Tag Archives: memory

The Incrementalists

The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White is a new novel which may be of interest [HT Boing Boing].

Steven Brust Skyler White The Incrementalists

“The Incrementalists—a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories.

Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste—and argued with her—for most of the last four hundred years. But now Celeste, recently dead, embittered, and very unstable, has changed the rules—not incrementally, and not for the better. Now the heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.”

SHADOW

SHADOW: Community of Dreamers [also] is a crowdfunding effort to create “a mobile application that helps you remember and record your dreams.” I saw news of this around and about, but when I noticed that one adviser on the project is Anne Hill, whom I know personally from attending a few of her workshops, that was even more reason for me to find this project of interest.

“Some of humanity’s most incredible scientific discoveries, enduring cultural touchstones and profound philosophical revelations began in dreams. Yet, we forget most of what we experience while asleep within five minutes of waking up. That’s a huge amount of data we forget each day. What would happen if we remembered? We’re here to find out.” [via]

“At its heart, SHADOW is still an alarm clock—just one with beautiful, advanced features. You tell SHADOW what time you want to wake up, and arm the alarm when you go to bed. SHADOW uses a series of escalating alarms to wake you up. The gradual increase in volume helps you better remember your dreams by taking you through your hypnopompic state (the transition from asleep to awake) much slower than a standard alarm clock.

Once you’re awake, SHADOW immediately prompts you to record your dreams via voice, text or question. Speak directly into the app to record your dream, and SHADOW will transcribe it, or type the content directly into the blank text box. If you’re really struggling to remember what you dreamed, you can opt to answer a series of 5-10 questions designed to jog your memory. The whole process takes less than five minutes.

Once the data is recorded in the app, you decide how far and wide to share it. SHADOW is inherently social, but dreaming is intensely private. At every step in the process, you choose who you share your dream content with. Keep dreams to yourself or push them to the cloud, where your personal data is stripped and the content helps provide dream context to users all over the world.

The longer you use the app, the more rewarding the experience. SHADOW visualizes your sleep and dream patterns, and identifies common themes. Using dream content of other users, SHADOW turns these symbols and experiences into insights. And at the same time you’re learning about yourself, we’re working behind-the-scenes to organize all this data into the largest database of human dream knowledge in the world.” [via]

Lilith

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Lilith by George MacDonald:

George MacDonald's Lilith

 

This book has been aptly described by Aleister Crowley as “A good introduction to the Astral.” It is insulted by comparison to the didactic allegories of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books, although they were strongly inspired by MacDonald’s work. Lilith is instead an imaginative portrayal of adult mystical realization, as adumbrated through the distortions of reason, desire, and memory that befall spiritual seekers in the mundus imaginalis. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: The Strife of Love in a Dream by Francesco Colonna, translated by another fellow Joscelyn Godwin [also] from Thames & Hudson:

Francesco Colonna and Joscelyn Godwin's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili from Thames & Hudson

 

For half a millenium, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili has been one of the great literary enigmas of the Italian Renaissance. This book, the title of which is translated as “The Strife of Love in a Dream,” was written by the Dominican monk Francesco Colonna in the late 15th century. It consists of the amatory adventures of one Poliphilo, who dreams of a search for his love Polia among spectacles of ancient buildings, sculptures and gardens frequented by the gods of pagan antiquity.

Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia does in fact constitute a “missing link” between two critical antecedents of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema: Saint Augustine and Francois Rabelais. Augustine, who wrote “Love, and do what thou wilt,” proposed that the spiritual trinity within the human soul was composed of memory, understanding, and will. In the Hypnerotomachia, Poliphilo represents memory, and he is given two guides: Logistica (understanding) and Thelemia (will). Eventually, when forced to choose between their counsel, he follows Thelemia in deciding upon the path of erotic fulfillment over the options of worldly glory and ascetic contemplation. Florence Weinberg has suggested that Rabelais, who certainly read Colonna and explicitly acknowledged him, was inspired by Colonna’s Thelemia in assigning the name Theleme to his utopian abbey.

The Hypnerotomachia was written in a curious and largely impenatrable “pedantesca,” supplementing the Tuscan vernacular with many Greek and Latin neologisms. One partial translation into English by “R.D.” was published during the Renaissance, when it was also translated into French. The book aroused the most interest in French readers of the 16th and 17th centuries, who usually understood it as an alchemical allegory. Anglophone scholars tended to concentrate attention on the innovative woodcut illustrations, rather than the text. Since 1999 Joscelyn Godwin’s complete and lucid English translation (now available in a more economical second edition) has made it available to readers in a new and powerful way. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Egyptian Magic in Egyptian Magic by Florence Farr.

“So increasing himself to an immeasurable greatness he leapt beyond all bodies, and transcending time became eternity. He became higher than all height, lower than all depth. He knew himself part of the great chain of Creation at once unbegotten, young, old, dead. He felt within him self latent, unfolding faculties, and retained the memory of experiences gained in time long past and dead.” [via]

Synthesis in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“For a moment cease the winds of God upon the reverent head;
I lose the life of the mountain, and my soul is with the dead;
Yet am I not unaware of the splendour of the height,
Yet am I lapped in the glory of the Sun of Life and Light:—
Even so my heart looks out from the harbour of God’s breast,
Out from the shining stars where it entered into rest—
Once more it seeks in memory for reverence, not regret,
And it loves you still, my sisters! as God shall not forget.” [via]