Garry Kennard

introduction the book

 


The Book

The texts published here are extracts from a sequence of writings produced over the last year or so. They will be added to as new sectons are written, in no particular order.

These extracts form a commentary on the images and ideas contained in this website. This commentary takes a personal approach to how knowledge of the workings of our brains can effect our perceptions of ourselves and our place in the world.

The Book

Prologue (click here)

Chapter one: Visions - uninvited guests (click here)

Chapter two: Dreams - where do we go? (to be published later)

Chapter three: Drama - the good life (to be published later)

Chapter four: A rustic interlude (to be published later)

Chater five: Memory - I want to tell you a story (click here)

Chapter six: Paying attention - the disappearance of Rosa (click here)

 

Prologue

So - the first evening. It has started for me much the same as others these last few years. A meal at around 8 o’clock, having drunk half a bottle of wine during the cooking of it. The usual thing would be to drink the other half in front of unsatisfactory television or, more rarely, while reading books that always drop from my hands onto my face at about half past ten. This would signal either bed or a desperate search for dvd images which might entertain me to beyond twelve. I live alone and this has been the pattern of my evenings.

But tonight is different. I am trying out a new arrangement of a room in my small terraced cottage. The house is part of a row of red brick dwellings that lies off one of the straight Roman roads which lead, spoke like, out of Winchester. It’s set in seemingly remote countryside, but the lack of street lighting belies the wealthy surroundings. In this room the M3 provides a faint, constant hiss under the occasional hoot or scream of a tawny owl. For the last three years this room has posed as a studio for my painting activities, but which in truth has lain idle, the few images which have emerged being a treading of art water and a slow working out of other urges and thoughts. Now, having cleared the old worktable of its dried up painting gear, and under the light of this old angle-poise lamp, I sit here in the silence of an ordered room, and begin something new.

I look up and see the faint image of an elderly man reflected in the window beyond the desk, his reading glasses ridiculous on his nose, his balding head and lined forehead a barely visible blur on the glass. Beyond that, the dark.

Out of this then. Out of this.

 

“So they opened the door and the rat said ‘It’s this way?’ And the mole said ‘Yes, follow me.’ And they went down the tunnel and the big rats were coming after them and they came to another door. They couldn’t find the key but the mole dug in the ground with his big claws and there it was and they opened the door with it and it was a tunnel going up and they went on and they opened a lid and it was in the open air and that’s the end”.

‘NO! It’s not! We’re not asleep yet’.

‘So the rat said we’d better go down again and they went down and there was another tunnel, another tunnel and ano.. .’

I could hear my brother, lying next to me in the pulled-down sofa that was our bed, begin to breath deeply. My eldest brother was silent across the room in his own bed. I was still on the wakeful edge of oblivion and in the dark room could hear the distant drunks coming back from the pub, singing in that throaty, sentimental throwaway voice that drunks had after closing time on a Saturday night. My brother the story-teller, had done his job. In the hot summer night, the windows open, the net curtains hanging limp in the heat and us lying under one light sheet, we too were going down the tunnel of sleep to that other world.

 

Gathered outside the vast mouth of the cave at Niaux in the Ariege district of the Pyrenees are a disparate group of about a dozen people, of which I am one.  We are each handed large torches by our guide and then follow him through a door into the massive fissure in the cliff face before us. The tunnel ahead vanishes into darkness. We switch on our torches and start to descend into a broader cavern. The way is varied. Sometimes it seems that we are strolling down wide boulevards with the occasional stalagmite and stalagtite giving an air of cheap theatre to the place. Then the cave will suddenly narrow so we must scramble through holes barely wide enough to take us. I find this very exciting and am lifted with a sort of adolescent breathlessness. These caves have been known for centuries and intricate graffiti appear on the rock walls in the beams of our torches - 19th,18th, 17th century visitors leaving their mark in the fashionable scripts of their times.

