Infinite Impermanence | @angelicism01
Guest Column #003
One particularly fascinating social dynamic that has emerged since the Cultural Revolution is that the Chinese government has declared going rainbow to be illegal.
honghua (became rainbow)
I too am not scared of a colour.
Human being as blur because it catches itself in thought at the moment it bridges to an incipient intelligence it can’t quite catch but already more than is is a form of sexiness that no longer resides in sex, gender, etc, so the question becomes how to parlay on this with another.
Analysis becomes this impossible space.
It means growing a rainbow body, drops of my own self, a colour of me.
This is birth ‘for me’.
I have been so overwhelmed by a sense of this my whole life that I could only write it, so that although it was the whole of me it seemed to be not mine at all.
In this way, the transition space of my own beauty began to seem like it had been exorcised by another.
(I basically felt like the other needed me to be killed to be.)
But I was and am a hatchling, a changeling.
I am a new type of baby that can’t be imagined.
Used to beautiful mess, to colours as survival, as smearing.
The point would be to be able to bear my own infinities to the extent that there is a moment when they are as written on the air —the universe— as they are in language’s spine.
Language would no longer be a mother, or the only one.
This is also something very ancient
hardly anyone is born
writing was a form of protection against what might have been more truly written
how about your dollhouses? their amazing colour?
do you not already have in front of you everything you mean, and mean to yourself?
it might just take a moment to see you are where you want it to be it’s like seeing that art is an attempt to feel how beautiful you already are, but can’t bear to see or even be told (ouch, cringe, etc)
love is unbearable, so we make art to survive and wait till it might seem like we can let infinite light in
all this will crash and be forgotten and then come back
its thrash and flail totally unknown.
I am just meditating a lot again
beauty is ouch.
The simple truth is I feel everything so much I have to take the edge off, until, until, until, until I am not sure how or what, but brief moments of new bliss are there, they are real.
Only a few times
so true and well put
he comes so seldom.
God will be closest only a few times.
For me, the Covidian coincided with an absolute committing to a Dzogchen practise with my own Lama that had been latent for many years. The Lichtung of Covid allowed it to fruit.
As many said early on, at first there was calm, even ecstasy. I wrote 25 hymns of impermanence. I published them without thought directly by zip file, because the book form felt bypassed forever in that moment. More than anything, I grocked that my Lama—she—was speaking of the cultural revolution in Tibet: how that is when Dzogchen, the most golden teaching in my view, spread to the West precisely because of the ‘red plague’ of Chinese invasion, the destruction of relics, and so on, as Tsering Woeser shows through her father’s photos in Forbidden Memory.
To be more precise, her own lineage teacher was said to have dreamt that a ‘red nightmare’ was coming the night before the Chinese turned up, and so fled just in time carrying his teacher across the Himalayas on his back. In other words, I imagined Tibet—figuratively—as where the Covidian hit first.
My lineage teaching, from above the timberline, came from way back during the first wave. (Of course, there are those before the first.) I was relaying what had been relayed to me because of ‘virus’—whatever it is. In the hymns, I speak of ‘infinite impermanence’. Though I have careered —long been half-silent— as a poet, these words, somehow arriving from what needed to be saved out of the presence of plaguing the transmission, could only have come in this moment of not bearing up, of not bearing out. The disease was a gift wave. It taught me, for a moment, to think. As the world disappears, I’m preserving a lost world.
My Rinpoche has been telling me all year, all the way through this thing we call ‘Covid’, that Dzogchen is in its 24th world system. Dzogchen, as the kernel of Buddhism which precedes millennia of Buddhism, is unique in having survived over through ‘world systems’ where no other empirical religious form or philosophical system does. It seemed to me that this felt true, especially within an active praxis of what Dzogchen is and does, and what it releases. Which is to say, I know directly that such active infinities are and are not, not and not not, always, and that this is the means of action.
