About, Place

Photo by author, Sedona Arizona, 2019

The Time of the Place is an attempt to reunite the human with the natural (authentic) time of the place. It is also the recovery of Time, as in the literal translation of Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, ‘In search of Lost Time’ or the way early mystics and scholastic philosophers imagined a hyper-dimensional realm of forms and substances where there was no time. 

It is the way it feels when we visit a fantastical or imaginary place through the various modes of aesthetic representation; painting, music, writing, acting and think we have been there before, ourselves, before ourselves, because it captures what is universal and constant in existence. 

Memory is key. It reopens the gates to childhood as a basis in that which does not change, capable of getting the most out of every experience, as if having it for the first time… As real now as it was then. A cathexis that holds the memory of a particular Place at a particular time so that we may visit it again and again, reinvigorating it as it reinvigorates us. 

Everyone has a Place just as everyone has a different, relative age, but unfortunately these differences can get lost, as the memories dissolve or otherwise disappear into a stagnant communal body (as opposed to that elysian, edenic stream) shared by all, but meaning nothing in particular to the individuals who now must make new memories to set themselves apart from the shared memories (and experiences) of the group.

It is this stream that that we are trying to get a hold of (cathexis), running continuously from the source; consciousness, through history into our present time. As we have said, it exists as much now as it did then. It is the mythology (noesis) which the stories that we tell ourselves (the noema), are suspended from.

Information can be retrieved from this stream, that some have called virtual or holographic, the quality of the information however depends on one’s environment and state of mind. The quality of the information being only as good as the receiver. We see this most clearly when comparing a human-altered thing to a natural one. A place in a metropolis to a place in the country. One has qualities that the other does not possess, or it could be said, one is objective, while the other is subjective.

There is a constant phenomenological dialogue going on between us and our environment. A communication that occurs through a process of projection and introjection (from David Bohm’s concept of an Implicate Order). Projection is where we see and receive projected information from the environment, introjection is where we internalize (comprehend this information) and send it back. We see this most clearly when observing something, but the same process can occur with our eyes shut. We receive a thought and re-introject it (project) it back onto the environment, which then produces an equal (and sometimes opposite) response, thus increasing our knowledge.

Photo by author at East Jesus, Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea, California, USA

We learn as much from our environment as we do from any other kind of knowledge or source, in fact, our environment may be the true, original source. As active participants in the phenomenology of perception, we must be aware of our influence on what we are observing when trying to achieve objective results.

The longer we can prevent ourselves from projecting our own pre-conceived notions on what we are seeing, the closer we will get to its true form. If we are not constantly objectifying this faculty we will end up with an idiosyncratic interpretation of our surroundings which, while interesting, will not yield useful information.

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