“The old gods are dead or dying and people everywhere are searching, asking: What is the new mythology to be,
the mythology of the unified earth as of one harmonious being?” J. Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space.
New York, 1986. p.17



I fill the canteen, and climb to where the mountain and I are hidden in clouds
cloaking the ghost I’ve become. The old Taoist poets toasted their birthdays
with cups of wine.

It seems like ages ago that I visited the poet William Witherup, then living
near Santa Fe. As we sat beneath a full moon blending our shadows with
the chilly desert air, Bill drained a glass of wine and said: “The moon has
never understood wine.”


Are dreams a matter of consciousness, and we "slowly sort of sleep walking
into significant social, and political change.”?
(2) Are we only awake from this
dream of consciousness in death, while in life there is only reflection?


To Dante Alighieri Paradise was given: he arrived there even before
entering the gloomy wood. “Do not move / Let the wind speak / that
is paradise.” (Ezra Pound)

High on a mountain a slight breeze. There was a time when I could hear
the ear-whispered teachings; now a hungry mosquito buzzes in my ear.
I lean over the edge, and see a thousand poets falling into obscurity.
Can I fly, held aloft on pollution-thickened air? My wings have become arms.

As I walk back down to the path a bush slaps me in the face and whispers:
You could not have lived differently.


In a classroom, some students are sitting in chairs, some are in other time-
zones, projected on a flat screen. “When you go to lunch, I’ve already had
mine; perhaps yesterday," one student says.
There's a dissonance too in not sharing the same hurricanes, earthquakes,
forest fires, an overanxious robot breaking the arm of an overachieving kid.


This morning’s haze is smoke drifting west from a sweat lodge in Arizona,
carrying the overcast god, a god who doesn’t sermonize messianic hope,
but is born of dark matter compassionately concealing when the planet
has become a tourist destination.


On Air Force bases and missile ranges ground-penetrating radar
plots where barefooted Homo sapiens left behind "ghost tracks"
haunted by the insteps of their next mutations.


Sunglasses bridge my eyes dimming them to what needs to be seen:
a council of rocks assembled on the opposite mountain, or
the ruins
of an ancient pueblo.

Although local knowledge remains intact, social, religious, political,
or racial circumscription is becoming an obstacle to the survival of
the species as a whole.


When there are so many minds, artificial and otherwise, that causality
will overwrite reality, the wings of a hummingbird will be seen as beat-
ing faster than the speed of light.


“I don’t believe the internet is an appropriate medium for serious philo-
sophical debate.”
(3) To this, S. Mallarmé may have written: “No matter!
Others will lead me towards happiness.”


Is this mountain the next site for excavating rare earth elements
to animate the quest for a conscious AI machine, leaving behind
the toxic tailings we forget to remember? Here Be Dragons again?

Master One-Eyed Dragon of Ming-chao raised one finger pointing
to pollutants above, then he pointed to the fire-breathing dragons
venting their anger on the scorched earth of NASA's launchpads.


In the smoking mirror, in the mirror made of stone, a Philosopher’s Stone
in which interpretation and performance are fused, someone called God
to fill the void where History and Eternity dissolve into “the forsaken cry.”


"Don’t go that way!” a man warned me. “A bobcat’s nursing her young.”

In the blue air, where REM dreams, C.G. Jung’s active imagination and
anxiety over finitude are conflated, some cosmologists conceive of the
Big Bang as if it contained the seeds of human gestation and evolution.
“The harsh reality is that the universe was not made for us,”
This rives technology’s neurotic ambitions, and drives us mad.


A compass turning around a circumference points to far-seeing
Odysseus who sailed ten years on god-driven seas, navigating
home with tales still to be told.

Now, drifting dust clings to legs slowly walking home, and stories
drawn from the poetic unknown don’t point to transcendence but
to every direction at once.


The shaman who once lived alone on the village’s verge, now
gives TED talks on “the hard problem” of consciousness. Yet
he still dreams of trotting through a forest expiring the rancid
breath of an old wolf…though tagged and tracked.


Three years after the last wildfire the sun rises on the wings of vultures
gliding off a tree’s skeletal limbs, rising on warm air currents, scanning
for roadkill…while our GPS is guiding us to where?
We are not lost. We are only refusing to see.


Australian Aboriginal "ancient traditional art consisted
of geometric patterns, purely geometrical patterns.”

An abandoned glove evokes a hand pressed against rough
knobs of rock. “The 'language,’ the 'knowledge' or
of the hand,"
trace time’s gyrating geometries.


A few of us became famous, while others worked anonymously.

Walking the path I usually take, one day I suddenly felt natural
in the natural world. And the route I’d walked untold times was
no longer a path but a way of being alive.


Marcel Duchamp declared himself an artist, so everything he signed
(a urinal, a snow shovel) was "art." After this, buyers only to know if
the signature is authentic.

Banksy is an artist who is known for being unknown. One work had
his signature; but some said it wasn't real because the paint ran,”(9)
like a watercourse flowing to someone else.


Machines can mimic Shakespeare or paint like Picasso, but 175 billion
machine learning parameters still obscure the Muses’ radiant domain.

What makes us want to fool our perception, enslave our mind, licking
the luster off the latest machines, is driven by the same motivation as
climbing Mt. Everest, leaving garbage and bodies behind?


A storm of environmental, political, economic, and social change
no philosophy has foreseen, will reform every foundational belief,
unmasking our human-faced gods. “The most stable forms begin
to change their shape as soon as they are imagined to be alive.”


What we call disaster, such as fierce wildfires, trees burned and
fallen, rock- and mudslides, swollen rivers running down streets…
is just another day in the life of the Natural World.

A small plant leaned over and touched me, so gently that just
for a moment
, all the violence in the world suddenly stopped.


1. Li Po. From, “Drinking Alone Beneath the Moon.” D. Hinton, trans.
2. K. Crawford, “A Conversation with Kate Crawford, author of ‘Atlas of AI.’”
3. R, Brassier. “An Interview with Marcin Rychter. Kronos 4, March 2011.
4. S. Mallarmé. From, “The Faun” A.S. Klein, trans.
5. W.H. Auden. From, “Musee des Beaux Arts.”
6. J. Tallinn, “Dissident Messages.” In, Possible Minds. J. Brockman, ed., New York, 2019. p. 97.
7. R. Lawlor, “Dreaming the Beginning: An Interview with Robert Lawlor.” Parabola, Summer 1993.
8. Y. Haft-Promrock, Hands: Aspects of Opposition and Complementarity in Archetypal Chirology. Einsiedeln,1992. p.19. Also,
9. T. Geoghegan, “How To Spot a Banksy.” BBC New Magazine, 16 Jan 2008.
10. G. Bachelard, Earth and Reveries of Will. Dallas, 2002. p.212.