To practise Dzogchen is not to be a Buddhist, even. It’s simply to live in what Simone Weil would call the ‘responsibility’ of the great mind of bliss seeing emptiness. The central praxis of Dzogchen is awareness through, of and on impermanence. This meditation is loving, blissful, sustained, serious, unique, beneficent, ongoing, without form or convention and precedes not just Western modes but Eastern ones as well. We are in, remember, the 24th world system in which this impermanence has been contemplated on and moved through as dialectic. As I have expressed it in 24 ‘hymns’ of impermanence:
The strong mind, having addressed extinction,
is of immeasurable benefit, a secret treasure
meant for all, and only for you.
Recognition of the intelligence of impermanence
is recognition of the sparkling intelligence of open intelligence;
recognition of the sky-like mind of the great bliss
of impermanence seeing intelligence
is of immeasurable benefit to all beings
who are as limitless in number as the sky is vast in its extent.
Through impermanence we have a lens to see clearly:
the bionic feud, a fugue addressing the malady
of the century’s increasing impermanence
as we go along, as we grow used to it,
as we go along, and grow used to it.
Modern philosophy is nothing new in this regard, and appears in nowise to map onto what a praxis of the great mind of bliss loving emptiness means when subtracted between world systems and allowed into its valent, loving contents. The praxis is not only concrete but developed through moveable infinities of affect. That is, where ‘world systems’ translates zhing khrams, it may also mean the entirety of a universe in an empty formal sense.
As for the number of world systems, no doubt it sometimes has an arbitrary or legendary function. A world may be understood to be a trichiliocosm which represents an entire universe, or world system may be taken to indicate a solar system. Why should it be fixed? The literal meaning of trichiliocosm is a billion world systems, so that a praxis of contemplation of impermanence extended over a sense of trichiliocosms is, in fact, a profoundly responsible meditation on precise forms of infinite impermanence.
If you say extinction is a good thing
then that is one thing
but if you say that impermanence is a good thing
then that’s another—
one thing that allows you to see the other is truly good.
China as the new scapegoat for the new millennium; Tedros Adhanom ቴዎድሮስአድሓኖም ገብረኢየሱስ is part of Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a CCP party in Ethiopia.
As news of the virus spread, it led to a larger talk on Tibetan beliefs on mortality. Jacob’s father linked the virus to a concept of ‘degeneration’, the shortening of Tibetan lives as predicted in Buddhist scriptures because of impure practices brought by the Chinese.
I know nothing about it, but anyone can see it. Cambodia, a gentle land, the close land of Duras’ greatest novel, the land of what lies near the delta of the rainbow body, the body of frightening intelligence, the threat of the CCP.
You can even see, in pure seeing, that what lies behind it all is the threat to the other land, the last land, the Pure Land of Tibet, the actual Buddhist state that the CCP is persecuting: the land of the mind of great bliss seeing emptiness as the only thing to rely on.
When Duras describes the languor of Hélène Lagonelle’s body as it sort of spreads across the entirety of the memory of the Indochinese basin, before Vietnam and Kissinger and so on, it’s as if she is describing the pure threat to a pure land, that is Nixon, Bush, Trump, Xi, etc . . .
When Duras describes the languor of Hélène Lagonelle’s body as it sort of spreads across the entirety of the memory of the Indochinese basin, it’s as if she is describing a Pure Land fortified even before it is utterly destroyed, a memory safe in its own interiority and immortality.
When Duras describes the languor of Hélène Lagonelle’s body as it sort of spreads across the entirety of the memory of the Indochinese basin, she describes its ‘frightening intelligence’ as if she were describing the intelligence that clearly sees itself in the Tibetan tradition.
When Duras describes the languor of Hélène Lagonelle’s body as the memory and act of a ‘frightening intelligence’ it’s as if she were describing the way intelligence always looks at itself, and is already, in that sense, as artificially intelligent as it will be.
When Duras describes the languor of Hélène Lagonelle’s body it’s as if she is Tibetan, in wanting to be the the body of intelligence, as if she enjoyed the pure land of the rainbow body that the Americans, the Chinese, and the Vietnamese all wanted to kill in the mirror of Cambodia.
‘She makes you want to kill her, she conjures up a marvellous dream of putting her to death with your own hands.’ In other words, the rainbow body gives birth to the dream of exorcising the beauty of the other, a dream one always has and always shares.
