangement of meanings most something.  The title: Enter the Secret and the Danger (Entre le Secret et le Danger).  I don’t know that I should really discuss it.  I’ll decide.

Between the Gaps(Gasps) in Memory (Entre les trous de la memoire):

Dominque Appia's painting "between the gaps in memory"

This one certainly speaks to me, too.  It uses the language of our family.  At least it speaks that way to me.

Check out: www.appia-d.ch (the website was created by my Mom and this is hers) for more paintings.

I will give a brief biography.  A fuller biography is in order, and I will begin work immediately.  Consider this the first outline.

My grandfather was born 1926.  He remembers World War 2 in Switzerland.  Switzerland was neutral, but not unaffected.  Food was rationed and at night windows were covered so that buildings did not provide targets to bombers.  We’re talking Geneva, which is like 16 kilometers from the French border.  After the war there was a economic surge.  Architects were in great demand.  My grandfather had not gone to school for architecture, nor had he really architected before.  But he walked in for an interview and got the job and learned on the job.  What he did know how to do was paint.  To think geometrically.

Dominique Appia's painting la lecon de perspective  qui est au bout du fil (The lesson in perspective is on the line)

Perhaps he would have pursued painting as a career from the start, but when he was in his teens and he asked an influential person what he thought of his art, the man said ‘non‘, or some such:  he discouraged.

Dominque Appia's Un Papillon Sur L'epale

So my grandfather was an architect for many years, and eventually taught architecture, too.  But in the mid sixties he had what is crudely known as a midlife crisis. He began to paint again.  And he never stopped.  He paints to this day.  He is married to Anne Mathil for 30 years.  He has three daughters and four grandchildren and one brother.

His daughter who is my mother moved to America in the 70s, had me in the 80s, and moved back to Switzerland in the 00s.

My grandfather has a very intimate relation with European culture.  He speaks of Napolean as if he’d almost seen him marching down the avenue.  I can’t remember everything that he has said, but it has all been abstracted into the perception of a really super deep relation to a cultural essence.  He knows Europe.  Has lain with her and fought her and does so to this day.  He helps satisfy her desires and define them.

Dominque Appia's painting Interior of the Sea

There is so much more to his life.  To me it is like a vast mystery.  Yet, I understand it too.  It is second nature to me.  Perhaps, with my grandfather, it is less what he did than how he lived.  It is thus for all of us, finally.  He lives the good life.

His being radiates across the ocean.  Europe radiates across the ocean.  Through him I have encountered a beingness that I would not likely have encountered.  That few encounter over the long term, the time required to exert the most subtle influences.  What I mean is that my grandfather has shown me the possibility of deeply relating to a living cultural seed that one also helps to plant as part of loving it.

Dominique Appia's painting Les Temps des Gares

He has shown me the side of intellectuality that loves.  I mean this in terms of emotional love.  The feeling of it.  A kind of love that I can achieve, too.  A kind of love that is natural to me.  A free-spirited love.  (When I get home from this trip I will include more paintings, and words, and perhaps this shall grow into a real biography)

What leaks through his paintings into me is the complicated, abstract, magical juxtaposition of a few understandable elements.  This characterizes my writing (I imagine).  I don’t build too elaborate of constructions.  There are usually 3-4-5 elements, sometimes 2, rarely 1.  They work in concert, often meeting for the first time.  Their true awareness of their changing context.  Like good travelers between cultures who never engender enough friction to erupt to the surface (at least that much of humanity is grasped).

If you look deeply, into each of the paintings above, there is a crisis at work.  In fact, it is often operating directly at the surface.  But it does not disturb anyone.  It is seamless within its context.  My grandfather’s paintings are very psychological, in my opinion.  Of course, I have heard this growing up, too.  That he is appreciated among some psychologists or psychiatrists, or both.  But I can feel it for myself, too.  I see these as the products of a mature modern human being.