In 2006, the Aurora Dark Knight shooting suspect, James E. Holmes, made a short science presentation outlining his research in "temporal illusions" and the perception of time.
As Holmes, at that time a recent high school graduate, explains, "temporal illusions" are caused by the subjective interpretation of the passage of time. In his experiment participants hit a key and an image appears. Holmes progressively lengthened the interval by microseconds between event A, hitting the key, and event B, the appearance of the image.
This lengthening was brief enough to be consciously indiscernible to the participant. After a few repetitions the delay was suddenly eliminated and participants had the illusion of the image appearing even before they pressed the key. The effect appeared to precede the cause -- B came before A. This is a "temporal illusion."
In this short clip, the study of the subjective experience of time is explained in greater depth by Holmes' "mentor", John Jacobson (Jacobson vehemently denied that he ever acted as mentor to Holmes after the shooting).
The scientific relevance of this research is beyond the scope of this post. Instead, the present article will explore temporal illusion as metaphor.
Rabbits and Heavenly Hosts
In a way, the phenomenon is very similar to common optical illusions. In optical illusions pictures appear to be moving when they are not, shapes appear larger when they are actually smaller than adjacent shapes, and a single image will alternate between two contradictory objects depending on perception.
In a classic optical illusion the viewer sees either a duck or a rabbit. It is very difficult to see both at once. This kind of optical illusion recalls William Blake's famous lines about the rising sun:
"When the sun rises, do you not see a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea?" O no, no, I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty."Blake does not mean to say he only sees a host of angels when he looks at the sun. This is viewed as a form of craziness even for Blake. He is able to see both a golden disk and the heavenly host. To only see the prosaic golden disk, though, is another form of craziness -- and perhaps a form that is even more dangerous.
Blake calls this "single vision and Newton's sleep" -- the mechanistic, materialistic, literal-minded, narrow view of the world and life that is even more prevalent in our own time than in Blake's day.
Blake advocates "double vision" -- the ability to view things equally with reason and the imagination at all times. This is an active and creative participation in life as opposed to the reactive and passive perspective that only accepts that which is explained by science.
Double vision is to see the rabbit and the duck at once. It is to accept that A comes before B at the same time as A comes after B. This post is an attempt at double vision.
Seven Layers of Dream
The alleged Dark Knight shooter's theory of temporal illusion has been compared by several people to another of Christopher Nolan's movies -- Inception. Inception, like The Matrix, explores the idea that this world may all just be a dream. Unlike The Matrix, though, which is basically dualistic in structure -- there is the matrix and there is the real world, Inception presents multiple dream layers and casts doubt on there being a "real" world at all.
We all know that in dreams our perception of time is incredibly altered. We might have an entire adventure in the 5-minute interval between the buzz tones of our alarm clock. Inception plays with this idea and it shows that within seconds of one dream layer, hours of action are occurring in another.
One fan has found seven such layers in the film. Others have only been able to identify five layers or less, but I think seven layers is right. Seven is a number that will constantly recur in this analysis. There are seven chakras in the Indian system, seven planets used in medieval alchemy. All of these systems of sevens can be linked, as we'll see.
In order to give themselves enough time to perform inception, the planting of new thoughts into a dreaming mind, it is decided that the 12 hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles would provide the perfect opportunity to delve into multiple dream layers.
Lost Between Hell and Heaven
A flight from Sydney to Los Angeles? Where have we heard this before? In the extremely popular television series, Lost, the survivors of a passenger jet crash, on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, are forced to live on a mysterious and supernatural island in the South Pacific.
A persistent fan theory about Lost is that the island is a kind of Purgatory, an in-between state where the borders between the regular categories of Being are blurred, and individuals are destined to wait and purge themselves of past sins. This theory has been so widespread that it has provoked an official denial by the makers of the series.
However, the theory seems to be supported by Dante's own description of Purgatory as a mysterious island in the middle of a hemisphere of water (like the Pacific), which is at the exact antipodes of Jerusalem. If we check an antipodes map, we find that the antipodes of Jerusalem, or Zion, is in the South Pacific in a place where conceivably a jet flying from Sydney to Los Angeles could have been blown off course. It is almost as if Dante had visited the Lost island in his visions.
If the Lost island represents Purgatory, then Sydney also would represent Hell and L.A. is surprisingly, Heaven. It interesting that in Finnegans Wake, the two "hero twin" brothers of the book, Shem and Shawn, are also associated with Australia (Sydney) and America (L.A.). Joyce explicitly corresponds these two to Hell and Heaven respectively, and the two brothers with Lucifer and Michael.
