The Medium is the Message
These words are aren't mine. The first time I met them was only about 6 years ago, in 1999 or thereabouts. I turned the television on and they were the first image on the screen appearing like the silent movie screen with white words on a black background. This was the first time I had seen that technique on television; later it became fashionable. I was interested enough to sit down on the end of my bed, curious to see what they meant. The show was Murder, She Wrote, an Agatha Christie mystery. The story was about a murdered psychic, a 'medium'. I watched the story, wondering where the words "The Medium is the Message" fit in to the plot. The story unfolded but other than the vague connection between a psychic and a 'medium' the words seemed incongruous. I wondered why I was concerned about the relevance of the words to the plot, that's not typical. .
After the show the words lingered in my mind. Very much mental activity took place, my mind seemed stuck on "The Medium is the Message" and for some reason didn't want to give up those words.
"The Medium is the Message" bothered me for a day or so, the words lingering in my thought but gradually their original context vanished. They were redirected so to speak into another context, towards an almost 15 years long 'string of events' that I'd been trying to describe which did not seem adequately explained by the word 'meaningful coincidence',. or 'synchronicity' or 'ideas of reference/thought broadcasting/magical thinking' which are some of the psychiatric terms for that kind of 'event'. I'd had so many experiences by then that I would not be able to explain briefly why these words began to link up with the idea that a pattern that was very old was moving through Time. It was a real world pattern, experienced by individuals but since it was old, very old, and my experiences were such that the pattern took on an unexpected attribute of being like a signal, moving steadily through Time. But it also carried information that was somehow linked to a persons unique memory and particular way of understanding anything. Because this pattern was well known, it was even ancient although I had not known about it myself until my personal life turned very uncomfortable and very different, that attribute of being a signal, was difficult to discern. Overall there was an attribute of its' being a kind of voice that has it's own way to create understanding.
Because this pattern was so old, its very extension through time, even though it changed with the passage of Time, marked it as a carrier, a 'medium' of conveying the message that I'd received in 1984, in huge package of information about my life as it was then.
I don't believe I would have ever thought of these words myself, they 'came to me' in this form, beginning with words on a television screen then, drifting towards a different context. This had happened several times, each time was unexpected but I had become aware of this unusual 'reuse' or 'regeneration' in the 5 years between 1984 and 1989. "The Medium is the Message" as I later found out was originally used by Marshall Mac Luan.
Understanding this kind of mental purposefulness required years of experiences that were painfully confusing for me. This pattern was very old, it was like a 'signal' basically, even though it changed and altered at points, it was steadily moving through Time. I had begun to believe this pattern was a basic component in at least the masculine mind, and in my life it was basically acquired through an intimate 'bond', in a real world relationship Although it was a pattern, one I had begun to think of as the God Complex it was moving steadily, continuing to extend itself in Time, building new content and eradicating old content, but always moving steadily as a kind of 'signal'. It was this seemingly insignificant event, building on experiences of a life time that caused me to consider this 'signal-like' attribute.
Because the date 1984 had a unique meaning and was related to a book that was published in 1948, an unexpected significance to the subtitle of the book emerged: Big Brother Is Watching You. It's 2006 now and many people are aware that as the 'proles' in that book were constantly under observation everywhere, and were constantly assaulted with statistics, so are we. The sense of being 'observed' is one that is most difficult to describe because it's a only one phase on a continuum that begins with a different kind of perception. The sense of looking at my self, and what was in my mind as I had looked at what was outside of my body had been the first phase, but even that's difficult to describe. It was almost 9 years long with a two years long period at beginning and end that was a gradual 'phase in', and then 'phase out' into a different phase. It's like seeing within, all the material that happened in the 1984 'mindquake'; then seeing how what was within altered what was outside of the body, how everything sounded and looked different (at about the time leftright brain functioning began to be a popular topic). The mechanism of 'projection' is related to 'detection' and decisions of what is 'me/not me', which may result in 'rejection' of self material and then in some circumstance that I don't believe have been recognized, it results in ejection of that self material to another individual. The condition has a name, 'folie aux duex', or participation mystique.
This particular kind of event in which words that I needed came from something I heard had to happen many, many times before I could accept it as a 'description that I needed', that was provided just when I could understand it. The timing was precise. Multitudes of 'strings' of experience related to many ideas that I had not known about most of my life were drawn together in my 'understanding', in a visible process, one that can be described but not easily. The words I heard were 'redirected' into a personal context and the context was my very personal memory reservoir.
I recognized that words I needed but had not been able to think of myself were coming to me in this 'redirection'. Words that I heard or read somewhere, or words that occurred into my mind as a result of something in front of me, as I thought about it, lingered afterwards in my mind, until I realized they were being 'held' in front of me, for a reason. A mechanism of mind that operates like a 'switch', creates 'self reference', for a period of time that I believe is about 7 to 9 years, and then it alters the direction from 'self reference' to 'other reference', seeming to be 'out there', rather than within the mind. (This may be evidenced in the story of Narcissus who could not recognize his own reflection, its symbolic in the real world, but there's a real world condition where 'man' cannot recognize his own inner content, it seems to be some one else. It may also be evidenced in the talking snake in Eden.) This is difficult to deal with, almost impossible to describe to someone that does in fact 'project' onto the outer world, some inner content. In fact real life experience with someone whose 'switch' from 'self reference' to 'other reference' over a period of about 27 to 30 + years caused me to understand how this 'inner effect' can be so nearly impossible to detect.
