On Introspection (as Reality)

“The problem with introspection is that it has no end.”
– Phillip K. Dick.

It is a very simple matter indeed to become transfixed or entranced by the cumulative complexities of our human world. The rolling freeways, arcing vapour trails and complicated, buzzing and ticking rhythmic mechanisms of the cities we inhabit form a close and myopic horizon of suffocating familiarity like some symbolic tsunami of neon street signs, subways or stopwatches – a cultural coccoon and semiotic encapsulation within which all that we can possibly see is really only ever ourselves; even when we might honestly or authentically identify that of which we are not and which is not of us, we still (must) find some way to sanitise or sterilise its novelty in concept or reference to that which we already know. The paradox of forever seeking novelty while also always seeking to tame it as structured, accessible and notionally controllable knowledge follows us from forest flowers and wheat sheaths, through ordered taxonomies to colonialism and militaristic posturing, knowledge and education to morse code as information and optics to distant galaxies. As though in naming trees, tigers and (then) distant stars our own aspirations to exceptionalism and grandeur could ever be more than some terrified pair of eyes emerging from the tangled canopy of some primeval forest and encountering the night sky for the first time, seeking to tame by narrative identification our naked horror at the beauty of those sparkling infinities above us.

Nanos gigantum humeris insidentes – the hypnotic narcissism of the reflected, collective, collaborative and tribal Other. A cognitive extension as technology and vice versa; always looking inwards and wilfully, mischievously and (eventually) desperately mistaking it for, and projecting it as, externality and objective reality. Introspection is endless and is for all this – endlessly problematic.

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