For the Irish of Joyce's time, Australia was seen as a place were Irish convicts were exiled, and America was a place were people could become rich. Ireland, in this way, is Purgatory -- an in-between realm of dreams and nightmares. This is also the realm of the Wake itself.
Among the many contrary attributes that Joyce corresponds with the twin brothers is with Mercius (Shem) and Justius (Shawn). These are the two pillars of Solomon's Temple, Jachin (Mercy) and Boaz (Justice) that were discussed in a previous post.
Many symbols come together here. Australia represents a prison land, Hell, whereas America represents freedom. The Lost island is Purgatory where the path to the middle pillar, through the portal of Da'at, is also located. In the analysis of this blog the Olympic Games now occurring in London, following the 70-day journey through the underworld, also represent the ascent of Mount Purgatory. In addition, the journey through the 7 layers of dreaming in Inception, also occurring on a flight from Sydney to L.A. (the City of Angels), depicts the movement through Purgatory.
Into the Labyrinth
Inception has also been compared with the classical myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The movie's character, Ariadne, provides a direct link between the two. In Inception, Ariadne is the designer of the constructed dream landscapes, while in the myth she provides Theseus with the thread needed to escape the Labyrinth. Dom, the Leo DiCaprio character in the film, acts as Theseus and the Minotaur/monster he must face is his psychotic/suicidal wife, Mal -- the Guardian of the Threshold.
The seven layers of dream are themselves the Labyrinth. It is a direct synchronistic hit here that classic Cretan labyrinths, and Theseus' labyrinth is one of these, had exactly seven courses.
Seven, we should recall, is the number of terraces on the Mountain of Purgatory, corresponding with the seven deadly sins which must be transformed into the seven holy virtues. There are also seven similar spiralling terraces on the Glastonbury Tor. In Brueghel's famous representation of Nimrod's false Mountain of Purgatory, the Tower of Babel, seven layers of the incomplete tower are also shown.
The dream journey depicted in Inception, as well as the teaching of the seven chakras and the seven internal planets of alchemy, reveal that this is as much an inner journey as it is an outer journey up the World Mountain or an adventure on the World Island. The metaphors, whether internal or external, are the same. The point is that only those who are able to fully purge their selfish desires before the portal of Da'at are able to continue on to Paradise.
The Circle of Disclosure
A fascinating comparison was made between Brueghel's painting of Babel with a similar seven-layered crop circle that appeared in England this June.
There have been several interpretations of this formation, but the most striking is its connection with a polar clock reading for 19:43:53 on Saturday, 4th August 2012. It does not matter for the purposes of this blog if this is the correct reading of this crop circle. Nor is the identity of the circle-makers important here. It is the story that is fascinating, and in this story we can learn a lot.
August 4th, because of this and other crop circles, plus several other messages, was a date that spread like wildfire throughout the web. It was to be the day when the Galactic Federation of Light, no longer able to idly witness humanity's willful destruction of the biosphere, decided to reveal itself openly to the world at the London Olympics. Several transmissions channeled by various mediums and other "lightworkers" spread this message. Here is a sample:
So what happened? Apparently nothing. Apparently the Galactic Federation of alien civilizations decided that humanity was not yet ready for first contact or full disclosure. We are still too dominated by "the dark ones" and they would make far too much trouble if such an event took place. Perhaps, as we'll see, they were totally right.SaLuSa 30-July-2012Dear Ones as you are learning from a number of sources, the point has been reached when Divine instructions have been given that action shall be taken without delay to announce our presence. We have shown extreme patience and given your leaders plenty of opportunity to take the steps called for to release you from the control of the Illuminati. We know that they too are also like many people in fear of them, but that has to be put aside to allow the truth to come out. The Olympics is the window that is being given world attention, and we cannot think of a better way to make it known. Time is fast running away and we must be given the opportunity to make ourselves known to you.Some will still choose to disbelieve our messages, but that is their free choice which we honor. However, there is the important matter of Ascension and much to do in these final days, and we cannot wait any longer. Our allies have gone as far as can be reasonably expected, and they need complete freedom to go surging ahead with their final responsibilities. So very shortly the clearing up process will be able to proceed without further hindrance from the dark Ones. Your lives are to some extent to be turned upside down, although many people are already prepared for it. We hope that some leaders will heed our request and not wait until we are forced to intervene, but if we have to we are fully ready....I am SaLuSa from Sirius, and many of you will know already that this coming week is one that is a last chance for your leaders to respond to our demands. If we are ignored yet again, we shall go forward ourselves, and make ourselves known in such a way that our presence can no longer be ignored or hidden. Yes, we have the deadline Saturday the 4th. of August in mind and no longer, before we take matters into our own hands.