I believe the myth of Narcissus and Echo is really a 'storied' version of the psychological mechanisms of mind that I became aware of, only when I had experienced them myself, and had a fairly decent memory of the past so that points of change in perception could be recognized. "Mountains can become molehills." i.e. a worried mind can switch to one completely free of concern about anything, fairly rapidly. I suspect that if a person has not developed or maintained some kind of continuous memory of the past, this is always devastating for someone.
The first and only example of how this mechanism operates that I've found anywhere that's similar to how I experienced it is in Theodore Reik's book, Fragment of A Great Confession. An incident he described in the chapter titled, In Small Packages is perfect except his thought was about a bridge game's language and my thought was usually about a square dance term. The title of the chapter is in itself, an appropriate description of how these 'bits of information' are selected, in small packages, when he thought about a bridge game. There were points when words seemed to linger in his mind, hovering and developing what he called a 'double bottom', a secret meaning. These words actually did have a relationship to his real life, but he did not 'get the message' because he was a psychiatrist and he recognized this kind of 'association' as 'magical thinking'.
His relationship to his wife was literally being 'told' to him, said back to him, 'echoed' in these words that some component of his mind/brain 'selected' and held captive in his mind for some time. It happened in the same way The Medium is the Message. switched into "The Medium IS the Message." and the idea that a pattern can be a 'signal' emerged in my mind. I don't believe it's delusional thinking, nor is it 'magical thinking', it was very purposefully done, and I watched it, but did not myself cause it to happen.
The workings of my mind had become as visible to me by 1999, as any object outside of my body. It's a busy place with lots going on but the 'objects' are 'thought' of quite a variety as well as mechanisms that alter thought, memories that seemed to re-emerge for no reason I could see, just to give a few examples.
I don't dream very often so dreams haven't been as significant in my life as they have to other people.. By 1999 I had become familiar with a surprisingly purposeful busy-ness of my own mind, independent of my conscious will. I'm the observer to some thing that observed me, all of me from my first memory.
There have been several events in which I've experienced my mind seemed to 'redirect' the normal meanings of certain every day events into an other completely unrelated context. This had happened several times in such a distinct way I couldn't avoid noticing it. This 'switch' was always utterly surprising and unexpected when it happened, revealing something that I could not have noticed or thought about myself.
My mind had changed radically in the early 1980's, and new 'mental stuff' (different thoughts) had begun to seep into my life. My body felt different so this change had begun, unannounced at that point in Time almost 20 years before 1999. By the time the millennium approached, I had become aware of my attention having been diverted from the outer world and it's events to 'watching/listening' to what was going on in my 'head'. I had noticed a distinct interface between inner content and outer world events by then.
Without warning, I was looking into my mind/brain and it's contents in about the same way I 'looked at, listened to, and tried to find words to describe' the kinds of activity that was going on outside of my body. That was caused by a real 'switch'.
I was aware by 1999 that I was actually looking at two landscapes, one outside my body and one inside my head, which I had named the inscape. I had not read or heard that word anywhere when that name came to me, I thought it was my own discovery. Blush. I felt compelled to describe something that was so nearly invisible, that the only way to see it was to feel it, and my body felt 'up tight', literally. . This 'viewing' of what was in my head in the same way as I had always viewed, listened to and named what was outside of me was still new to me. My mind had been 'thoughtless' but that had changed radically. After I had lived 5+ decades with a 'thought' less mind now it was 'thought' filled, constantly.
A few events had caused me to notice there was a relationship between what was 'in my head' as a rather vaguely sensed 'thought content' to what was 'outside of my body'. I seemed to feel a kind of 'referencing' to some specific memories that stood out, marked by their unexplainable reoccurrence in my thought, for decades, before I even wondered to myself about them! I named them 'ghost riders along the backroads of my mind'. That definition came to mind automatically I'm sure, influenced by my father's favorite song: Ghost Riders In The Sky. There were objects that somehow attracted me for no reason I could see in the mid 1980's, one example is the moebius band. Jonas Salk's The Anatomy of Reality had a 180 degree moebius band in a form that I recognized on the jacket so I bought the book. The object was familiar but the topic of reality had begun to become important to me to I suppose I know that I struggled through the book and learned that everything requires an 'other thing', the world is binary at it's roots.
This was not typical for me but the image of the moebius band on anything caught my attention. It still does. I recognize the hidden fourth form of a 180 degree moebius band in the Chase Bank logo. It's 2011, April 15 today and the logo is prominent. The recycle logo is the third form, its prominent today; the figure 8 of course is the first form., it's always been prominent.
I'd made my first one when I was 9 years old when an impulse had caused me to discover it's hidden secret. The impulse was just a 'thought' a kind of instruction to do something, which without hesitation I did do.....twice. I made a simple moebius band with a 180 degree turn in it and wondered what the use of such a thing could be. Then the impulse, it was just a thought: : "Cut it around it's center length." and after I'd done that, it repeated: "Cut it around it's center length." I was surprised at that result!
That impulse creates some activity that teaches me some thing about my self on this planet.