“Essentially the distinction is thus: a sign gives reference to that which is known, whereas a symbol points to the muted unfamiliar.” -- Carl Jung.
Francis Bacon adjusts his cumbersome black hat slightly, watching the man seated across from him at the large library table as he flips through one of his many books with earnest. The book in question is purple: one of three the man keeps on his person at all times, along with a few other things, most noticeably the large gold pendent around his neck. If ‘Agent’ Dee, (the first person to hold this title to Bacon’s knowledge) was not held in such high esteem one might think him to be an absent-minded idiot of some sort, with the books tethered to his belt, and gaudy jewelry with numeric sequences. Surely one can remember the content of three books, or some numbers?
Still, despite these questions, the old man’s superlative rank is undeniable. He walks around the castle grounds in a wake of rumors which knows no rival. Now alone with the strange old man, an inevitable curiosity enlists in Francis.
Bacon, not so long ago a mere writer, had seen his latest manuscript capture the type of attention which pays in this noble age. So much so that he was entrusted, if only in part, with the creation of new English words for Her Majesty. All this before the book in question, The New Atlantis, has even graced the public eye. This is an honor which eclipses all previous. So it was that the two men came to be paired up, trading thoughts beneath the flickering illumination of the chandelier above. They are positioned high in the castle walls of the clerical section of London: the voice of the English Empire, salient in a world of barbaric darkness.
Dee is alleged to be, amongst many other interesting things, a magician. Francis had lived long enough to see the rise of the true sciences, however, and suspects that this word ‘magic’ is itself a sort of sorcery of the mouth. A boastful misdirection away from natural ends. Surely the mystery behind this ‘Seal of God’ which he displays so proudly on his chest is that it hides a regular man. There are always rational answers.
John Dee lifts his head, blinking a few times as if perhaps forgetting about the other man’s presence momentarily. The old man looks at Bacon in thought for a moment before motioning to the blank piece of paper before him with his quill, and glancing into the open book one more time. “Spelling: we shall henceforth take this to mean the act of writing.” He says this out loud with careful enunciation before carefully beginning to write the declaration down on the paper in front of him.
Bacon writes this definition into his notes as well, conscious of the logic working its effects, somewhat to dissatisfied ends. “This is a...tricky approach, good agent of the Crown.”
Dee laughs at this, the older of the two men looking up again from his slow inscription. “Tis’ not trickery my approaching friend, but a path of reason.”
“Sp- Sorcery -- it is not reason; it is illusion, trickery. Everything can be explained in due course; why should we ascribe such a curious term unto the sciences?”
“I disagree, but let me applaud: you, sir, are learned, and ride the agile legs of wit down the empirical path. Men such as yourselves aliken to candles which scare the darkness around you, revealing truths. Like a keen ear to a priest’s symbal, the village person may hear the tone of your words, as you construct them with ritual and intention. You will, god willing, go far and see an age where angels descend from the ceiling of the sky.” The Agent’s eyes are slightly bloodshot as they always seem to be, suspended within dual webs of fatigue. They peer into Bacon’s being. “Your New Atlantis, as it were.”
Francis considers his words carefully, playing with his quill. “I have doubts as to whether angels with descend from the sky, good Agent of the Crown, but a world of civility surely can. I see it now, down the path of time somewhat.”
“Bah...” Dee grunts playfully. “What do you see but literal? You see no angels but you see the angles of sun, so what of the son? Thirty, thirty-three? Life is metaphor, and it runs deep. You see the surface of the code at work here, good fellow.
“The code of the angels: sublime in archetype, elegant. Sure, it rests in book, in a manner of speaking, but all one must do is listen to the signing birds on a bright spring day.”
“You confuse me, Sir.”
“Let me return to your question, then. What else is a spell but a vocalized intention, with inflection, that has the power to make people think a certain way? Your science will struggle to explain this with convoluted linguistics, some of which I have seen. So I act in cognizance of this.”
Bacon leans back in his chair, exhaling slightly with a small grin. He struggles to find the words to respond. He wonders just how much this old man knows, for he is opening like the ceiling.
