The Liminalist # 245: Where Two or More Are Gathered (with Gib Strange)

Back with the world’s most-recurring Liminalist, Gib Strange.

Part One: Therapy for Golem (0 – 28 mins)

Difference between face to face and text-based communication, autistic children, what transmits unconsciously, inter-relational tensions between Gib & Jasun, Dave-related projects, losing friends, jokes about suicide, an unwitting cry for help, getting to the high ground, when the enemy speaks through us, the enlightenment bully, therapy for golem.

Part Two: Waiting for Gibran (28 mins – 1 hr 3 mins)

Not-doing sympathy, jam for prisoners, the risks of empathy, lacking a support system, the love field, the two types of sharing, life in the lockdown, Stranger’s passing, cat-love, embodiment, spiritual jargon, mindful narcissism, the thing beyond language, talking about God, waiting for Godot, Cedomir & Martin & the enlightenment, experiences in the body, a negative frame for enlightenment, shifting allegiance.

Part Three: Transcendental Connections (1 hr 3 mins – I hr 28 mins)

The absence of an image, the dark and edgy, the anti-light brigade, the shrinking world of Jasun Horsley, Gary & Cary, an attachment to the past, talking about Dave, finding transcendental connections, acknowledging the exit, blocked collaborations, where two or more are gathered together, two opposing forces, leveling up, a lot to say about Hell. 

Part Four: Invisible Architecture (1 hr 28 mins – end)

Technology and nature, goodbye to podcasting, scaffolding for invisible architecture, the bridge between heaven and hell, levels of sensitivity, Dave’s power of deconstruction, Gib’s resistance, requirements of a support system, what might upturn Gib’s world, awakening to reality, bad connections, to exfinity and beyond.

Gib’s site: https://notesfromtheuncannyvalley.com/

Songs: “Pirates” by Entertainment for the Braindead; “Broken Land” by The Bones of J.R. Jones;  “Dreams” by Dodola; “Jenny the Game” by Dead Cinema; “Changes” by Short Hand.

45 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 245: Where Two or More Are Gathered (with Gib Strange)”

  1. Daring, edgy and not-dark.

    How to do friendly tennis without getting Borg-McEnroe.

    Gib’s shirt and pose seem reminiscent of some charismatic characters, and faintly like actor Michael Kelly.

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  2. Like the tennis reference.
    There were a few ‘the ball’s in your court’, ‘do something with it’ moments/pauses.
    But t was more hit and giggle than an actual match.
    Their hearts are too sweet for that.

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  3. I’m reminded of your previous statement that you have no friends, only collaborators.

    What do you say about people who aren’t seeking enlightenment? Are they all residents of Plato’s cave? As for dwelling in hell, Ari Asters last movie was good reminder for me that I’m not interested in dwelling in suffering and that the “dark and edgy” stuff for me has always been about exploring the liminal space between the real and the unreal. His first movie did a better job IMO of making suffering an instrument to the transgression of that boundary.

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  4. Your friendship really comes across. Like a conversation between Danny and Kenickie.
    To Jay, why do you feel the dark and edgy gives more access to exploration than light and love? I would say it is all about image and cultural imprints.

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    • “Your friendship really comes across. Like a conversation between Danny and Kenickie.”

      Enigmatic, JIS. You are encyclopedic, tortured by flashbacks or reruns of Summer Nights.

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        • Yes. I had *high hopes* in JIS’s cultural references since he seems a bookish philosophical nerd but instead got *hi ho’s*. However, I have not taken any time to actually explore the dynamic between Danny and Kenickie. Would it be characterized like Dan and Bernie?

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          • JIS, I probably shouldn’t ask you, since your unusual familiarity with Grease will be raising eyebrows by now, but somehow your lack of credibility makes you somehow seem credible. Do you refer to the pre- or post- leather jacket Sandy?

          • many more eyebrows are perhaps raised in unexpected excitement that pop culture continues to provide orientation, post-enlightenment, or at least, that the enlightened are not above discussing cave shadows.

            JIS’s quirky vision of Dave as Sandy, post or pre- leather makeover (I am guessing pre-) is oddly cognizant of inside info known only to the few….

          • “many more eyebrows are perhaps raised in unexpected excitement that pop culture continues to provide orientation, post-enlightenment, or at least, that the enlightened are not above discussing cave shadows.

            JIS’s quirky vision of Dave as Sandy, post or pre- leather makeover (I am guessing pre-) is oddly cognizant of inside info known only to the few….”

            I am starting to assume that Grease is JIS’ lingua franca and therefore the only way to reach him in his quirk cave. However, I possess no insider info on Sandy, since Grease was never part of my studies, though presumably some liberal arts college have for reason unknown.

          • 16 Maps of Hell is Jasun at the dance contest with Cha Cha so no, we are not at the Dave in hot pants time yet. That happens after graduation, and I want to see it! No inhibitions, right?

          • If I knew how I would put Dave’s head on Olivia, yours on John, and the devil”s on Cha Cha.

          • “16 Maps of Hell is Jasun at the dance contest with Cha Cha so no, we are not at the Dave in hot pants time yet. That happens after graduation, and I want to see it! No inhibitions, right?”

