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As a Darkness...

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  • As a Darkness...

    I'm pulling these into their own thread so they don't get buried. I think there will be a lot more to say when the book(s) are released.

    ***SPOLIER ALERT: this is all speculation because the book hasn't come out yet, but if you are satisfied thinking it is about a girl finding a cat, don't read any further.***

    So, I set out to find themes among the black boxes and star photos, and got distracted by MZD's "as a darkness" tweets. Go figure. Anyway, I pulled them apart and potentially found more about the plot of The . I found heavy themes among his quotes about heaven/space (humans exploring space as a means to find heaven or a way to escape inevitable death?), looking at Earth from a great distance, existentialism and faith, madness, good and evil, death and reincarnation. These seem to fit pretty well with the astrological photos and black boxes, so I did my job after all. :)

    Tweets are in chronological order, from earliest to latest. Please add/edit as you see fit.

    091511: Of all the days to read...coincidence is a spooky motherfucker. Outside in the distance...
    ..."a wildcat did growl" (All Along the Watchtower, Bob Dylan), an existential piece about a joker and a thief making different meanings out of the ambiguous near future (and reincarnation?): one fears impending doom and one embraces cyclical nature of life--both archetypes lie outside of conventional psychological safety.

    121112: As a darkening nears, perhaps a little perspective . . . link to "The Broken Kilometer" (Walter De Maria): an art installation focused on space/density 45'x125', 500 rods @ rows of 5x100, spaces between rods increase by 5mm: 80mm->570mm, companion to "Vertical Earth Kilometer", a single rod of the same size, stuck vertically into the earth.
    cramming large amounts of stuff into a tiny space? earth/art? Possibly referencing MZD's frustration about needing to cram a ton of pages into a small package. See future earth/art posts for more detail.

    121312: As a darkness nears: ego is the sense of self not the self; forfeiting the ego does not result in a loss of identity.
    Ref: Psychology-5 fears--Ego death=permanent insanity (childhood development specialists speak about children learning to recognize selves outside of ego/dissociative identity disorder). -as-ego/piece of self?

    122012: "As a darkness nears: humanity still veers towards credibility."
    ethos=appeal to credibility Vs. logos=logic or pathos=emotion. May be a statement about MZD's use of ethos as a literary device, or how we generally form our belief systems/faith.

    122112: As a darkness nears: a compassionate self does not arise out of agreement but by putting into practice a tolerance of personal differences.
    Paraphrasing the Dalai Lama: Compassion needs tolerance...In order to practice tolerance, we need other sentient beings...we need enemies. "Think of others as part of your own times of danger, protect all parts of your body." These allusions to others/enemies as part of yourself have obvious ties to s/ego. It also addresses the need to look to living beings vs. dieties in forming empathy/compassion. (Our tiger is a an evil diety with no compassion because he is alone in space? Gentleman's bet? Anybody?)

    122212: As a darkness nears: don't seek to read what you've already read which in the name of something else you keep reading over and over again.
    This reminded me of an Einstein quote: "you can't solve problems using same thinking that created them" (or something like that), or conversely, "madness is doing same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" (also Einstein). The quote seems to follow the logic: don't go back to the same resource to solve a different problem. This may be a criticism of religious zealots constantly trying to re-interpret holy books to fit their needs, or of us constantly re-hashing HoL (HA!). It was also at this point that I realized MZD leaves out some pretty necessary commas in a few tweets. Hmmmm...

    122312: As a darkness nears: many of us in an orchard will marvel at a blue apple but who among us will eat?
    The first globe was named "eradapfel", aka "earth apple", literally a blue apple. I also found this little gem, which may find relevance later:

    "Those with the mystery of Rennes le Chateau are sure to be aware of the term Blue Apples. A parchment, containing a coded message, was supposedly found within the church in the late 1800’s. The following is the mysterious decipherment which includes the words blue apples; “Shepherdess no temptation that poussin and teniers hold the key pax 681 by the cross and this horse of god I complete this guardian demon at midday blue apples.”
    The meaning for Blue Apples is often linked to a light phenomenon which occurs every year on January 17th at noon. Light shining through a stained glass window displays blue orbs (considered blue apples), on a wall inside the church."

