Ravirer A digital garden about disrupting status quo

crossbreeding seeds of the imaginal and the imaginary

I recently started a new substack called A Reader’s Compost Heap, where I honor what I read with ‘‘sensemaking’’ creative essays. I sat down this morning to write a new entry for it when I realized my musings weren’t suited for the compost heap (yet), it was more like seeds that needed to be planted here.

Recently, I read Lost Knowledge of the Imagination by Gary Lachman. It was similar to Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm by Stephen Harrod Buhner but without the emphasis on plants, and rather with a focus on literature, language, and epistemology. I noticed that I was already starting to forget my reading even though I enjoyed it. I just love thinkers who are anchored in that same paradigm as I - the animist paradigm, if we may call it like this - and who are so more eloquent about its history than I. But yeah, since it was simply validating what I was already convinced of, my brain didn’t record it as especially novel or worth keeping in mind, which is a shame because there are truly some gems in there. I’m trying to rectify this here by putting those seeds into words. So here are a few quotes/ideas worth planting in the digital garden :

  • The old language being inherently poetical, the world perceived poetically because everything was alive vs language being dead nowadays
    • On this, I have sent a request to the inter-university loan system to get my hand on Defending Ancient Springs by Kathleen Raine
  • ‘’One man’s vision is another man’s madness.’
  • ‘’Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’’
  • The imaginary vs the imaginal: the first is fantasy, the second is ‘‘objective psyche’’, another realm in and on itself, where we can namely communicate with other real entities (like plants)
    • which gives a framework for my eternal anger against Harry-Potter-kind-of-fantasy : I think I was always more enthralled by the imaginal where, after all, the real magick happens, and the fact that people would stick with the boring imaginary that only leads to delusion seems almost blasphemous to me
    • which leads me to think to the podcast episode '’Near Enemies of Magick’’ of Occult Experiments in the Home of Duncan Barford, who says that ‘‘Magick is to experience truth’’ (def. by Allan Chapman) and that we can sometimes disguise magick into art to ‘‘hide it in plain sight’’ but people can also use art for deception, in other words, use art to simulate magick but only brings us to illusions, in other words, further from the truth
    • and then to think about the short story ‘‘The Paradoxical Man’’ by Bernardo Esquinga in The Secret Life of Insects with his Lovecraftian atmosphere, where we are following a man that might be a façade for a story who ‘‘created a writer into being’’ to be told
    • but also the words of Benjamin Labatut: ‘Writing should give you access to the world, but it should also darken it for you so it becomes mysterious again.’’ His whole interviews with the Louisana Channel are just pure gold (1)(2).
    • and let’s add the whole concept of Hyperstition, which I have discussed in my last digital garden entry.

Unrelated to this reading, but belonging in the same garden patch:

  • The book The Tachekry T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer, encyclopedic fabulation to celebrate the weird. Makes me want to linger for a longer time in the realm of ‘‘Fictional non-fiction’’
  • The podcast Anomalie, which presents itself like some kind of DnD campaign but for mindfulness. Basically, it’s a serie of guided meditations taking place in the world of Anomalie. I love it because it feels like how doing magick should feel, truly. I can’t help but be transported by the experience everytime. But here I really wonder if we are in a scenario of ‘‘magick hidden in plain sight through art’’ or ‘‘art creating illusions’’ because I have no information about the creators of the project… I feel like it’s more likely to be the second option, but I’ll be appreciative of it all in the meantime and I’ll ponder about the potential of this type of guided meditation for magickal use.

And that’s it for my chaos gardening today!