Lucifer, that bright Son of the Morning, teaches in Crowley’s poem that ‘the key to joy is disobedience’. What does this mean? In context of The Spheres of Chaos we worked with the Luciferian spirit (this time using bodywork and trance dance, rooting us in the other three spheres) to explore the Noosphere. The Noosphere is the realm of ideas, of complex language. It is the world where, quite literally, nothing is true and everything is permitted. We can create paradoxes and word plays that disobey the material strictures of the previous realms of the Geosphere, Biospheres and Anthropshere. All communications are lies, edits of reality, cut-ups, impossible visions. I can tell you that there is an object which is a black flame. A statement that makes sense in language and yet, when we really set to imagine what that means, is pretty tricky. What about if I tell you that there is an object which is totally red and also totally yellow? Again the words make sense but the object cannot be easily imagined. And, away from the realm of objects, things become even more unruly. In the beginning was the word which, especially in its written form, was a pharmakon.
Language, with its set of fairly simple rules, gives rise to unending complexity. Analogous to the way DNA operates we speak of memes, concepts that flow through the Noosphere. The Noosphere is the network, the web of communications that now span the entire globe. It is the messages, the truth and lies, the ever shifting perspective of cultures. The realm of ideas is limitless and, though our thoughts are undoubtedly grounded in our physicality as humans, our language, our ideas spawn new forms and allow us to understand ourselves in new ways. Algorithmic intelligence sifting our big data, has been achieved. Artificial intelligence may not be far behind. I wonder what will happen when our machines come alive, or when we have interfaced with them even more pervasively and deeply? When we are fully embedded in the flow of a global conversation?
In terms of our human ‘break’ from the Biosphere, it is not language itself that marks us apart but the complexity of the way in which we do it. More than this, writing (a skill that lay sleeping in human neurology for perhaps hundreds of thousands of years) popped up, in a crazy aeonic stylee, in a number of places on our planet within a few centuries of each other. Writing is the gift of Lucifer. Promethean, we have stolen the fire from heaven. The god-like ability to make worlds with our words.
Just like Lucifer (our fallen angel) the energy (for want of better word) of this sphere is a descending one. It has a stellar quality, perhaps connecting it to our astronomical sciences which inform that (apparently) universal language of mathematics. Numbers and calculation (the basis of Statecraft; to run a large culture counting and detailed record keeping is essential) are the probable origin of writing. Though we might like to claim that Thoth invented writing, it seems the first evidence for human literary production is not religious texts or poetry but rather shopping lists and tax returns.
Ideas floating around in the Noosphere include things like ‘the self’. This psychic structure is the narrative attached to our bodies but which emerges in large part from our interaction with others, we are this conversation conducted within and around us.