Lower and deeper, a half hour after we have entered the cave, the guide stops and takes our torches from us. This is a little worrying. We are left with just the single light of his own torch shining on the rocky and dusty floor. Then that goes out too. We find ourselves in a blackness so profound as to stupefy ones senses. I start to sense faint shapes and lights beginning to edge into vision but I reason that these must be mind generated, not outside in the utter dark. There is nothing. Then the guide switches on his torch. The beam is directed to the base of the side wall of the cave. Very slowly he directs the beam upwards. It passes like water over the rugosities and we start to see some shapes painted on the rock - red dots in a pattern. Then - the image of a mountain goat, quite small and drawn in black. Exquisite, wonderfully observed, it must have been drawn in a minute or two with a few gestures of a skilled hand. I think of my own complex drawings and feel rather ashamed in front of this simple, utterly unpretentious image. It is shown in a single beam of light at the end of a half mile long tunnel and it is 18,000 years old.

 

The station master of the Eigerwand station led Mark and me from the train towards an iron grid door. We had been on the railway that leads through the innards of the Eiger mountain to the startling views at the Jungfraujoch station and had got out, heaving on our heavy rucksacks, at the stop half way up the tunnel. We were objects of some fascination to the passengers of the train. Real climbers, going out into the dangerous world of the high mountains. Some got out and looked through the windows which are cut in the rock and allow a view into the vast space that spreads below from half way up the north wall of the Eiger. To the tourists we must have seemed to be some a part of the old drama of the place, the real macoy. We had all the gear, ice axes and crampons, strapped ostentatiously to our rucksacks, and must have looked impressive. They had no idea what amateurs we were, nor what fearful anticipation we felt.

We were going to attempt to climb the Mitteleggi Ridge on the Eiger and even the way to the foot of the route filled me with a mad excitement.

The station master unlocked the iron grid gate and allowed us into an unlit tunnel hewn out of the rock.  The dim illumination from the station platform could only light the first few feet of the tight chasm opening before us. We wobbled the head torches on over our wooly hats and went through. After a moment or two the grating iron door shut behind us and was locked. We switched on the torches and headed downwards. Our footsteps echoed, and water ice, seeped in through ancient fissures of the mountain, twinkled around us. It felt like the realisation of something, the coming into reality of a dream. The tunnel led steeply downwards. We didn’t know what to expect at the end. Another door? After some time we sensed light ahead. It grew stronger. A diffused glow grew around us and we could make out the texture of the rock more strongly from this other source than from our torch beams. We approached a wall of white light. The tunnel ended. We were standing before a sheet of ice, made brilliant by the sun outside the mouth of the tunnel. I was buoyed up, tense and full of wonder. Our first big gesture. Unhooking our ice axes we struck at the ice. It shattered with ease and we stepped out into a glory. The blinding sunshine struck off the surrounding glaciers and snowfields. Great mountains surrounded us. Clear, clear air stung our nostrils. We could see glacial ice, snow mountains, rock mountains and deep blue sky. The space was immense, unforeseen. The sense of infinite possibility and the fear of what we had in mind to do and the utter strangeness of this new world blended with dream images and the gorgeousness of being alive. We paused in silence to put on our crampons. We adjusted our sacks and walked out onto the ice.

 

Transitions from one place to another. Or rather the transition from the everyday contact with the material world, the social world, the world of others, into the dream world. Or, further and more simply, the transition of one dream into another dream. Down through the tunnels of forgetting into the stunning brightness of illuminated life and life where all is possible and time gone away. One tunnel led to sleep, another to the dream which is art, the last to a landscape so far beyond my normal habitation as to have the quality of dream. It is these transitions, both real and symbolic, that I will worry and probe over the length of this book.