            Laughed so loud I disturbed the summer lovin’ happening in my neighborhood. I am unavoidably detached from this conversation, in which JIS currently holds all the chess pieces, because I am confused about who here is represented by which Grease character nor aware of the deep dynamics of each character.

          • “If I knew how I would put Dave’s head on Olivia, yours on John, and the devil”s on Cha Cha.”

            HaHa! Tears in my eyes. Someone needs humor to get through the day.

  5. This is going to be very abstract so apologies in advance: there is a sense that our culture is gradually waking up to the fact that it’s fundamental guiding principles (chiefly: reason + control = progress (left-brain dominant)) are flawed or at least no longer consistent with their own values. But we can only re-imagine the role of reason/control to the extent that a) we are willing to let go of our identities (to the extent they are bound up in the dominant culture) and b) we become aware of the efficacy of some other guiding principle(s), as generally speaking we are instinctively repelled by nihilism / culturelessness. As abstract as it sounds, could “consistency with the Life-Force” be that principle that is capable of guiding a new culture out of the matrix the dominant culture has enclosed us in?

    A notion that clearly needs unpacking but at least appears to pre-suppose handing some control over to nature/god/mind-at-large or however you want to frame-it… and to my mind also pre-supposes reinstating the right brain’s empathic/holistic perspective as at least as instructive as the left brain’s perspective (which for better or worse affords us the ability to manipulate things and “run a big show”…)

    I think many of us have been doing this (tapping into the “Life Force” for “guidance” in various forms, as opposed to mainstream culture) instinctively (for many years in some cases – although of course most of us wouldn’t have formulated it thus!) And with that in mind it strikes me that there is Life-force “in” the process of “mapping hell” in the sense that we instinctively/intuitively know that this is part of the process of moving away from a culture that is no longer consistent with where the Life-force wants to take (all of) us (for some it is probably a prerequisite in the process of uncoupling our identities from the dominant culture/philosophy/story as well…? ).

    I like the idea that the dominant culture has become “no longer consistent with where the Life-force wants to take us” as opposed to the idea that it has become demonic or evil – although I appreciate that it can certainly look like that sometimes… I like to frame it that the Life-Force still has a lot of love for the dominant culture but has seen enough to know that it has to go…To my mind the problem is that the Life Force itself is groping for a world more beautiful than can be afforded by the dominant culture – it doesn’t yet know how to get there either (maybe it can’t get there?)…

    I kind of get why one would “stay”, so to speak, in that phase of mapping hell because there is no full-bodied, alternative culture for us to join once we’ve mapped it sufficiently to start pondering where the exit might be – there is Life-force in the process to the extent that it opens us up to allow more information (/Life-Force /Light) to come in. Quite understandably (as our culture doesn’t support the process) there is no one there to guide us when we stand in this new space (having been “opened up”) so we are easily recolonised by the old culture or one of the many “second matrices” as you call them (throwing the baby out with the bath water)… But I guess the idea is that the Life-force is always there waiting for us to tap into it (even if it doesn’t have all the answers, it is full of the Light/Life that can give birth to answers (?)) …

    I think we probably know it when it’s there but for me it’s like I stumble upon it by chance now and again – can one consciously tap into it? / Is the notion of consciously tapping into it flawed? … For a while I have thought that it probably happens much easier in a (relatively small) group situation, as we amplify each other’s energies, but if we are reliant on that it could become something we glimpse so seldom as to render the idea of “consistency with the Life-force” being a guiding principle as absurd…(?)

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    • Bonce, I find that the more time I spend with Dave, the more I experience the Life-force, in fact it is accessible at will, although at times it takes much more effort to get there. I feel that the sheer pleasure of the Life-force will be all the guide one needs as far as decisions go. When I am alone, I can sit and just enjoy, but when interacting with others it is hard to keep in awareness, and often fear will take over. That is the trick, to get rid of the fear, no matter what situation you are in. Once you are in the presence of the Life-force, all of culture seems irrelevant, like a pack of cheap, raw hot dogs at a Bobby Flay cookout. Once you stumble upon it, take your time to experience it, let it wash through your body, see if you can intensify it and let it go with your will. I hope my advice is helpful, I am knew to all of this and can only relate what has and is working for me.

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    • i broke up your block of text to make it less discouraging to readers, there are some good points in there. It may be good to remember that culture is a term from biology. Nothing starts out toxic; toxicity is the over-predominance of elements within a system that cause the whole system to start to malfunction. Culture, like the constructed identity, may be an expression of the life force meant as a protective layer (foreskin?) that became too thick and unwieldy and eventually threatened to smother the life out of the organism. Circumcision is not the solution, however.

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  6. My thoughts
    In general an artful combination of the sublime and the ridiculous is divine and is what I would term edgy, edges of light and dark intersecting. Nothing gets my juices flowing more than the exquisite frisson that can arise from mixing high and low brow cultural data points. The tantalising elixir that proceeds from the blend is often more potent than the force of either one alone.
    Its by product, the best of all medicines.
    In this instance – I did get the ref and I was laughing. No insider knowledge that I know of, I just loved the daftness.