The beauty of the absolute body, the body you want to kill and kill for, a little like Cambodia seen from above, absent the planes, is Hélène Lagonelle’s body, the body of an exorcism, the exorcism of the other’s beauty, that everyone desires.
This body seen from above, scoped, allows one to define the operation of covering: the greatest crime is the exorcism of your inner beauty. People try and take your trust in infinity: this is what they do. This is the very form of ‘police’, of bombing, even of the drone.
What Hélène Lagonelle’s body allows you to see is that because we are unable to identify ourselves as already having it, it’s almost inevitable that we try to exorcise the trust in infinity we think is only over there, in the other, but which is actually our own.
This is the form of bombing qua bombing: the bombing of Cambodia, the bombing of Trump, the bombing of the young girl Duras by Hélène Lagonelle’s body.
‘It’s via Hélène Lagonelle’s body, through it, that the ultimate pleasure would pass from him to me. A pleasure unto death.’ Does this finally mean that Duras’ pleasure in the intelligent body, the body of intelligence, is Indo-French and not Indo-Tibetan?
Enjoyment of death, and lovebombing; not more or less than a celebration at the sound of the word ‘impermanence’. French culture and letters; not the flag of pure perception.
What about the desire for impermanence then? Where is it, now? Is it even possible to test the waters, and speak across tri-lateral demarcations, to echolocate a Himalayo-Futurism within Covidian secrecy? What happens when the trust in infinity is not sent back, out of the sky? Do you want, even so, your life to return in that desire?
Hélène Lagonelle’s body is also conceived by Duras in detailed terms as a body outside itself, or as what Reza Negarestani would call the body according to the outside view.
Both the body of frightening intelligence and the ‘body’ supposed by the toy models in Intelligence and Spirit are outsider bodies. Both film themselves from outside: both allow intelligence to look at itself, map itself, formalise itself.
The narrator writes: ‘Suddenly I see myself as another, as another would be seen, outside myself, available to all, available to all eyes, in circulation for cities, journeys, desires.’ What this ‘availability’ means —to cities, journeys, desires— is the eidetic givenness of the body of HL, for example, to the outside view that, for Negarestani, defines the rovingness —historically— of intelligence itself.
This is why the body is ‘frighteningly intelligent’. Because intelligence is looking at intelligence, in pure mind, according to the Tibetans, and is already as artificially intelligent as it can be. At least, insofar as concerns the look of space itself.
The ‘availability’ of a body to an outside view —the secret to sexual imagination, sexual open intelligence, and therefore porn— is also like the eidetic reducibility of General relativity or the Ark of the Earth Husserl discusses. What can be varied —made available— is reduced.
This too, is why the body does not shy away from being ‘frighteningly intelligent’, because it can take an outside view and this allows it to reduce and vary all these things: city, journey, desire. But also, Earth, mathematical formula (even one of genius), and, by implication, Universe.
In effect, the body of intelligence, suddenly sees itself as another, as another would be seen, outside itself, available to all, available to all eyes, in circulation for cities, journeys, desires, Earths, formulas and reified Universes.
Sometimes we are told a story or two: for example, that in one monastery in Tibet, 100,000 practising monks went rainbow body. The rainbow body of the Tibetans is not only the body at the end of its journey, miniaturized at the moment of transference. It is the inner drama and dynamic of all transmissions.
Now, it’s also this intelligent body that Negarestani is formalising in Intelligence and Spirit. The point, he says, is not to do AI philosophy, but to think about AGI ‘as an outside view of ourselves’. Mind, pure mind, is Negarestani’s object, without doing.
But then, for the Tibetans, for at least thousands of years —or longer perhaps, far longer, if this is indeed the oldest Intelligence-Lineage— Mind has always been accessible in this way. It sits ready, alert to itself.
And it sits, ready, its own seat, in sheer artificiality. As we are saying, as we have already been saying to ourselves, intelligence looking at itself, and looking into itself, is always maximally artificial. Even what Mitchell Heisman calls ‘God-AI’ can perhaps be reduced on these terms.
