Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Forward Memory

The journal that I mentioned before in Going to Ceylon
is like a palimpsest in which by the magic of ultra-violet recovery some lost message is deciphered. There are hieroglyphics in it no doubt influenced by Bayley’s Lost Language of Symbolism
Lost Language
which was an influence as were the cones and gyres of Yeats. However meaning fades even as I look at it and my only hope is the cultivation of the godess Mnemosyne.

One of the forms of memory which adepts cultivate is forward memory a term I prefer to pre-cognition as it retains the fallibility which we accept with normal memory. There is a tincture of Lethe waters even with the simple past but the future is usually a full strength potion. In dreams there may be mitigation of that opacity and in that liminal state between waking and sleep, the hypnagogic, there can be a dart forward to the future before the shutters come down. Luckily we can only know that it was a future when it becomes a future but the oddness of the images and their disconnection from the events of the day give that uncanny flavour which the adept can discern. Like Macbeth we may be won with honest trifles and betrayed in matters of deepest consequence so I prefer to not dabble in divination by oneiromancy.

We Westerners slept on the closed in veranda of the cottages of the long-term residents of the ashram and like everybody else except mad dogs and Englishmen took a long siesta after our midday meal. Just before waking I had a strange dream in which I was listening to the boom, boom, boom of Big Ben and somebody talking about the rag trade in London which was removed from my daily life in South India geographically and noetically. Very strange.

Some months later hitch hiking in Iran I got a lift from a man in a large American limousine. He put on the radio to the BBC world service, boom, boom and then a news item on the rag trade just as I had earlier dreamed. An honest trifle but the matter of deepest consequence was whether I would ever get home being penniless and no money having arrived from my parents at New Delhi and Kabul. It seemed that I was to be kept to my promise to go home as a pilgrim relying only on God to sustain me. Before he dropped me off the driver pressed 500 reals on me which was just enough to get me from Erzurum to Istanbul by train. In December that part of Eastern Turkey is very cold and I would surely have perished on the road.

This was a sign to me that I was going home, that the interim had already happened and I would just have to surrender and complete it but it was like being toyed with being left to the very last moment to be rescued.

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