The language of this kind of transmission is fascinating in itself. Why do these messages read like a official declaration from a district school board that they are about to amalgamate a wayward local school board? The very phrase "Galactic Federation of Light" creeps many people out. The Federation sounds like the NWO on a cosmic scale. Maybe this is only how our limited three-dimensional (or "density") consciousness perceives it. I am open to this possibility.
The hopes for an August 4th disclosure date were fueled by widespread reports of UFO sightings during the climax of the Opening Ceremony. These "sightings" in themselves, however, were deeply contentious. While people were very adamant that they were in fact UFOs, many others dismissed them entirely as being sightings of the Goodyear Blimp.
The Non-Consensus Event (NCE)
This may be a good opportunity to briefly introduce a new concept, the Non-Consensus Event (NCE). In recent years at every UFO "sighting," at every "paranormal" occurrence, at every claim of "conspiracy," at every account of mass "synchronicity," giant and bitter flames wars have broken out both in and outside of the web between the hordes of "true believers" and equal masses of self-styled "skeptics" and "debunkers."
In almost none of these instances is a consensus ever reached. People become more and more polarized and hardened in their stances. This lack of consensus makes it almost impossible to discuss these events without falling into one camp or another. You are required to decide if you are a "believer" or a "debunker."
The concept of the NCE allows the intellectual liberty to suspend judgement. In Blake's terms, it allows for "double vision." We are enabled to see the rabbit and the duck, the UFO and the Blimp, the alien disclosure and just another day. The concept of the NCE (nice!) will be developed as this blog progresses. The in-between, twilight realm of Purgatory is dominated by the NCE. All consensus is breaking down and dreams are becoming indistinguishable from "reality."
Back to the Garden
As Dante makes his arduous trek up the Mountain of Purgatory towards the Earthly Paradise of Eden, he is beset by a number of sometimes disturbing dreams and visions. At times he is confused if he is in Purgatory, back in Hell, or perhaps even on Earth again. This confusion of categories is a key characteristic of Purgatory.
When he finally reaches the summit of the Mountain, and reluctantly passes through the burning fires of Lust -- the fiery sword of the Covering Cherub in Blake's poetry, he enters the Garden of Eden. It is here that he has his most spectacular vision. The chariot of his beloved, Beatrice, appears in his sky in a vast rainbow-lit pageant accompanied by a host of angels and other divine beings.
Dante explicitly compares this vision with Ezekiel's vision of the chariot, and St. John's revelations on Patmos. It has been pointed out several times that if these phenomena were witnessed in modern times they would certainly be interpreted as UFOs. This begs certain questions. Were they UFOs? Or, alternatively, are modern "alien" encounters actually visitations of angelic beings? There is no consensus. Once again, the NCE rears its ugly head.
As Dante, ascending up from both Hell and Purgatory, represents the figure of Christ, Beatrice is the Church, the New Jerusalem. Her vast pageantry is the descent of the Holy City at the end of the Age. Eventually Dante is reunited with Beatrice at the foot of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is exactly the site of Da'at and the coming together of the couple in Holy Marriage, the fire of Union beyond the fire of Lust, reverses the Fall. Knowledge is regained.
Dante and Beatrice are surrounded by seven nymphs who are bearing the seven rainbow-hued torches of the original chariot pageant.
The seven flames could be said to combine in the lighting of the Cauldron of the hieros gamos, the sacred marriage of the Lamb and his Bride. This Fire is the fire of consummation in several senses according to Blake. It is sexual union, the fusion of all opposites, but it is also the fire of Revelation, the unveiling of all Mystery, as well as the fire of Revolution -- the total burning away of the Old World to activate the seeds of the New. All has been cleansed, purged and forgiven.
This ritual of the seven torches has recently been revealed to us all.
Will the hieros gamos take place at the culmination of London 2012? Will Zion finally descend? Will the motherships arrive? Will it represent a Redemption or a further Fall? All we can be sure of is that, like the Opening Ceremony, there will be no consensus as to what it all means. We all will witness another NCE.
Visions of La Purga
The otherworldly visions of Dante, Ezekiel and St. John have also been compared to the multi-layered psychedelic voyages of shamans and others while experiencing the effects of ayahuasca and other strong plant compounds. Ayahuasca itself is called La Purga, the purge, in South America as it is physically, mentally and spiritually eliminates impurities. It provides a strong glimpse of Purgatory.
