Wednesday, August 7, 2013

TLtS: Dawn

Dawn is the time of enlightenment( the Fool). Dusk the time of reflections(the Hermit). Dawn is a time of enlightenment and magic. It is also that twilight land between sleep and awake where things are often resolved in our minds. Speaking of twilight, it is also the dusk that offers a bright shining moment of tranquility. “At dawn my soul grows bright wings. My face glows with white heat. Above fields, I speak with the voice of a hawk, my eye sharp as a blade against the wheat. I speak the work from which I was made. I speak of truth , splendor and strength.” -Normandi Ellis-

"Performances do not occur on stage nor in the auditorium but in between the two, they are, in effect, exercises in the creation and occupation of thresholds." [George, Performance Epistemology: An Essay 1995) "Cyberspace is a consensual hallucination that these people have created. Its like, with this equipment, you can agree to share the same hallucinations. In effect they're creating a world." [William Gibson in Rucker, Sirius and Mu, Mondo 2000 User Guide To The New Edge, 1992) Like being at the theatre and being on the telephone, being 'in' cyberspace necessitates the imaginative 'creation and occupation' of a third, consensually created, liminal world. Liminality is a term used by the Belgian folklorist Arnold van Gennep to denominate the second of three stages in what he called a "rite of passage". The liminal state is a transient time/space for the consciousness as it travels from one world to another. This might be from bachelorhood to marriage, the ritual of the ceremony being the liminal phase when/where one is neither single or married. Crucially, though, the liminality of cyberspace differs to Gennep's linear "rite of passage" in that it suspends the threshold to give the transient world the primary status (rather than tangible worlds that define it) that remains 'in-between'. Two people share a virtual cappuccino in MOO-space . Whilst there would appear to be only two worlds in this equation there are in fact three. The meeting of two time/spaces necessitates the construction of a third. Cyberspace is neither 'here' in WORLD A, nor 'there' in WORLD B but 'in-between' under constant negotiation within the suspended threshold of WORLD C. Both time and space are ambiguous (but not artificial), the world being 'now' but 'not now' and 'here' but 'not here'. Without this time/space created in the imagination of the two people, communication could not occur for neither would understand the other. In the limen there are shifting yet implicit rules and codes which work to create and preserve the meeting ground.

Mircea Eliade, in Rites and Symbols of Initiation (1958), like van Gennep before him (Rites de Passage /I , 1909), outlines three stages in initiatory ritual; separation from or death to the old life, the intermediary state of chaotic ambiguity and ordeal, and rebirth in a new life and return to society as a new being. The liminal state, Eliade opines, is equivalent to the primal chaos. Crossroads, traditionally the place of uncanny happenings, are liminal places; Samhain and Beltaine are liminal times, offering a partial explanation for the weird and magical happenings associated with them, as are the twilight times of dawn and dusk, neither night nor day.

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