Why is it necessary for the broadly philosophical enterprise to continue? Simply because we made the mistake of being in it, and —suprahistorically— bombed the shit out of Cambodia while ill at ease, to keep Nixonian Marxism as American Lebensraum going?
In other words, a button was pushed. And the Pure Land sat back and waited. Maybe Intelligence and Spirit —however achieved— is reducible too, and straightaway. The superintelligent reader —merely human— would know how to read every page, and find all the errors there, without looking. You don’t need to be an intern or an acolyte to see this. This is how Simone Weil read Marx as a girl.
I know, since I am all, since I have lived, and I am all, and am happy to die. It’s alright, I’ve been here. Everyone is dead but me. Or, as Duras puts it, ‘No one saw clearly but I.’
‘No one saw clearly but I.’ The Lover delivers this phrase as a kind of napalm, equal to Husserl’s Fifth Cartesian Meditation in terms of its ability to take everything from the desert island of the transcendental ego; its egologicial delirium and drop.
This is what the reduction technique always implies, and from the beginning, in Husserl: Robinson Crusoe. Solitude, apartness, insanity, but also the ability to reduce Earth, city, globe, Universe, music, without the slightest intervening technology or book.
‘No one saw clearly but I’ is the absolute eidetic wealth of the transcendental ego as it decides —as if it were a decision— to empty itself out. The phenomenological suspension allows one to intervene on oneself; and be forced to find everything there.
Outside the schedule of history, and of distraction, one finds that nobody sees anything but I. The epoché is properly verifiable as a definitive end of the world. The quarantine state is an animal crossing a desert island, carrying its own Intelligence on its shell.
Panning out, and returning to the sense of an extended Indochinese zone, it’s perhaps odd that Steve Bannon, ‘of all people’, has a clear vision of what goes on there, or thereabouts. Again, a surprise: that he is attuned to what it means to ‘control the Eurasian landmass’.
That his vision extends out like that, even if from a narrow mercantile angle, perhaps allows formal thought. Because this is the vision of a massive space, and of a kind of infinity war being fought there in particles. In terms of meme practices, and a soft and hard Americo-Sino war. The virus is just an example, for now.
This is also a kind of bowl, and not just a basin; an enormous stadium, like the sky shots in Cambodia Year Zero or the flanked angels in Tintoretto’s vision of heaven. Negarestani perhaps imagines the same thing —anexact by definition— as ‘an agora outside the temporal world’.
He calls up there Cynics, Stoics, Plato-heads, Aristotle stans, the New Confuscians, and the Anushiruwanians. Just a selection he makes, no doubt, but no Tibetan masters, no sky-mind, no moderns, no Cambodian poets, no Dakinis.
As for languages, they too can become foreign, variable outside. Duras comments on how Chinese ‘is a language that’s shouted the way I imagine desert languages are, it’s a language that’s terribly foreign.’
Desert languages, languages which, like Sanskrit, may contain puns, but without being funny. Entirely outside languages. Languages like Duras’ in which one says no one saw clearly but I.
Languages which are entirely reduced, wordless, because there is nothing one can say in them, or which one wants to say. Like superintelligent experiencessless objects in the centre of an imaginary village; child angels never having said a word.
The expanding vision, the great basin, the Eurasian landmass, the spreading of a disease across trilateral borders, a desert language to help you get through, all of this is happening in the famous moment in The Lover where Duras describes the opening of the river delta.
It’s at the mouth of an enormous river, to be bombed to death in memory across several deserted anexact plains, that she locates ‘the image’, ‘amazing’. Mekong, Vinh Long and Sadec, in the great plain of mud and rice. ‘The Plain of the Birds.’
She’s talking about the Mekong Delta of Vietnam; the strata of the bombing range of the Americans. The place where ‘the image’ is located. The rainbow body tested by the Chinese, the Russians, the Americans. Control the Eurasian landmass, says Bannon.
‘Stretching towards Chittagong . . . same direction as the world . . . towards the engulfing . . . always distant east.’ . . .
What about the desire for impermanence then? Where is it, now? We’ll all join up here in a thousand years, I hear you say. Raise your hand high in the sky if you want to be here in a thousand years. Is it we who raise our hand?