As if preempting this thought, Dee continues. “Look, good fellow, where you-- where we stand, it is cause for certain reflections. I will die soon. That which I’ve seen, that which lies beyond your method...though large as the library has blossomed into, stands but one library, easily destroyed. The human story should be accessible to all or it will perish under it’s own foreign weight. Good Sir, we are moving into a new world; if I know certain minds like I think I do, then it will be one where knowledge is commodity, to be rationed and used for control. May our work here seek to remind the future from whence it came. In a sense, I believe this to be somewhat out of our hands. The universe talks to us when we talk to each other.”
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Holidays are many things; most people either seem to enjoy them immensely, or dislike them for the reasons that the majority do. We at the Eros Group side with the minority in that many holidays are simply consumerist whore outs, but as our name implies we represent the love which is found among us all, the real love, not some socialist catch phrase. We stand here on Valentine’s Day not just to rebel, but also to unite; for violence is a dying method. It is better to give than to take.
Join us this 14th, at 8:30pm.
Jake turns the rather professional looking white flyer over and the only thing on the other side is ‘Eros Group’ in large pink letters -- the same which were on the initial side. He drops the piece of paper back to the ground without ill-conscience, as they are literally everywhere.
“This is big” he explains to his friends on the phone.
“Hey! Did you hear about the thing?”
“I dunno there is some sort of like...rebel group that is planning a Valentine’s Day thing.”
“Oh, that thing...”
“What, you don’t like it?”
“Like it? It’s terrorism! I’m kind of scared, to be honest.”
“Terrorism? Com’n. It’s exciting!”
“New in the News this week, it seems that what police have surmised is a ‘small collection of individuals' otherwise known as the ‘Eros Group’ has something rather exciting in store for Halifax on Valentine’s Day, but the question that all of Canada is now wondering is: Should the rest of the cities also be so lucky? CBC’s Jason Neumas has more.
I stand here on the rather clean looking streets of downtown Halifax, but just a few days ago, that was not the case at all.
“Yeah, there were just thousands of them.” -- Susan Minnes, Student.
Thousands, of these. The rather innocuous looking flyers seem like just another eccentric holiday message, but a closer look by the Halifax’s RCMP revealed quite a bit more.
“You see here how it says ...for violence is a dying method. It is better to give than to take. Well, that can be interpreted rather violently, in fact, and so we are also taking every precaution.” -- Corporal Sergeant Dunnie, RCMP
Some feel that the extent of the precautions are unwarranted.
“To be honest I feel like this is exactly what these so called ‘rebels’ want; they want us to stay in side and make is feel bad for buying some chocolates for our girlfriends. ‘Consumerist’ whatever and all that stuff -- all these police presence is exactly what they want if you ask me.” -- Jason Spez, Student.
While others have adopted a rather carefree, perhaps even carpe diem-like attitude; some of this based on internet buzz.
“Yeah man, they’re calling it the ‘Love Bomb’ -- it’s all over the web. This thing has gone viral. No one knows what it is, but everyone has just started opening up, you know? Telling those people from their past how they feel.” -- Alex Goodspeed, Resident.
With Valentine’s Day only two days away, the suspension will only build here in Halifax, and around the Eros group, with their aimed Cupid’s Arrow. Jason Neumas, CBC News.
So you guys must have heard about this ‘Love Bomb’ situation going on up there somewhere in Canada, right? This terrorist group is planning some sort of bullshit for Valentine’s Day.
I know, right? Yeah nice plan asshole, disrupt people on fucking Valentine’s Day, yeah that will get us to jump onto your bullshit cause: ‘Hold on Honey, our expensive candlelit diner may be interrupted. I see some dissidents outside of our restaurant trying to blow us up for being consumerist....
...whew, looks like they’re too uneducated and short-sighted to come up with anything beyond a bunch of flyers and a malfunctional bomb they bought on www.anarchyexchange.com, looks like they’re giving up and going home. Did I mention I love you Honey?
Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but I’m getting sick and tired of these sophomoric clown groups from whichever campus it happens to be thinking that they can simply enact social change by littering the streets with flyers critical of society with the expectation that same society will clean up after their mess--
I mean, fuck, I enact more social change in five minutes of broadcasting then these nitwits manage to achieve in their entire run has half-rate lifelong troublemakers and panhandlers. There is a point where coherent social analysis crosses over into simply not wanting to pull your own weight in society, and so getting off and by on the exhibitionist fumes of glorified violence, no matter how pink-laced and in sync with the holidays it may turn out to be--
But let’s face it folks, we are zombie buyers. I am. I might as well just print ‘My present is expensive because I’m so busy’ on my Valentine’s Day stuff but I don’t because my wife actually chooses to entertain the thin veil of illusion that surrounds holidays like this in the first place -- and who can blame her? We all want that emotion in the end, most of us just aren’t sure how to get it and so we hang so much expectation on a day that more or less sets it all up for us. The Eros Group isn’t going about this the right way, but surely these people will always be around so long as society is so utterly fucked beyond any collective psychological repair. So long as they decide to leave violence out of the equation, then I for one hope the insane ramblings of a leftist street person can unite at least a couple people. Com’n folks, let’s hear it for the love!
February 14th. Valentine's Day
“I’ll be watching you.” Mark says coldly to the so-called ‘psychic.’ As the most skeptical of the bunch, he is still confident enough to go forward. It’s not that he doesn’t have faith in the theory --because he does-- he just doesn’t have faith in the idiot which stands before him, slowly unwrapping a Charleston Chew candy bar and staring out the hotel window into the approaching night. Below, the crowd is forming, and they deserve what they are going to get. They need a real psychic for this to work, and Mark is afraid Ester’s selection in Simon is suspect. A small aptitude and a spacey brain is not enough. Anyone idiot has that. Provided he can, he still might mess it up.
“Curious thing to say to me.” Simon responds immediately, peeling back the wrapper on the chocolate bar and taking a sizable bite.
Kurtz, the IT guy, remains quiet as he fiddles with his equipment, tapping away on his laptop occasionally. There is a sound at the door and Kurtz freezes. Mark’s hand ventures down to his pistol while Simon takes another bite of Charleston Chew, still facing away and looking out of the window at the city below. “A lot of them down there” he mutters. The door’s electronic lock chimes; while Ester is due back, Mark is glad to confirm her red hair as she moves into the room.
“Update.” She asks simply, looking around.
Marks crosses his arms over his chest as if slightly annoyed with the question. “Oh we’re ready, right Kurtz?”
“Once he gets strapped in I’ll have to do a couple of last minute things, but we’re good to go.”
Mark continues. “This should go over without a hitch provided Mr. Candybar here is ready -- but you know what I’ve been thinking? I don’t know if I’m ready. I want to know about this guy before we move forward. No secrets; we’re in this together.”
Ester sighs, looking down at her watch for a moment and around the room. 8:09. “Ok, fine...” She walks over to Mark, taking a moment to collect her thoughts. Simon turns away from the window back to the room, his deep blue eyes as piercing as they are beyond. “Simon is, to me at least, my brother in law. None of you know about my sister because she refuses to speak me -- to either of us...but it wasn’t always like that. We were close friends once.”
Simon cuts in as Ester’s face begins to quiver and fall. “Me and Claire, my angel...well, we used to date. We were engaged, actually...” The strange man smiles to himself, the kind that is just sad to everyone else. Standing there like a child with a half-eaten piece of kids candy he exudes depression. Not exactly an impressive feat, though, and certainly not the one they were here for.
“She couldn’t take it.” Ester states flatly. “She’s just...” her sister cannot finish the description.
Mark feels bad about the love that was lost, but his apprehension holds now more than ever: Why choose some tag-along heartbroken loser for this? “Well...you’re better off without her, trust me.” He offers gently, glancing down at his watch.