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Part One

Visions - Uninvited guests

1.
I am back on the Eiger. This is a few years before our climb on the Mitteleggi ridge (on which occasion, breaking a habit of a lifetime, we were successful in reaching the summit). I am a third of the way up the western flank of the mountain. I had read that it’s the easy way up and, never having climbed a mountain before, all that I might consider possible for myself in my attempt to reach the summit. My plan is to get as high as I can in an evening, sleep on a ledge – or something - and continue the next day. This is because I am not fit and doing the whole thing from the bottom in one go looked as though it might be a bit too much for me.

The idea of climbing to the top of the Eiger by whatever route feasible had come to me the previous winter, when I had been on a family holiday in the Jura hills above Neuchatel in western Switzerland.  Although in my early years my father had instilled in me a passion for tales of exploration and stories of the Antarctic and other wild places, in my later teens I had forgotten all about it and followed an arty life as a painter and print maker, smoking and drinking in London pubs for exercise. My father was an anarchic and eccentric man (although he seemed perfectly normal to me as a child – only with the distance of time do I realize what a one-off original he was). He was a man who, while not being at all politically engaged, held deeply felt views on politicians, royalty and people of the church, especially the Roman Catholic Church and especially the Pope. They were all bastards. I once heard him call the Pope a ‘layabout ponce’. My mother, on the other hand, had been brought up a Catholic and, even though not only lapsed but excommunicated for marrying my father, crossed herself furiously whenever he launched any of his short but cutting outbursts at his holiness. ‘You’ll go to hell, Teddy Kennard’ she’d say, and giggle nervously the while. His attitude to Royalty was no less robust. So it was with some astonishment to me that one of my earliest memories is of being given orders, on coronation day 1953, to charge around the square in front of our council flat in north London, waving union flags. “It’s not for those scrounging bastards’ he said (a reference to their incipient majesties). ‘They’ve climbed Everest!’. So off we went shouting ‘Everest climbed! Everest climbed!’ at the tops of our voices, not having the faintest idea what Everest was nor why anyone had bothered climb up it. It was my father, then, who put the idea of adventurous exploration, and some knowledge of its history, into my mind.

So it was with some arrogance that, when it was suggested over breakfast during my stay in the Jura, that we could actually drive over to Grindlewald and see the Eiger, that I pooh-poohed the idea. ‘Not possible – you need Sherpas and tons of gear to get anywhere near it’. ‘No – that’s the Himalayas. This is the Alps and I promise you we can drive there in a couple of hours and you can look at it’. I sat in a stunned silence for a moment. ‘Right then, no question - we go! - Now!’ I had to see this.

A day or so later I was standing with my friends at the Kleine Scheidegg station, below the Eiger, in the Bernese Alps. We had taken the train up carrying skis. I had skied once before on a misguided trip to Austria, which was spent mostly in a bar. I did, however, learn how to put skis on and how to fall over on snow without doing too much damage, so the idea of skiing down to Grindelwald was not so extraordinarily ill conceived. But our plan to gaze in wonder at the north face of the Eiger had been stymied by the clouds that, when we arrived at the village, were hovering just above the rooftops and had drawn a veil over the magnificent views which were, I was told, in front of us.

We arrived at the ski station in deep mist. Not wanting to hang around in this we started off down through the pine trees at once. Almost immediately I became separated from my companions and, although an occasional skier appeared from the grey shrouded trees, and as quickly disappeared again into the fog, I was left alone in a muffled, befuddling world. I stopped and took off my snow goggles. How wonderful was the silence. I stood listening to the faintest whisper of breeze and was enchanted by the straight pine trees and the way they vanished in stages into the mist. I daren’t breath loudly nor make any sound at all in fear of dispelling the delicate and fragile atmosphere. But there was a change happening. The mists began to swirl gently and lifted and parted several times. Each lift sent the cloud higher than before and each swirl took away more of the fog. I looked up.