    Within the context of other tweets/astrological references, I believe this one may refer to observing the Earth from space/heaven and making a different choice. (Our tiger buddy is coming to Earth as a to learn compassion and take a bite out of life. But then he dies. And each time he dies, he makes a different choice. Seriously. I've got $20 on it, guys.)

    122412: "As a darkness gathers: art in the world reveals the art that is the world."
    A summarizing quote to pull together all of the places referenced in coordinates as architecturally/artistically important. Earth contains art and is, itself, art.

    2122512: Wishing you worlds of possibility beyond even moon and stars...{subtext} "Enough shown. Enough said. "
    The 2012 xmas card front/interior. A hint at worlds beyond those we know of.

    122712: "Except this stanza does not remain entirely empty." #ofleaves
    A random HoL tweet amid tweets. Significant? Naw...

    122812: As a darkness falls: out of (y)our fear she fashions a true prophecy.
    Refers again to 5 fears/ego death. A riff on "self-fulfilling prophecies". Similar to "We carve an idol out of our fear and call it God.", from Bergman's The 7th Seal, an existentialist film about searching for meaning of life/God. The answer is never given. Another pertinent quote from the film: "One day you stand at the edge of life and face darkness". This reinforces the theme from 'All Along the Watchtower': life and death are cyclical/there is no way of knowing what's on the other side. Whether you react with fear or acceptance, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Y)our implies multiple beings within one body or a shared fear among all beings (compassion?).

    123112: As a darkness falls: "VEM is inevitable."
    Possibly a reference to VENUS-EARTH-MARS(MVEMJSUNP), because the sun will eventually swallow Mercury? VEM is also an abbreviation for Visual Electronic Media, so maybe MZD was just pissed that he had to fit 27 volumes into our Kindles. Also, another year passes.

    123112: [dark hallway with lit doorway at end re: HoL] As a darkness falls: in the end you will have all the answers and still mystery will be preserved...
    MZD is obviously ribbing us a little, but this may also imply that the structure of The may be cyclical/provide no concrete answers or ending. It also reinforces the theme that death supposedly gives us the meaning of life, but still remains a mystery to the living.

    010313 {no post}: Schenjislist mentions "Perihelion", the point in the year when the Earth is closest to the Sun, taking place close to Jan03. He adds:
    "Curator's notes: a coincidence, 03JanXX is National Suicide Day in Toni Morrison's Sula. She was smart enough to choose this deliberately with Perihelion in mind. Unknown relevance."

    Taking all of the other tweets into consideration, suicide and death are pretty clearly linked, and if Mercury being swallowed by the sun has relevance, maybe the Earth coming too close to the sun on suicide day has merit.

  • #2
    Po! This is amazing. Thanks for putting so much time and thought into this and sharing. I have to admit, I haven't had either (or the energy).
    In regards to VEM Also,


    • #3
      Yes. Also that. :) Thank you!


      • #4
        Very nice work!


        • #5
          92214: Tonight: two rules and one challenge. Here & Later: maps of darkness past to voice the stars . . .
          Methinks this relates to the call for cat photos (there were only two rules in his "challenge" to us) as well as future star map photos ("here" referring to the places he's been posting, "later" announcing the upcoming posts). "Darkness past" could either refer to star maps of what were formerly black boxes, indicate new clues to something he's been keeping us in the dark about, or about mapping places in the universe that used to be dark, but now hold stars. Since we now have a clue that TF alludes to a TV series, "to voice the stars" could also imply that he is finding characterization for his TV stars, perhaps among the literal stars.


          • #6
            He also mentioned the two rules and one challenge back on 9/15/2013.


            • #7
              Well shit.