Monthly Archives: January 2011

Quantum Mythology: Our Own Unified Theory of Everything

My pseudo-obsession with the possibilities implied by the intersections of the edgier attempts to unify quantum and classical physics (M-Theory, String Theory, Goswami’s Monistic Idealism, etc.) and mystic and transcendent experiences across cultures seems to be bleeding in to and informing most of my relationships and artistic endeavors right now. Though I’ve been furiously curious about quantum mechanics since swiping a copy of Alice in Quantum Land while volunteering at my theatre department’s book sale six years ago, I really didn’t begin to fully process the implication of things like the dual wave-particle nature of sub-atomic particles, our inability to measure both their momentum and location at any given time, and the fact that they only collapse in to identifiable particles upon being observed by a conscious observer, until I took a job as a copy editor for Physical Review D: Particles, Fields, Gravitation, and Cosmology a couple of years ago. I didn’t keep the job for too long, primarily due to my physical need to wiki each word with which I was unfamiliar; however, it was still a formative experience for me. I still go to bed each night trying to dissolve back into my quantum nature, wondering if when my mind turns off/I stop looking, if I can become waves too–if that’s what dreams really are.

The past several non-fiction books that I’ve read (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, Dreamtime: Concerning the Boundaries between Wilderness and Civilization by Hans Peter Deurr , The Self-Aware Universe by Amit Goswami, Spirit and Reason by Vine Deloria Jr., and soon to be The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda) all seem to be building toward some sort of unifying theory of the universe for me (myths?). I often damn myself for failing to acquire even a basic understanding of math, let alone that which would be required to construct (or even comprehend) an actual physics/equation-based unifying theory of the universe; however, whether mathematicians/physicists agree or not, I truly believe that each culture and in these days of separation/disconnect/destruction each individual, really, has to discover that unifying theory for themselves, if they’re going to really, truly, without-doubt, because-they-have-to, believe it. Quantum Physics can give our hard-science-based, skeptical society hope for greater vision and power. Indigenous people’s, young children, and mystics have always had the ability to view the universe as unstable, multi-layered, and open to possibility; however, for most of us, it’s going to take these billions of dollars of particle-collider experimentation and indecipherable equations to allow ourselves to get beyond material realism. So be it. I’ll dive head first in. Since I was five years old (riding horses with my grandfather through once-strip mined woods, hoping to come upon a lost tribe that would take me in), I’ve tried grasping on to my one-eighth indigenous heritage and laying claim to the spiritual connection/ authenticity that that might offer me. However, for some time now, I’ve realized the shame and forgery in such cultural appropriation. We need to find our own path, on our land, in our own language, with our own realities. Here’s our opportunity.

I unexpectedly had the opportunity to meet up with something of a mysterious, see-once-a-year-for-a- few hours, spiritual sister in the search for sacred spaces in modern performance who was in town to take part in a twenty-four hour workshop/ritual with a small community theatre group. On Sunday night she saw me read my poetry in the guise of a disillusioned German cowgirl to strangers one-on-one in a speakeasy. In the morning we visited the MoMA and discussed transcendence, iconography, and revolution in Modern vs. Post-Modern art. It came back to quantum physics. I cried. She said “ I love you.” She left. I got a refill on my coffee and started writing this. Halfway through typing it out at here at Ganas I went down to the main dining room to help bring in the food from the weekly shopping trip and eat dinner. As I was getting up to leave and come back to my room, my housemate, Johnathan, that I was discussing Daniel Quinn and Jared Diamond with just last night, told me excitedly that there was a segment on NPR about quantum mechanics. He’s going to start researching it.

I have real hope. This new language, this new vision for our consensual reality can begin to infiltrate popular culture, art, and vision. The possibilities for an expanded collective unconscious are real–Just what all of my heroes always wanted and just in time.

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My character for The Poetry Brothel

In my last post I revealed that after a perhaps creepy fixation on the implications of the existence of the Poetry Brothel and its many cross-overs with my own fuzzy life/performance/art endeavors, I have joined forces with the Poetry Society Of New York and become a “Poetry Whore” myself. Below is my first attempt at creating an appropriate alter ego for myself.

Calamity June Irokesenschnitt

Calamity June was raised in Pirmasens in the Black Forest of Germany
where she was fed a healthy mixture of folk and fairy tales from her
wanderlust-filled father, devout Catholicism from her mother, and
classical myth and epics from her dear aunt. This mixture brewed
strong day by day in the deep forests where she passed most of her
free time, until the new stories bubbled over into a caustic brew,
ripening her spirit and flesh for adventures too large for the small
town she was raised in. She joined a traveling show as a chanteuse and
dancer and was soon appalling the bourgeois and enamoring the literati
of Munich and Berlin. But June soon came to find urban life in the
literary cabarets too stifling and, being enchanted by the dime store
novel legends of the Wild West, decided to leave Europe behind to live
lawlessly on open range and sing for her supper to heroic cowboys,
cattle rustlers, gunslingers, bank-robbers. Her dreams were crushed
when she realized that her heroes were all dead or run-off to
stranger, hostile climates and that the West had long been tamed by
big law and barbed wire. She then realized that she may never find the
fantastic adventures and sublime experience that her spirit so needed
in the world-as-it-is. So she decided to move east to New York City
and make them herself on bright stages and in dark books. The Madame
found her acting out scenes from Billy the Kid outside the Algonquin
Hotel one rainy afternoon and took her in. She’s made her home in the
Poetry Brothel ever since, writing poems filled with new extravagant
myth, surreal images, prophetic voice, and all of the lawless energy
of the Wild West.