Directly above me, as if hanging in the sky, was the north face of the Eiger. I could see to the top, or near enough from that angle. It was vast, giant, a thing out of a dream, of unimaginable weight yet suspended in the air. Covered in ice and buttressed with rock forms of a scale so beyond my experience that my perceptions reeled, uncomprehending. My stomach seemed to fall away. I was overwhelmed with – with what? An unprecedented, unnamable feeling. I fell to my knees in a wonder. And it was not just a thing of the scale. There was something about the very form which took me away from all thought and threw me into a new world of perception.

I stayed for a while and watched as the clouds began to drift across the face again and gradually covered it once more from my sight. I got up in a strange mood. Not thinking of anything in particular I started down. As if mentally winded I arrived among my friends and all, slowly, became ordinary again.

I had to do something about this. But – now then – I’m a painter, an expressive artist. I can handle this. Tremendous visions of giant canvases filled with living forms of rock and ice and the unnamable mystery of the world. I could do that.

But I could not. It was not possible to recreate the sensation and, even if I could, why should I? The thing was out there. One only had to go back and touch it.

I phoned my friend Mark. Fitter and a bit younger than me, he also had never climbed anything in his life. He picked up.

‘Hi Mark, it’s Garry. Do you want to climb the Eiger?’

‘Sure. When do we go?’

He wasn’t joking. It was as easy as that. And all my mountain experiences stemmed from that one phone call.

 

2.
I am alone and it’s getting dark. There is a sullen, depressing feel to the situation. From my broad ledge, where I have lain out my sleeping mat and bag I can see over to the glaciers heaving in their infinitely slow way down off the Monch. Way below I can see the little station, the one before the train enters the Jungfraujoch tunnel. Beyond that, the valley, now growing grey green and misty. When I look up I see clouds beginning to obscure the tops.

It’s not silent. Rushing water, the occasional crump of small avalanches pealing off the nearby glaciers and a constant phewing of the evening winds. I am surrounded by rubble and snow banks. No clear rock here, just a shambles of scree and shards of sharp rock in piles all around me. It’s like settling down on a slagheap. The light lowers. I eat some chocolate and drink cold tea. It’s time to get into the bag.

I am very lonely. I have never done anything like this before. It’s the result of the mad idea to climb the Eiger by fair means or foul and it has landed me in this desolate place and made me miserable. I am on a reconnaissance. The excitement and drama of what I am doing drifted away with the appalling slog up here.  It’s too late to go down so I must make the best of it. I take off my boots, do some probably ineffective rope work to prevent myself rolling down the mountain during the night and struggle, fully clothed, into the sleeping bag. It takes ages and I am exhausted when I am finally settled. There is still some light but the clouds are down lower and it’s misty and damp.  The glaciers on the Monch seem to glow faintly in the dark grey light. It is a scene of utter desolation and one which seems utterly unfriendly, or rather totally indifferent to my being there. I feel rejected and forlorn and in deep misery.

After some undefined time I hear voices coming up from below, approaching my ledge. People, maybe a group of three or four, coming up towards me. They sound cheerful and chatty. I can’t make out any specific words and even the language is indefinable. The sound of their voices drifts in and out of the wind and water noises around me, now rising now obscured and it cheers me. Why don’t they arrive? I have to get out and see what’s going on. Perhaps I can flash my torch at them if they are lost.

The struggle to get out of the bag is worse than getting in. I flounder about getting tangled in the rope and finally emerge panting onto the rubble. In the faint light I move across to where I can see down the slopes more or less all the way to the bottom. There’s no one there. It’s impossible. Perhaps they have stopped behind an outcrop of rock. I am not sure I can hear them now. The rushing waters and wind seem to be obscuring them. It’s a mystery and after puzzling on the matter for some time I face the effort of getting into the sack again. It’s another immense struggle but I do it and settle down, forgetting the voices for the moment.

