Anyone who has lived through the internet’s transformation of reality will have noticed a proliferation of certainty. Every debate is loud with it, and wisdom, dismayed, must consider unassailable facts on both sides. Whereas investigation was previously predicated on ‘I don’t know’, it has apparently degenerated into a search for facts which support ‘I know’. This is quite amazing to somebody educated in facts, with the purpose of disclosing the extent of ignorance, who has seen the transformation of critical theory into the syllabus of primary schools, with the purpose of exposing the ambiguity of knowledge.
The notorious family conflicts which arise when children reach puberty disclose the ideological opposition of ‘I know’ to ‘I don’t know’, and two stages of personal development, the investigation of experience as existence and the investigation of existence as experience. Such conflict can take generations to resolve. In an Australian multicultural context, these two stages manifest themselves in the perennial dynamic of integration. Immigrants are dismayed by their perception of a demand for acculturation, and antagonists to plural monoculturalism can find difficulty in locating their pragmatism in recovery from the grief of their own displaced ancestors.
What differentiates quality journalism from populism is the avoidance of bias confirmation. Both base investigation on the Five W’s, who, where, when, what, and why, but whereas quality journalism demonstrates the ambiguity of the answers, populism confirms their simplicity. Once upon a time, my own investigation of current affairs was led by The Guardian and the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and it has taken time to accept, to grieve, that quality journalism can no longer be confidently sought there.
In similar terms, quality astrology differentiates itself from the populist variety in its focus on ambiguity and recognition of confirmation bias. It presents a tool for asking the Five W’s, but it assumes readers to be seeking more questions, not answers, and to be intensifying existence, not pacifying it. The answer to the question, ‘Who am I?’, is indeterminate, and that is exciting. If you must know who you are, it is my sad duty to inform you that you are nobody.
Where and when you were born cannot be identified, because the where has disappeared, like your parent culture and the climate and geographic coordinates of your birth location, into nowhere, and the when cannot be retrieved except in the historical antecedents of various different arbitrary measures of time based on their obviously impossible separation. The increments of one against another may be small– the measure of sky movement, sidereal time, increases against solar time by 33 seconds every 8 years–but no-when will they ever coincide again. Specifics are out of the question, my dear Watson.
Where is this place?
Cessnock is a real entity, proclaimed with defined boundaries in 1906, and is indexed on thousands of databases and maps. It welcomes the traveller with a real sign in the real ground beside the highway, and every property-owner knows they are in it because they pay council rates. That information may answer the questions who and what, but my question was, ‘where is it?’ Someone in Cessnock, perhaps you can tell me? Down the road from Newcastle, yes, but where is Newcastle, down the road from Cessnock? If I approached from the west, the bush of the Pokolbin Forest, following a road, or else Cessnock would repel me beyond an array of back fences, sooner or later a sign would tell me the road’s name, and someone would tell me I was in Cessnock, someone who wouldn’t understand that they weren’t answering my question, “Where am I?” If I were really lucky, a child might give me the right answer, “Here, in country!”
Here is another correct answer: Cessnock is, not a thou’ out, directly and exactly above its underworld! (A pubescent child always knows when an adult is using semantics to reach a common understanding, which explains the ubiquity of the expression, ‘Sarcasm is the wit of fools’.) Seriously, you have to ask yourself, couldn’t we have done away with 100 years of research into the unconscious if we had simply listened to the people who could find it on a map, right here?
The Miserere, Psalm 51, is the cry of the penitent who is left here, when the rivers of Hades, and their grazing thunder lizards, have disappeared beyond the boundary of the underworld, and penitents are not sure which shore they inhabit. Who are we? The ordinary souls sent to the Asphodel Meadows of our underworld’s underworld? Can Here be There, as the Proclamation has it? What do the aquifers of country disclose when your lover is on the line and your voice is in their head?
This is the moment the ancestors ring the edge of the world, above and below, in neither. Steep Point is the western tip of a continent, from which the then living ancestors watched Dirk Hartog sail past in 1616 CE, with no idea that country was about to be proclaimed out of existence, parcelled up as abutments. To be fair to those seafarers and the settlers who eventually followed them, they had no idea of the Universal Proclamation of Humanity gestating in the abutted minds of landowning philosophers, astrologists and activists. Like any migrant, they were simply creating right of way through abutting, overseas kinships they had no relationship to.
Now we come to the weird bit. Who are ‘they’? Who are we as they?
Osorezan is an active volcano in northern Honshu believed by many to be the threshold of the underworld. Half the world (and almost everyone in these parts) has always believed that ill fortune is not an outcome of karma, what goes around comes around, but the result of sorcery, the conjuring of injured, vengeful spirits from the underworld. I have not found reference to which way up they endure, or if their seasons, directions and chirality mirror the hemisphere of the living, but when they climb out of the fissures of the Earth their evil is authentically alien to ours. Shamans and sorcerers know how to channel them, and so, apparently, do the revilers of Captain Cook, and those still fighting the lost War Against the Proclamation of Country.
So you have no self which is not some other nobody’s nobody, no country which is not some other underworld, and no history which has not been repudiated by you, its child. How WOW is that? But you will be who you want to be, until we have built Jerusalem, and the holy temple of your devotion will be the body, of the visible world, indeterminate, ineffable, enfolding you tenderly in your confirmation bias until you have exhausted fact, country has thrown open its five aggregates of mind and the fleeting moment has disclosed its unbearable beauty. Country, world disclosure, is your will to be, your sap, your yeast, your music, and you are always welcome!