Tomorrow night will be the debut of Miss Calamity June Irokesenschnitt (means “mohawk” in German). So, come and check out The Poetry Brothel: Dead Poets at The Back Room in the Lower East Side. The flier below will get you in for a mere five dollars!

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On Theatre and Chickens in NYC

It’s taken me a little while to come to terms with the fact, but I am presently living (indefinitely) in New York City. Well,  in an intentional community (yes, it’s kind of a nice way of saying commune–more on this later) in St. George on Staten Island. I couldn’t tell you why exactly it’s taken me so long to make this move in my life internet public; however, it I’m sure it was partly inspired by fear of not being able to handle life so far from family and home and  moving back to Pittsburgh or Nanty Glo with my toy clip-on monkey tail (left over from the TypewriterGirls Gone Furry cabaret) between my legs–partly inspired by the fact that I’ve spent almost fifty percent of my time back in PA.  But, I’m here now. And for the foreseeable future I will remain here. Now, a few interesting developments to note:

The Ganas Community:

The best (and oddest) part of moving, by far, has been my first shot at living in an intentional community.  I was seriously considering moving in to the sustainable community Twin Oaks back when I was twenty, but didn’t make it out of Pennsylvania. It was a pleasant surprise to kind of fall in to Ganas, while searching for arts collectives in NYC.  I’m pretty sure that had I moved anywhere else I would have been tempted to run off to the woods or out to my grandparents farm, as I’ve been threatening to do for over a year now. There’s been an overwhelming sadness occasionally exploding out of me in crying spells due to my inability to deal with the superficial, enclosed, and artificial nature of modern urban life and my inability to change it. Ganas has provided me a much healthier environment than the rest of NYC has to offer (gardens, chickens, trees), a more natural system for human interaction, and a well-oiled emotional support system for those who wish to utilize it.

Creative Endeavors

I’ve been attempting to find collaborators and facilitators of  some theatrical and performance-art projects that I’ve been hoping to get off the ground, as well as to find performers and venues for the TypewriterGirls. I’ve had some success so far: two shows coming up in February for the TypewriterGirls (February 12th at the ETG Cafe–a business owned by the Ganas Community; and February 25th at the Cornelia St. Cafe) where we will feature old friends Three Rooms Press Editors Kat Georges and Peter Carlaftes and the phenomenal Chinese poet Huang Xiang. Kat and Peter will also be featuring The TypewriterGirls at the Dada Poetry Salon on March 18th. As far as creative collaboration goes, I’ll be assisting  The Poetry Brothel with an event themed around the Cabaret Voltaire and have as of yesterday been officially dubbed a “poetry whore” (After first learning of The Poetry Brothel a couple years ago, I remember ruminating on this concept in The TypewriterGirl’s myspace blog…oh, myspace ).

Well, this post is already ridiculously long, therefore, I will away for now. In short, I’m pleased, because in a day I can go out and do New Yorkish things like museums, crazy flying yoga, brothels, and fabulous post-apocalyptic puppet plays and then come home to my lovely little community on a hill and feed the chickens in the morning.

As for this site, I originally intended for this to be a site to assist in my quest for paying work (communications, editing, public relations, political organizing, acting, etc); however, as you can see, it is now serving a very different purpose. C’est la vie.

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“The Quantum Activist”

I just found out that Amit Goswami (author of The Self Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World) made a documentary. While I have little faith that the material in this documentary will be as convincing and passionate as they are in his books, I’m truly grateful for the expanded audience that Goswami and his theories of Idealism will receive.
The Quantum Activist
Everyone interested in the God/Science debate would do well to watch this, and do better to read The Self Aware Universe. His theories are extremely well-supported, to the point of occasional frustration as I have to read most of the experiment descriptions two or three times in order to fully comprehend what’s being proven.

I also suggest this book for the many creative people I know right now who are struggling to make sense of the splendors that quantum physics seems to offer us and damning themselves for opting out of advanced math courses. He covers a lot of the basic ground and while patience is required for some of it, he balances everything out with parables and interesting allegories.

In short, the book is poetic, important, and potentially life-changing for many. The documentary will hopefully bring Goswami’s philosophy of Monistic Idealism in to the public consciousness and therefore give it more chance of being embraced by mainstream physics.

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