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    • Nothing gets my juices flowing more than the exquisite frisson that can arise from mixing high and low brow cultural data points. The tantalising elixir that proceeds from the blend is often more potent than the force of either one alone.

      that’s a great summation of the hitherto nature of the auticultural enterprise as, I hope, it reaches its apotheosis climax with 16 Maps of Hell. I am not persuaded as to JIS’s symbolic timeline; the choice of holy writ may be sound, but the interpretation is always open to question. All I know for sure is my glory daze of greased lighting seem far behind me now, hence my growing nostalgia for old moves.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK63eUyk-iM

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      • “that’s a great summation of the hitherto nature of the auticultural enterprise as, I hope, it reaches its apotheosis climax with 16 Maps of Hell. I am not persuaded as to JIS’s symbolic timeline; the choice of holy writ may be sound, but the interpretation is always open to question. All I know for sure is my glory daze of greased lighting seem far behind me now, hence my growing nostalgia for old moves.”

        All it took was one man, JIS, who by being forthcoming broke the monolithic plinth on which Satan sat.

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  7. High brows, low brows, raised eyebrows all in
    Grease is the word and the script’s in the bin
    Cultural references bond us like kin
    Laughing out loud as the snake sheds its skin

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  8. To Bonce
    Hehe I like it but baby’s and bath water
    In a milieu of self doubting outliers which I for one hold claim maybe there is life in the old Grease archetype yet. The pathos and high stakes tension being in no short supply in the drama unfolding here.

    Stranded at the comments section,
    Branded as a troll
    Not one for games,
    Cheese stands alone.

    To Dave
    knocking down walls being a good thing?…

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    • “Hehe I like it but baby’s and bath water”

      …That would be the circumcision Jasun referred to, no?
      Reptile ecdysis on the other hand is to remove parasites and cos the old skin’s stopping it growing… (not that I’m always a fan of growth)
      As for the trashed script — compost bin not landfill…

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      • No. I was replying to your grease is the word …script’s the bin bit.
        But hey its more fodder
        We go together like group threads and misunderstandings
        Rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong
        Shoobop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom

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  9. Christians don’t talk about Hell much these days (might scare away customers). But I saw a book title that was encouraging: The Logic of Hell. I think it’s a book of essays by various Christian theologians making a case for bringing Hell back into the lime light, like in good old Medieval times. Peter Geach, a Cambridge professor of logic, and a Catholic, wrote some scary things about Hell, scary to me as a lapsed Catholic, anyway. (Come to think of it, one of the scariest literary descriptions of Hell is in Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the section in which some Irish Jesuit–must’ve French kissed the Blarney Stone–holds forth in a lengthy, horrific description of the sufferings of the Damned.) But were they logical? Indeed, certain logics can be scary, especially if you concede that Peter Kingsley is right in deeming logic a gift of Persephones’, although one should not mention the queen of the Underworld by name. (This may be my last comment.)

    When Gib described how Hell (the “dark and edgy”) lends itself to the writer’s hand, I was reminded of how Milton’s Satan was considered more compelling as a literary figure than his God, or how Dante’s Inferno was more gripping than his Paradiso, both, and a third, Purgatorio, being Cantos I, III, and II respectively of the Divina Commedia (a “comedy” because there is light at the end of the tunnel, an exit from the Matrix). However, having finally read all of the Commedia, I was surprised at how Dante managed to maintain, even increase, the literary intensity in the Paradiso which becomes increasingly suffused with effulgence the higher one ascends, culminating in the vision of the Mystic Rose.

    On the other hand, there is a sense in which one’s relationship with a “wise” or “enlightened” person is fraught with discomfort, if not danger. Jasun has written about this in his book Dark Oasis. Freud discovered and described the tricky process of transference and the neuroses it may engender. Lately, I’ve read biographical accounts of several disciples of Chogyam Trunpa, Rinpoche, the charismatic Tibetan lama who founded Naropa Institute in Colorado, and their difficult relationships with him. So, personally, I feel cautious but at the same time wonder if I’m missing out on a precious opportunity for self-transformation. But when I consider that Agehananda Bharati, a Hindu monk who describes “enlightenment,” or the “zero-experience,” as he calls it, as a psycho-physiological explosion that lasts at most a few days, I wonder how life-changing this transformation will be. Bharati, who describes his several experiences of enlightenment in his book The Ochre Robe, says that It is not a state from which one can act discursively, it is not quotidian but incapacitating, enstatic. It won’t necessarily make you more ethical, or morally better. At most, he says, it will make you less attached and more forebearing. Still, that’s nothing to sneeze at! Becoming a morally better person, according to Bharati, is the result of philosophical and behavioral training, what Aristotle recommended in his Nicomachaean Ethics, for example (there are many other examples, ones from religions as well.)

    Anyway, only here can Grease, Aristotle, and the Divina Commedia jostle each other cheek by jowl.

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    • thoughtfully composed comment, thanks JK; it harmonizes quite well with today’s blogpost also; not sure if that’s coincidental.

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