But they don’t stop. I sit up again. There are definitely people chatting nearby. Definitely. Nothing for it. I must see them. So the struggle begins again. Exhausted once more with the effort I now scan the surrounding rock with my torchlight. It is very dark now. I call in a polite, slightly embarrassed, very English manner. ‘Hello there? Can you see my light?’. Nothing but the water sounds, quieter now, as their source, the snow above, melting during the warmth of the day, is freezing once more as night descends. I am exasperated and disturbed by the non-appearing companions. The lengthy performance of getting back into the sleeping bag is gone through once again.

I go through this pantomime twice more. I am so utterly convinced of the reality of this presence, and so hoping it would salve my utter loneliness. Even so, eventually, having regained the chrysalis of the bag once more, I drop off to sleep.

At some awful, desolate hour I wake and look around. There is barely any light. All is muffled and damp. I lay for an hour or so as it gets lighter. To a mixture of feelings – both relief and disappointment – I see that the dawn has discovered thick freezing fog. I can see only a few feet in front of me. It starts to snow then rain sleet. My misery of last night has not lifted. On top of this I feel a fool. A complete amateur and an incompetent arsehole. In my chagrin I get out of the sack, pack up the gear, lift my rucksack onto my back and start down, stumbling on the loose rock and patches of snow. There is no joy in this. A vague worry of losing my way is assuaged by the knowledge that all I have to do is head downwards and, eventually, I will arrive at the Eiger Gletscher station. This I eventually do. I make my way along the railway line to Kleine Scheidegg where I buy a cup of coffee at the deserted but thankfully just opened station cafe.

The thought of those who arrived last night on the mountain drifts in and out of my mind, worrying and disturbing me. My confidence in my relationship with the world had been undermined. The unbalancing effect of a subtle earthquake had turned surety into doubt. The world looked more mysterious this morning and some small fear had entered the pit of my stomach. As I stumbled down to my tent in the valley this fear blossomed into wonder and a wild excitement. The world was not only a mystery, it was an ongoing drama and I was there, here, on stage, taking part.

 

In 1933 the British climber Frank Smythe, heading alone for his camp at around 8300 metres on the north side of Mount Everest, experienced a phenomenon. He wrote:

‘All the time I was climbing alone I felt I was accompanied by a second person. This feeling was so strong that it completely eliminated all loneliness I might otherwise have felt. It even seemed that I was tied to my ‘companion’ by a rope, and that if I slipped ‘he’ would hold me. I remember constantly looking back over my shoulder, and once, when I stopped to try to eat some mint cake, I carefully divided it and turned round with one half in my hand. It was almost a shock to find no one to whom to give it. It seemed to me that this ‘presence’ was a strong, helpful and friendly one, and it was not until Camp VI was sighted that the link connecting me, as it seemed at the time to the beyond, was snapped, and, although Shipton and the camp were but a few yards away, I suddenly felt alone.’

In 1978 Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler became the first climbers to reach the summit of Everest without the use of supplementary oxygen. Messner, in 1980, then attempted, and succeeded, again without oxygen equipment, in another climb to the summit of Everest. The difference was that this time he was alone. He wrote at his camp at 7,800m

‘The bright sun reflecting off the snow offers a great deal of warmth and comfort as I chew dried meat and sip this salty brew of Tibetan tea leaves. I don’t feel alone. Instead I sense a companionship. There’s always that someone to keep me company when I reach these altitudes on my own. Perhaps its that partner within myself’.

In 1988 Steven Venables, after an astonishing new climb on the Kangshung face of Everest, was approaching the summit. His mind was drifting. He wrote:

‘It was at this stage that an imaginary old man first appeared. I never identified him, but this alter ego was to accompany me on and off for the rest of the day, sometimes comforting me and advising me, sometimes seeking my support. I do not know what he looked like . . . but at moments I was acutely aware of the presence of this other older person. As I reached up to the rocks I told myself the old man would approve: the solidity and security of the rocks would appeal to his sense of tradition.’

Venables reached the summit alone. On his descent he was forced to spend a night out on the south ridge at over 8,000 metres with no sleeping bag or tent. The old man shared his ledge. In the morning Venables could see down to the South Col and the tent where his real companions awaited him. The old man had gone.

