Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Lords - Notes On Vision And The New Creatures - James Douglas Morrison

Look where we worship

A room moves over a landscape, uprooting the mind's astonishing vision . A gray film melts off the eyes, and runs down the cheeks . Farewell

I have tried to introduce here Jim's earliest self published poetry collections. He wrote them mostly during his college years and they seem to translate such mysterious imaginative skills of a true observer and establishes his future journey towards the mystical life in store.
These early writings ensure the making of a highly mysterious and esoteric spiritual personality. The poems, anecdotes and aphorisms are essentially psychically enigmatic. They contain an idea of envisioning the part and the whole, the real and the unreal, the diversity of thoughts and images, myriad juxtapositions of emotions and senses along with a constant reference to the subtle stillness in the poet's mind, as it remains unaffected and untouched by his own words, seemingly unwritten them . The essential images used by the poet go far beyond the literal sense, beyond rational contemplation or any logical deduction. They, as Jim puts it, " opens the doors of many possibilities one can choose to enter which" , thereby making it a visual journey from frames to frames and moments to moments .
The instance of time here is lost, as he writes  -" there is no time , time is a straight plantation" , as the relativness of time is overtly exposed and referred to constantly in these images used by the poet as belonging to no specific locale in either geographical sense of space or time but yet existing as possibilities of superimposed states of awareness .
The idea of restoration and the collective memory of information resurfaces as the need for saving every instance in time as picture frames, as he writes, Imagery is born of loss, loss of the "friendly epanses." The silver halide acts as the consolation for the moments, lived and transcended, as they put together the journey as a whole . The film spool enacts and contains this transformative phase of not only transcending images but also a higher goal of the need for evolution and self perfection.

"Each film depends upon all others and drives
you on to others; Cinema was a novelty, a scientific toy, until a sufficient body of works had been amassed, enough to create an intermittent other
world, a powerful, infinite mythology to be dipped into at will." 

Jim being a student of Films, dedicated this early collection of poems from The Lords - Notes on Vision as his understanding of the workings and the hidden meaning of this particular medium- as he correctly said it was "A thesis on film aesthetics ". The medium of Cinema as an artform struck a cord of an unexplored new vastness, a medium to be understood not merely by its superficial appearance and projection but by its highly mystical representation of reality in celluloid which goes far beyond any screenings for an audience but instead plays by itself for the entertainment of none .

It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator
in order to be.The film runs on without any eyes.
The spectator cannot exist without it . It insures 
his existence,

It is the envisioning idea of "Camera , as an all-seeing god, satisfies our longing for omniscience" that shows delicately the presence of the observing eye beyond fame, appreciation or critique, the eye that only sees but does not judge , it is beyond this judgement and rationale where lies the world of the voyeur who enjoys as the interpretation of his thoughts are enacted out, as "The pupil opens to seize the object of vision" but beyond his capacity to participate in the act itself. The silent observer, the voyeur is left to see and hear but he tastes or touches nothing , This partial partaking is an act of observation without participation of the tactile emotive senses, it is more like a fleeting view of the hidden watcher who watches a mirage of moments enacted before him with nothing to hold in his memory.

"More or less, we're all afflicted with the the psychology of the voyeur. Not in a strictly clinical or criminal sense, but in our whole physical and emotional stance before the world. Whenever we seek to break this passivity, our actions are awkward, like an invalid who has forgotton how to walk."

The presence of this passivity highlights in its true essence the essencelessness of all acts and activities as they exist for and yet without themselves. Every act enacted ensures its reversal by interiorizing the outside or outward appearances.

"Urge to come to terms with the "Outside," by absorbing, interiorizing it ."

The differentiating lines between the real and the imaginary are blurred as the dramatics of the medium unfold and evolve.

"Cinema has evolved in two paths.
One is spectacle. Like the Phantasmagoria, its goal is the creation of a total substitute sensory world."

