We are sitting in the best restaurant in Merlin’s home town.
It stretches over two floors and looks over the main square. We are the only ones in there.
On the advice of the understandably over-attentive waitress, we order a pinot noir… a Romanian pinot noir.
(Best restaurant in the town, you say?)
My reservations aren’t really to do with the location -I already like Hungarian wine and besides, the Romans managed to grow vines in Northumberland.
It’s that the Romanian was the second-cheapest wine on the menu, which invariably is the one with the highest margin because customers order it the most.
The wine arrives. It’s called Paparuda.
On the drive into town the day before, after a visit to Glastonbury, I had been attempting to explain my drought entangling story to my partner. Then, after realising the wine is good, I read the bottle.
The Paparuda is an ancient Romanian rain ritual performed either in the Spring or in times of severe drought. Wearing a grass of knitted vines, a dancing girl is accompanied through the village by singing, shouting locals intent on securing fertility for the season ahead.
You always know a sentence is going to be amazing when it includes “according to wikipedia”, but according to wikipedia, the Paparuda derives from the name of a Thracian deity.
In the comments on the previous post, there is some discussion about whether there is any predictive utility to the conflation of symbols around Marble Arch. But the same discussion could be posed here. To which my response would be:
What is the predictive utility of a footprint?
All we can tell from a footprint is that something left its mark here. Not where it was going or why. If you’re a
tracker wizard, you may be able to get a bead on the species. Something and definitely not nothing left its mark.
You are, of course, welcome to go round in circles trying to unpack the significance or ‘meaning’ of your own syncs, but as far as I am concerned, it’s a fool’s errand. (It may literally be THE Fool’s errand, in a tarot sense.) Falling down this rabbit hole, you will reach opinions of what your invisible friends ‘like’ and how they ‘sound’. You may end up with your own neat little 777.
But we live in a world where the invisible manifests in new and unpredictable ways. Apollo is in your comic books. Egyptian Gods pilot the Enterprise. Thracian harvest goddesses appear on tables in Wales. Fuck knows what organised a statue of a mass murderer on land soaked in centuries of criminal ghosts. Newer manifestations present considerable challenges if one wishes to work backwards through them toward contact, to be sure. But it’s also not the point. It’s misreading the footprint. If you use a cell phone, why not your gods? Would we really prefer they stand in the corner holding that bushel of wheat?
The predictive utility of the footprint lies in the irrevocable realisation that there are other beings playing the MMORPG at the same time as us… and for very different reasons and in very different ways. It relativises (some might say “shatters”) your belief in what’s really going on. I’m reminded of this quote from the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas:
Jesus said, “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.”
It is a magnificently concise depiction of the… shall we say… “spiritual nausea” that precedes gnosis.
But it also describes a ‘best case’ journey of the weird:
- We notice something isn’t quite right with what we’re told about reality. It jars with our experience.
- We investigate… or at least notice these things.
- We pile up these ‘things’ until they collapse first the materialist world we are sold by people and things who definitely do not have our best interest at heart.
- Then secondly, the ‘nicey nicey’ spiritual one we replace it with, where everything is joy and you can just wish for things.
- Then we get to that ‘astonished’ bit. The terrible revelation. The irrevocable dissociation between you and your meatsuit.
- After that, you can just play in the mud with your newfound superpower or carry with your spiritual exploration because it all means nothing. (Recall that Crowley said “the Buddha should have known better.”)
This would be what the Marquis de Sade meant when he told King Mob, “there is only ever one revolution”.
So that’s the utility of the footprint, slapped down bare and wet in the soaking Romanian soil. It’s not predictive.
It’s something much better.