Chronicle Section Ten:
FROM PARAGRAPHICS TO METAGRAPHICS
With few students around, the campus library became my hermitage for an entire month or more. If one were to look over my shoulder at the dozens of books that I collected around me each day, they would have seen pages of all manner of ancient ontology, and cosmic schemas. The preponderant use of circles, spheres, and triangles gave me pause and I pursued their origins with anticipation.
Were these active expressions of a structure to consciousness or were they vestigial maps of discoveries long forgotten? I followed patterns and similarities among diverse traditions. Most was gleaned from the esoteric branches of eastern religions. Some remarkable examples from hermetics, metaphysica, even logic, were found as well. Examples ranged from crude to elegant.
Since I literally did not know what I was looking for, my only admonition was that I would know it when I saw it! As artist and fledgling researcher, illustrations and diagrams seemed the more inviting and surmountable material to start with, rather than reading mountains of wisdom texts of the last few thousand years. Yet, certain fundamentals began to focus the direction of the search.
Texts, articles, and even folios without illustrations did start piling up, demanding to be browsed. In both text and diagram, key words and key numbers repeated. The number 3 and 7 apparently held great significance in the traditions. These and even whole alphabets such as Hebrew and Sanskrit were declared to be of transcendent origin. I would spend dime after dime in the 1970s version of a copy machine.
Those sheets of paper were the ore that I could refine later. Comprehending the material at the time was my least concern; the goal was intuitively digging as deep as time permitted. Since I could not take books from the library, I was forced to be efficient, concentrating on articles with obvious promise. I was not rushed, but knew this was a rare opportunity. I followed literary trails and surprising synchronicities.
These trails flowered into baskets of illumination; deceptively simple axioms began to coalesce in corners of mind: "Symbol evolved into word, word evolved into the more complex structure of paragraphics." Had that evolution ceased, was there a next phase ? A circle most often represented a sphere of influence and extent of an idea, a word. What were the boundaries of the symbol: self ?
Are we conscious of the extent symbol just played in this sentence? The first letter of the sentence: " A " is a glyph or character of a vocal sound. Combined with other characters, it sounds out or expresses the idea: "Are," in English, the idea and forms of "to be". We have lost consciousness of this obviousness, so I took a closer look at the structure of symbol that might reveal the sub-structure to consciousness.
With the structure of word determining "how" we think, and my supposing a structure of consciousness under both, was it possible alphabets like Hebrew and Sanskrit, having been declared of transcendent origin could simply mean they were two of the more conscious rather than unconscious developments of word; from a source as yet not understood to even be "consciousness," much less called that.
Consciousness as a word in the dictionary is the awareness of an individual or aggregate of individuals. With a capitol "C," the word might define a more transcendent territory; expanded to infinity, and from a place prior to infinity to include "oneness" not as an aggregate or unity, rather as a singularity, before conditions, at the same time, beyond any conditions, even condition of self .
But then we're getting way ahead of my story. For now, suffice it to say: consciousness has evolved word to a very high degree, yet to what degree, can it still go? I surmised word would take, as most likely it has previously, a quantum leap to get to the next level of expression. Considering that consciousness has pushed the envelope this far, "paragraphics" can not be the limit to word's evolution.
It is perhaps late to remark on my own paragraphic style, using sutras. These succinct paragraphics that you are reading now are not intended to impart any mysterious power. I simply find it easier to hold the narrative together in this way, like data-packets or trains of consciousness along the winding railway of the story. But then I must apologize where it seems I have jumped the tracks,
Getting back to the story that was unfolding at the library, I began to see occurrence and reoccurrences of what I wanted to intuitively call: "metagraphy." I mentioned that word earlier in this chronicle. Exemplified in the new age literary style of the book: Be Here Now, it is a merging of typography with graphics. The word had already been used for the act of mere transliteration. I saw it rather as a breakthrough.
I found its etymology "beyond writing" to express my intuition of the later-phase-evolution of word " after paragraphics." I also believe it is an appropriate classification to encompass the genre of historical and modern diagrams that I found remarkable enough to put in the book. Whether these are accurate, failed, or vestigial renderings of the structure of consciousness can be questioned.
But, in any case, that all of those renderings are flawed is the point of the book. Each is flawed by its own uniquely inventive graphic structure, a structure that can only accommodate a special content. As a collection, they are the singular jumping-off-place to a more universally applicable metagraphic device, capable of testing the accuracy of any discipline of observation or perspective.
Next Chronicle Section (11)