"Phantasmagoria, magic lantern shows, spectacles without substance. They achieved complete sensory experiences through noise, incense, lightning, water. There may be a time when we'll attend Weather Theaters to recall the sensation of rain."

Jim mystifies the origins of Cinema as a medium of art by unusually tracing its roots to the mythological, the religious and the magical as he writes-

"Cinema derives not from painting, literature, sculpture, theater, but from ancient poppular wizardry. It is the contemporary manifestation of an evolving history of shadows, a delight in pictures that move, a belief in magic. Its lineage is entwined from the earliest beginning with Priests and socery, a summoning of phantoms. With, at first, only slight aid of mirror and fire, men called secret visits from regions in the buried mind. In these seances, shades are spirits which ward off evil."

"The modern East creates the greatest body of films. Cinema is a new form of an ancient tradition-the shadow play. Even their theater is an imitation of it. Born in India or China, the shadow show was aligned with religious ritual, linked with celebrations which centered around the cremation of  the dead."

The Shadow play is a repeative reference to the virtual representation of the dualistic world . The shadows represent the states of simultaneous being and non- being, the states of reality and unreality, the states of existence and non -existence. It is this great mystery behind the shadows that entice our cuious minds to believe or unbelieve, it the play of opposites and the polarities of reason that keep us engaged to any medium of artistic expression. It is the sheer delight of the variations of experiences that keep evolving this world play.

"A mild possession, devoid of risk, at bottom sterile. With an image there is no attendant danger."

"The aim of the happening is to cure boredom, wash the eyes, make childlike reconnections with the stream of life. Its lowest , widest aim is for purgation of perception. The happening attempts to engage all the senses, the total organism, and achieve total response in the face of traditional arts which focus on narrower inlets of sensation."

The linearity of time ceases to function resulting in its primeval essence of timelessness.

"Films have an illusion of timelessness fostered by their regular , indomitable appearances."

The enclosure of time in a film frame highlights its power as a restorative medium capable of retribution and consolation, the deeds are  re-enacted as many times as one wants, Jim writes in one of his aphorisms in this collection that -" film confers a kind of spurious eternity "since it captures and captivates a moment in its entirety relevant to a memoir encapsulated in a spec of encoded archaeology. It remains a kind of infinity playing out infintely.

"Cinema is the most totalitarian of the arts.
Cinema is this transforming agent. The body exists for the sake of the eyes; it becomes a dry stalk to support these two soft insatiable jewels."

I hope the readers will like the new look and feel of the blog and I will continue to share as much of the natural surroundings I encounter with the best of nature. - MonaLisa Morrison

"Modern life is a journey by car. The Passengers change terribly in their reeking seats, or roam from car to car, subject to unceasing transformation. Inevitable progress is made toward the beginning (there is no difference in terminals), as we slice through cities, whose ripped backside present a moving pictures of windows , signs, streets , buildings. Sometimes other vessels, closed worlds, vacuums, travel along beside to move ahead or fall utterly behind."

"This is a model of our liquid resting world
dissolvingbone and melting marrow
opening pores as wide as windows."

"Dull lions prone on a watery beach.
the universe kneels at the swamp
to curiously eye its own raw
postures of decay 
in the mirror of human consciousness."

"Absent and peopled mirror, absorbent,
passive to whatever visits
and retains its interest.

Door of passage to the other side,
the soul frees itself in stride.

Turn mirrors to the wall
in the house of the new dead."

"Destroy roofs, walls, see in all the rooms at once.

From the air we trapped gods, with the gods'
omniscient gaze, but without their power to be
inside minds and cities as they fly above."

"June 30th. On the sun roof. He woke up suddenly.
At that instant a jet from the air base crawled
in silence overhead. On the beach, children try
to leap into its swift shadow."

"There are no glass houses. The shades are drawn and "real" life begins. He seeks them out with his myriad army of eyes -like the child's notion of a Deity who sees all." Everything ?"asks the child. "Yes, everything, " they answer, and the child is left to cope with this divine intrusion."

                                                                     -James Douglas Morrison

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