AlgoMantra, b. 2005

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
A Shaivic Mythology For The Internet
Shiva's army consists of ganas, the literal meaning of which is "categories". The head of the ganas is naturally {Gana+Ish =} Ganesh. Democracy is a binary processor which is translated as gana-rajya or the Rule of Categories. One interesting analysis notes:

Those who feared the awful ghosts and goblins were destined to remain outsiders. Only heroes could be near him in the cremation ground, heroes who had defied death and liberated themselves from passions and fear. These were the true devotees - those who had nothing to fear, who had mastered the onslaught of the multiple categories of threatening powers that were fatal to those who were less than heroes and could not control the frightening phantoms because they had not controlled themselves.

One possible structural pataphor for the internet as rhizome of connections would be Shiva's jata or dreadlocks. He throws one dreadlock on the ground in anger and splits into two, creating two super-entities of extreme destructive power - Virabhadra and Mahakali, male and female respectively. So when a strand of trinary logic algebra breaks, two destructive binaries are born.
Each gana can be sen as a taxonomic category or label, a name of a "thought-subroutine" in the entire phylum that is Shiva's universe. Some good ideas about this can also be found in Mahesh Senagala's essay Circuits, Death & Sacred Fiction: The City of Banaras.

Banaras is the oldest continually ingabited city in the world, and it is on the banks of the Ganga. Senagala makes an astute algomantric observation:

The city is defined by neither the fort walls nor the boundaries, but by the circuits of sacred circumambulation. Instead of a map, these circuits around the city and its countless temples form a mandala in the minds of the devoted pilgrims, as they follow the routes chanting and reciting the myths and stories of the places that they come across. In this way, the pilgrims meditate the city and establish a correspondence between the city of the mind and the city of the material world. Ultimately, what people carry with them is the city of the mind, not the material city.

There is a distinction between the "map reading" and the "myth reading" images of the city. The mandala of Banaras is a kinesthetic and mytho-poetic image that one forms by experiencing the city and traversing it ritually in space. You may find your way by means of a map, but with a mandala, you become the mandala. Unlike a map, a mandala is a constellation of myths, legends, imagery and sensory experiences. Through chants and processions, the city is constantly conserved, imagined, created and revised. In the process of traversing the city, one existentially transforms one's own self into the city which is thus projected as an image of one's self.

At this point we can start making a few theories as to what Shiva is and what is the relationship of the self to Shiva. Of course, a simplification will follow in some time, and that's our objective.

1. The Universe seen by the self is a Consciousness in flow, which is like a river. this consciousness does not belong to the Self.

2. The river of consciousness flows out of an eye of Trinary logic, an algebraic ring theory represented by the trigram across Shiva's forehead. It is firmly tied with the rhizome, the phylum of categories and abstract machines that are Shiva's dreadlocks.

3. Chaos and negative feedback are chief qualities of Shiva, who is the cybernetic seed (bija). Al-gebra is translated as bija-ganit (seed categorisation) in Vedic terminology.

4. Vibration or sound is the nature of this consciousness, both inner and outer sonic experiences are the same. Even the presence of the smallest atomic objects is registered by sonic vibrations. Resonances also play an important role.

It would probably help to make a diagram of these concepts at some point.

Conclusion: There is a clear connection between Shaivic mythology with algebraic theory and logic, which forms the basis for computation. It also forms the basis of language and communication, which are the precursors to the Internet. Our goal is to be able to show this through a performance of music and storytelling in an entirely new way.
2 Comments: Post a Comment
Blogger freeman said ..

in the same way the universe is just a flow of conciousness
a river / stream of data as perceived by the self
but separate from the self

the internet exibits these same qualities
the bits simply vibrate on a different frequency

if shiva sits as a witness to the cosmic flow of the universe
if he naturally sifts thru the ganges of flow and creates categories of info
and acts as creator and destroyer tranlating mental awareness
into physical action

then it seems that the same would happen with the digital reality


i want to communicate the divine nature of the internet
the way in which it reflects a communal concious reality
which the self is a part of, and separate from.
that it is in its own way a concious entity
in the same way as the mythic dieties.
is just a new entrant on the scene
or an incarnation of someone timeless.

12:05 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said ..

i want to communicate the divine nature of the internet

to communicate divinity, the artist
must become the shaman, the medium and the priest.

2:50 AM