Of course, there were no jolly alpinists behind those rock outcrops on the west flank of the Eiger the night I slept there. There was no one roped to Smythe on Everest and no solid old man cajoling and soothing Venables during his lone vigil at 28,000 feet. Messner seems closest – ‘That partner within myself’.  The crucial matter here is that none of these experiences was asked for.  Smythe would have got down to camp six and Venables and Messner would almost certainly have completed their climbs without the help of these uninvited guests. The circumstances of their extreme situations seems to have pricked the brain’s mechanisms into making a decision for them, presented an alteration in their experience of consciousness and altered the feel of what they may have previously thought of as the solid reality of the material world. Dreams and the world whirling together, becoming so intermingled as to be one thing. Phantoms taking tea with one another in a presumed teashop.

 

A patient of the great neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran sat in front of him in his office in La Jolla, California. Five years before the interview the patient, Larry, had been involved in a terrible road accident, his head being smashed through the car windscreen which caused considerable brain damage. When, after two weeks, he came out of the ensuing coma he reported that the world was full of hallucinations. ‘I couldn’t distinguish what was real from what was fake. Doctors and nurses standing next to my bed were surrounded by football players and Hawaiian dancers. Voices came at me from everywhere and I couldn’t tell who was talking.’

When questioned Larry reported that not only did he still have, after all this time, many hallucinations, but that he was having them right then and there, in Ramachandran’s office. He reported that he could see a monkey sitting on the doctor’s lap, as real as life.

‘But how do you know you are hallucinating?’ asked Ramachandran.

‘I don’t know’ said Larry, ‘but it’s unlikely that there would be a professor here with a monkey in his lap so I think there probably isn’t one’.

Charles Bonnet syndrome. A neurological condition which involves the extraordinary capacity of the brain to fill in bits of information it takes to be missing from a bigger picture. We all do this to a certain extent by virtue of the ‘blind spot’ in our eyes. This is the part of the retina where the optic nerve leaves the eye. At this point there are no light-sensitive neurons so the brain cannot register the light falling there. Instead of leaving a blank in our vision the brain invents a ‘best fit’ estimate as to what it deems should be in the area of the missing information.

In Charles Bonnet syndrome, however, this can be taken to marvelous extremes where, due to disease or accident, a part of the visual system (in the eye or the brain) is damaged. This leaves gaps in the stream of information traveling to the brain coming from the light of the material world. So what does the brain do? In its wisdom it can fill in from a whole gallery of brain stored images and fit them seamlessly into the sufferer’s perceptions.

Larry survived his partly unreal existence by ‘testing’. He knew from experience and from other peoples’ reactions that if what he was seeing was likely to be a true image of the material world before him. Elderly people isolated for long periods with little social interaction often experience hallucinations. Surveys have shown that a great many of them do not report these experiences for fear of being seen as crazy or that their faculties were deserting them. If they could continually ‘test’ their experiences against those of companions the visions would be easier to handle. Without the ability to test the filling-in by the brain against a common shared reality, hallucinations can run without check through the perceptions of the isolated individual.

Some people who have hallucinations of the Bonnet type report (as do those who have taken certain ‘mind altering’ drugs) that the images they experience are often ‘more real than real’. Larry himself said at the interview with Ramachandran ‘….there is something odd about the images – they often look too good to be true. The colours are vibrant, extraordinarily vivid, and the images actually look more real than real objects, if you see what I mean.’

It becomes apparent when reading accounts of these types of visual hallucinations that very few emotions are attached to the images experienced. It seems that this is because it is mostly obvious that the images perceived are seen by various means as being exactly what they are – illusions. However, when the protecting screen of this knowledge is not available the hallucinations can become overbearing and terrifying. Nightmares and visions in the dark night or evening, when the possibility that those phantoms of the mind may perhaps be of the material world can overpower us with fear and wonder. 

