[NB] Dick, Dahomey, Aesthetics, and Revelation

Most of this is just pulling a reply I made to the last post up and elaborating it a little bit. Here is the relevant bit:

Dick and this Dahomean story, by way of contrast, join the personifications uneasily against the impersonal dimensions of the binary.

Valis is sometimes just the ‘AI voice’ and in the Dahomean myths the descriptions of Gbadu emphasizes her as that which broadcasts the (mathematical/binary/generative) principles of heaven, as a set of eyes.

We also have Dick with his idea that Valis can speak by composing herself of the very stuff of the world and in the Dahomean story we can see that most of the spirit’s strange attributes refer to the materials that compose the apparatus and shrines of the Fa cult. There is a real zest for metonymy, for winding the words around the solidness of things, sometimes punning back and forth between the material and symbolic.

That is part of what makes the articulation of the two stand out to me and it is part of what defines the operation of both in the world, and their proximity to it.

The spiritual work cannot be separated from its entanglement in the visible world. The entanglement may begin in confusion, but through the entanglement becomes open to a process of clarification. At the same time, the invisible forces are not identical with those material entanglements even as the entanglement provides a vehicle for the transformation of the spiritual realm.

Which is to say: the work is a kind of life. It has a duration in our material world, is subject to the forces operating within it, expresses itself within it, and yet there is an aspect of it that outlives its life in the material, changed by its life in ways difficult to grasp from the persepctive of life. That manifests, first and foremost, in its alien-ness, and we should be able to glimpse how a culture understands that alien-ness in its aesthetic responses to revelation.

2 thoughts on “[NB] Dick, Dahomey, Aesthetics, and Revelation

  1. Pingback: [NB] Bad Moon Wine Again | Disrupt & Repair

  2. Pingback: Exemplary Cases: Yesod, Klippot, and Fan Fiction – Disrupt & Repair

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