Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Wrinkles in the veil of reality
Coincidence, especially in the form of reincidence*, provides clues that our default reality might be in process of being re-booted. Think of the moment in the movie The Matrix when the black cat crosses the room in exactly the same way twice. This is a signal that a virtual reality is about to collapse – in this case, to be collapsed by the alien forces that are keeping humans in thrall by caging their minds in an artificial world.
There is a vast genre of Eastern literature about this kind of thing. Urdu storytellers describe, in fantastic detail, worlds of enchantment created by djinn in which humans may be trapped, unknowingly, for whole lifetimes. An illusory world of this kind is called a tilism, a word that is close kin, significantly to “talisman”. The architecture and geography of such realms is described in fantastic detail in the Hoshruba, an immense narrative, compiled in Lahore, which can be considered the world’s longest science fantasy novel. An intriguing feature of the narrative is that the secret of destroying the artificial reality of a tilism is concealed within that world.
The “real world” of the first Matrix movie is a nightmare reality where insectoid machines suck energy from humans who allow their bodies to lie dormant because their minds are trapped in a techno-tilism. But the “real world” beyond our consensual reality may be a brighter, not a darker, one. The shaman-priests of the Kogi warn that the Aluna, the psychospiritual field around the earth, has been polluted by human thought-forms and hungry ghosts to the point where it is difficult for higher intelligences to reach us.
Star travelers (not only in C.S.Lewis’s adult fiction, The Cosmic Trilogy) report that Earth is known by sentient beings elsewhere in the galaxy as the Veiled or Cloaked Planet, because we have been wrapped in the fabric of illusion, limiting our access to higher intelligences, and theirs to us.
Noticing wrinkles and loose threads in the fabric of ordinary reality, we begin to lift the veil. Pull on a few of those loose threads, and the fabric of perceived reality may unravel quickly. In Borges’ story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia leads to the discovery of an alternate reality that soon replaces the “real" world.
* Reincidence. A term I invented for a recurring series or riff of synchronistic phenomena over time.