The visions of ayahuasca, as in Inception and in the visions of Dante, etc., also reveal multiple layers of reality at once. They more than double Blake's "double vision." Anthropologist
Michael Harner has a given a now classic account of this type of multi-dimensional trip -- his first experience with La Purga:
I began to see two strange boats wafting back and forth, floating in the air towards me, coming closer and closer. They slowly combined to form a single vessel with a huge dragon headed prow, not unlike that of a Viking ship. Set amidships was a square sail. Gradually, as the boat gently floated back and forth above me, I heard a rhythmic swishing sound and saw that it was a giant galley with several hundred oars moving back and forth in cadence with sound.
I became conscious, too, of the most beautiful singing I have ever heard in my life, high-pitched and ethereal, emanating from a myriad of voices on board the galley. As I looked more closely at the deck, I could make out large numbers of people with heads of blue jays and the bodies of humans, not unlike the bird-headed god of ancient Egyptian tomb paintings. At the same time, some energy-essence began to float from my chest up into the boat. Although I believed myself to be an atheist, I was completely certain that I was dying and that the bird-headed people had come to take my soul away on the boat. While the soul-flow continued from my chest, I was aware that the extremities of my body were growing numb....
I became aware of my brain. I felt-physically-that it had become compartmentalized into four separate and distinct levels. At the uppermost surface was the observer and commander, which was conscious of the condition of my body, and was responsible for the attempt to keep my heart going.. It perceived, but purely as a spectator, the visions emanating from what seemed to be the nether portions of my brains. Immediately below the topmost layer, I felt a numbed layer, which seemed to be put out of commission by the drug- it just wasn’t there. The next level down was the source of my visions, including the soul boat.
Many individuals tripping on ayahuasca have had visions of a city descending from the sky, much like St. John's dream of the New Jerusalem. Is reality in general becoming more like a psychedelic trip? Are we all experiencing, or just about to experience, La Purga?
A Tempest is Coming
All of this matches very well with "the Isles of Wonder" theme of the Opening Ceremony. Danny Boyle's major source for the ceremony was Shakespeare's Tempest. This play is a tale of an enchanted island which itself can be viewed as being a representation of Purgatory.
Prospero's enemies are confronted by their past sins and are forgiven, the spirits enslaved by Prospero are liberated, and the Magus himself renounces his magic powers and eventually he and his daughter are freed from the island. Everyone has been "purged."
In a sense this all comes full circle in Nolan's Dark Knight Rises. The film can be viewed as an inversion of the play, just as the Inferno is an inversion of Purgatory.
The characters of Dark Knight Rises find direct but inverted counterparts in the Tempest. Prospero's daughter is named Miranda, and the pseudonym of Talia Ghul is also Miranda Tate. With this everything else falls into place. Ra's al Ghul, a powerful magician and leader of the League of Shadows, is a direct parallel to the wizard, Prospero. Both use their powers to seek justice, although Prospero is able to forgive in the end.
Caliban, who we witnessed as the real star of the Opening Ceremony, is Bane. Like Prospero's opinion of Caliban, al Ghul also calls Bane "just a devil"in the movie. This is despite Bane's favourable relationship with his daughter, Miranda/Talia. Caliban also has a complicated relationship with Miranda which Shakespeare, to an extent, leaves open to interpretation. Calibane?
If the Tempest , like Lost, portrays Purgatory, then Dark Knight Rises represents its inversion, the Inferno. Hell is shown directly in the film as a Dantesque Pit where only those fully in touch with their fear are able to escape.
Only four people are ever able to exit from the Pit. Talia and Batman find the physical and spiritual strength to scale its walls, Ra's al Ghul unknowingly trades his own freedom for that of his lover, and Bane is rescued by the League.
But who is Batman in this scheme of things? Does he represent Miranda's new lover Ferdinand in the Tempest, or is he, as an initiate of the League of Shadows like Bane, the non-shadow side of Caliban -- the enchanted and eloquent Caliban of the "Isles of Wonder" speech?
When finally surfacing from the Pit, the first thing the prisoners see is the Mehranghar Fort of Jodhpur, India. This is a major clue for the whole mystery, as we'll see. The Fort itself has seven gates -- yet another symbol of Purgatory.
Prospero and his daughter are restored their rightful Dukedom -- Jerusalem is reestablished. Ra's Ghul and his daughter seek justice in another way -- the total destruction of Gotham, the fallen and corrupted Jerusalem AKA Babylon. They invoke the cleansing fires of apocalypse, revolution and revenge as opposed to forgiveness.