“No...I’m not.” Simon whispers. He exhales rather loudly, scratching his head in psychological discomfort. He looks like he is about to say more, but he does not.
“So...you ready?” Kurts interjects from his seat at the desk behind the trio.
“Yeah cause if you can’t do this--”
“Then what?” Ester cuts in. “You’ve been showing reluctance this whole time to Simon. Do you want to sit in the chair, Mark? Do you know anyone who would?”
“Well, no I--”
“That’s right, so just...sh-- get positive.” She smiles past Mark to Simon, who returns hers with a shade of his own. “Simon can do this. I know he can.”
“Ok, let’s get you seated.” Kurts asserts into the conversation again, glancing at his own watch. He stands to proceed to the hotel desk chair which the team had earlier outfitted with the equipment: a neural interface helmet, heart chakra plate(s), and a special pair of nano-metallic gloves which will align specifically to Simon’s DNA when he puts them on.
The members of the Eros Group have all been involved in government projects for some reason or another. Civilian scientist stuff; none of them are trained assassins, but as a military engineer Mark had received some weapons training. Working with things that do not exist, the fringe walkers meticulously assemble their years of testing and planning around a man who is more of a mystery to them than any of the science they have seen thus far.
Strapping on the minimalist style helmet, Kurts poses a question: “Why don’t psychics just win the lottery? That would help us out so much--”
“No don’t--” Ester manages to get out.
Anger. “‘Cause I’m not some fucking whore, and it’s more complicated than what you can see with your little... vision.”
Mark is hit with a rush of seething red that is most assuredly not his own. Before he can even process what is happening he is breathing heavily: the bitterness seeps through everything to the bone. Blinding anger mixed with self-despair and a broken heart. After what seems like an eternity of this torturous state it slowly begin to fade away.
“...I’ll tell you what, you want the lottery numbers? You go find Claire -- she’s gotta be rich by now.” He struggles to slow his breathing. “Besides, that is precog.”
“Holy shit...” Kurts pants, holding his chest.
Ester begins to cry softy.
Mark is speechless.
Simon rubs his face, shaking his head slightly. “I’m... I’m sorry. I...” he trails off. “...Claire.
“Ok, we’re ready...” Kurtz announces softly, his face is white and it glances to Ester momentarily. “Are you OK?”
She nods silently, sniffing a couple times. Shaking her head and looking at her watch she tries to re-instill herself, a woman of confidence.
Perhaps these outburts are not new to Ester. Perhaps...this guy is for real. Mark struggles to accept what just transpired.
8:29. “Ok, gentlemen” Ester starts in a strong voice. “This is it. Here’s to history, and to the planet.” She smiles for Simon who looks up to return this to his close friend.
“Gentlemen, I’m sorry for what you experienced there.” He says honestly. “Those are the risks, but what are emotions if not the extremes? I promise you will like this better, just promise me you will hold onto love should you find it. Please do that.”
Mark nods. “I will” he states rather seriously, still in shock.
Simon glances up to Kurtz as he pulls on the shiny nano-metal gloves.
The IT wiz has moved back to the desk now. He types a couple commands and the equipment on Simon comes to life. Lights flash on the helmet, and the breastplate begins to emit an odd chiming.
“These gloves feel weird.”
“Good.” Ester smiles. “Do it, Simon.”
Simon positions his hands in a some strange way Mark does not recognize, slowly beginning to hum to himself in the chair as another smile creeps onto his face, only this time it is pure light. The last coherent thought any of them have: it is working. The emotion which takes over the room does not ‘hit’ in any abrasive way, rather it builds from inside, like a picture of heaven amassing over the pale veneer of reality that is the quiet hotel room. Depth. Their bodies are stripped away, and soon the ego as well. More depth. Mark, Ester, Kurtz, and Simon extend beyond the hotel, the block, and the city itself lifts up into the night. The lights of Venus; the eyes of Isis; far above is a single waiting figure, unadulterated by the time that would come after, she simply beckons closer the embrace of her friend, her smiling companion. Her hand is so close, and her eyes so divine.
My angel...I love you always.