Many of us have childhood memories of waking, screaming, from dreams so appalling as to blank out the mind with horror and awe, the brain’s creations being too strong by far for the waking infant consciousness to cope with or even begin to understand. Was that not so for the waking of consciousness itself, long ago when one idea collided with another in our reconstructing brains? The ability to slide one image over another, to slip the lions head on to the body of a man and believe it just so; to see great figures in the night sky as if observing peering faces in wallpaper patterns and believe them just so?

They come, they come. These images co-mingle in our systems of perception and we experience them as in our sense of daily life, these unbidden visions and personages.  Without necessary clues to their true nature we see them as life, flawlessly as a part of the lived day. Their ability to slide into our perceptions of the material world must give us pause to question where exactly, and with what, are we experiencing the material world.

 

The trees

The realization that one’s brain is creating, from various sources, our experience of the world, and that we are not looking out of windows in our heads to examine it, can come as a shock.

My own epiphany came thus.

Some years ago I found myself sitting in a vineyard in the Corbiere Hills of southern France. I was there trying to draw of a stand of cypress trees. It wasn’t going well. I had no idea, nor any specific feeling to base my work on and felt lost as to how to approach the subject. In an attempt to break this dull spell, I started to form words in my head, words that would describe what I then thought were the characteristics of the trees. I started with the obvious - large, tall, dark, pointed, green. Then I moved into more emotional territory – powerful, portentous, foreboding, grim, and, carrying on, got to - disturbing, frightening, mysterious.

I stopped. In one moment I realised that the way I had been perceiving the material world in the past had been wrong. Or rather my description of my perceptions had been wrong. To neuroscientists what I am about to describe is common knowledge. To me at the time it exploded in my head like a bomb going off.

The words are critical. Before I may have said ‘This tree is foreboding’. Now I had to say ‘This form of this tree gives rise in me a sense of foreboding’. The trees were nothing – or rather they were a mass of particles and energy doing what particles and energy do in given circumstances, what they cannot help doing. It was meaningless, indifferent. It was only by registering my brain-generated emotions in front of this mass of matter that I (my brain) gave them some ‘meaning’ or ‘identity’.

The image was entirely mine, happening in my brain. And the adjectives I attached to it gave it meaning, my meaning, a human meaning. The brain - my brain - ruled the world.

This simple idea led immediately to further questions – ‘How am I “seeing” and with what and where?’ ‘What is the nature of my relationship with the material world’ and ‘How can I explain the sense of “green”? The problems of consciousness had suddenly become conscious.

Anyone that day enjoying the view of these vineyards from a distance – the vibrant green rows of vines in vast fields set against blinding white limestone hillsides - would have seen something out of the ordinary that day. They would have seen a man, for no apparent reason, suddenly appear from the vines, jump up and down in a mad dance and shout ‘Of course! Of course! – OF COURSE!’.

So – the visitors from deep within our brains come to us under circumstances of extremes – certain conditions allow these out-of-control denizens their moment in the sunlight of consciousness. And we have seen how these visions and hallucinations belong to the amoral wilderness of our neuronal forests. Coagulating from the brains chemical and electrical whirling like stars from galactic stardust they emerge as moods and figures and are the stuff of our emotional apphrehension of the material world. They show how we might be or how we might interact with the world had not societal, analytic consciousness taken a grip of our lives. But we need them, cannot, I maintain, exist nor find our way in the world without contact with these archetypes, and with the cauldron of their making – the limbic system deep in the brain. This contact has been made problematic for us in many ways, and social organization and societal conscious thought – analytical thought – has blurred and barred our connection to the emotional living of the world. We might seem now only to wave across an impassable void to the lords of misrule. Or so that would be if it were not for the demolitions of the barriers between them and consciousness, and the building of bridges across to them, by the destroying and creating arts.

Let us then consider the ways across.

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