The Tempest ends with the promise of a just city, Zion. Dark Knight Rises ends with the near destruction of a city of corruption, Babylon or the fallen Jerusalem. Are they the same? Which is closer to Blake? Blake also called London the fallen Jerusalem, but did he advocate its entire destruction? We can safely say that he did not. While the poet did advocate even apocalyptic revolution, he hated war and was keenly aware of the greater power of forgiveness and love.
In Dark Knight Rises, as was mentioned in an earlier post, an important part of the plot concerns a nuclear reactor that will detonate in 23 days. 23 days after the Dark Knight Rises premier shooting in Aurora is Aug. 12th, the day of the Closing Ceremony for London 2012. Will something that became activated at Aurora finally "detonate" on the 12th?
Of course this is yet another date, yet another prediction of doom or bliss like 5/20, 7/27 and 8/4. And what happened on these dates? Nothing that anyone expected. The really interesting thing about this is that people, and apparently many people, continue to be sucked into these dates, believing that something big will happen. Why? Do we all not have the feeling, consciously or unconsciously, that the end is near?
A Sirius Epilogue
While Disclosure did not happen on Aug. 4th, something potentially big involving disclosure did happen the very next day. I'm referring to the tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. Almost immediately researchers noted several synchronicities connecting this shooting and the Dark Knight shooting in Aurora on 7/20.
The Chicago Tribune and other news agencies reported on Aug. 6th that,
Police had cordoned off a long stretch of East Holmes Avenue and Cudahy police Patrol Officer Aaron Agenten confirmed that the FBI agents were on the street, leading the investigation.It is certainly a striking coincidence that the Wisconsin shooter, apparently a racist skinhead with former ties to an elite military psyops unit, lived on a street, E. Holmes Avenue, which has the same name as the alleged Aurora shooter, James E. Holmes.
Other syncs include the fact that the two shootings occurred 16 days apart from each other, and the Aurora attack took place at the Century 16 multiplex theatre. The Aurora shooting happened seven days before the Opening Ceremony of London 2012. The Oak Creek shooting happened seven days before the Closing Ceremony will take place on Aug. 12th.
By far the weirdest synchronicity from the perspective of this blog is that the president of the Temple, Satwant Singh Kaleka -- who died a hero by valiantly trying to defend his people, was the father of filmmaker Armardeep Kaleka. Kaleka is currently involved in directing a major documentary project with the controversial advocate for disclosure, Steven Greer. Almost inconceivably in the light of what this blog has been discussing, this documentary is called Sirius.
Greer has described this documentary as being the next step in disclosure, and has repeatedly claimed that releasing this information could be dangerous. It did not take long for many on the web to conclude that the shooting was a professional hit intended to send a message to Kaleka to axe the project. Scary stuff.
A Sikh temple is called a gurdwara, which means "gateway to the Guru." This recalls the Gateway High School, Home of the Olympians, in Aurora where witnesses were questioned by the police after the attack. Aurora, or dawn, is traditionally viewed as a type of gateway, but as this blog has pointed out the oak of Oak Creek is also a gateway.
Capping this all off, as the excellent Twilight Language blog has noted, is the fact that the Mehranghar Fort, the site of the Inferno-like Pit of Dark Knight, was originally constructed by Sikh kings.
In summary, then, we have Holmes, Sirius, disclosure, the gateway, the oak, and the fort shown in Dark Knight, as well as important date links, connecting both of these events together and pointing them both towards London 2012.
Once again, what is going on? It is entirely possible that we are finding patterns that are not really there. We can never rule this out. Synchronicity itself is a type of "temporal illusion." A synchronicity is by definition subjective, the experiencer imbues the experience with meaning, therefore there is only the subjective "illusion" of a temporal connection between events. This connection may not objectively exist. All synchronicities are Non-Consensus Events.
The fact that we assign meaning to events, though, does not make them any less important. For Blake it is only the Imagination of the individual that is important. As we make the passage through the Abyss, up Mount Purgatory to the gateway in the World Tree, between two Ages, we must remember that our imaginations help to shape events. If we dwell on darkness we will find darkness.
All Shall Dissolve
This blog has covered many dark topics, but the intention has always been to show that light and darkness exist together. There is no Summer without Winter, and no Fall without a Redemption.
Like the Wake, we aim to demonstrate that the whole cycle is happening always at every point. Only by realizing this can we liberate our own imaginations from what Blake calls "the same dull round." To do this is to realize not only that we create "temporal illusions," our subjective experience of time, but also that illusion itself is temporary. And there soon comes a time when all mysteries will be revealed.
Or as the other famous speech of the Tempest unveils to us:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.