Posted by: glue | September 11, 2008

Designing the Aarohat

The key to the heuretics of avatar is the literal meaning of the term in Sanskrit:  “Descent.”   Vishnu has descended (taken on embodiment) nine times, to correct a disordered world condition.  The heuretic approach to the question of avatar is not to assume in advance that we know already what it is to manage our image in cyberspace.  Rather, we use grammatology to examine the archive of our civilization (or any  civilization) to see what is known already about our question; in this case, the question of descending into a body.  It is perhaps obvious, considering the prominence of Christianity in our heritage, that the West accumulated a huge amount of information about becoming body.  This process or event is characterized as the Great Chain of Being.

As Above, So Below

As Above, So Below

In our syncretic cosmology (Hellenistic Christian), a human being is the result of the descent (avatara) of a celestial or pure spirit from the divine realm through the intervening strata of orders of the air (the Celestials or Daimons) finally entering matter as an organic body.  The soul mediates between spirit and body, as a divine spark.  The civilizational attitude about this condition may be ascertained from the story of Christ.  Nearly every wisdom tradition we know of included a mystical branch that developed practices with one common purpose:  to ascend out of the body and return from whence we came (pure spirit).

Heuretics takes this archival history of descent as a relay for theorizing an approach to electrate identity experience, especially with respect to the question of avatar.  The analogy is not taken literally but is open for adaptation. The first step is to consider the whole sequence as recorded in the tradition:  descent, striving (during embodiment), ascent (return).  Given our concern with conatus (striving to persevere in one’s own being — Spinoza), it might be worth using a Sanskrit dictionary to create a term for this dimension of incarnation.  Yatat, or Prayasyat.  Likewise for ascend:  Aarohat.  One may design not only an Avatar, but a Yatat and an Aarohat.  Ocham’s Razor discourages needless multiplication of entities, so it may not be necessary to have multiple terms, but only to take into account the three stages of the process of incarnation, as relays for putting my identity into an image.  The archive is a resource for a heuretics of avatar.


  1. Conduction

    After composing this post I realized that the Sanskrit term Aarohat forms a macaronic pun (pun across languages) with the figure that is part of the header logo image for this blog: Oblio and his dog Arrow that is worn as a hat (to cover Oblio’s lack of a point). The characters Oblio and Arrow are from the animated parable The Point by Fred Wolf, based on a Harry Nilsson song. Actually, The Point was an accidental connection, latent within the term “oblio” that I used to name a genre of writing created to help express the experience of measure relative to chora. The term was generated by collecting words with the “oblio” syllables, beginning with “oblivion,” “obligation,” and the like.

    The macaronic match between Arrow Hat and Aarohat constitutes a proof of the functioning of conductive inference (moving through information using dreamwork linkings — condensation and displacement). Conduction is a fourth mode of inference that electracy adds to the three invented within literacy: abduction, deduction, induction. The instruction is: use conduction intentionally, don’t just wait for conductive links to appear within your documents. When such links do appear, as in this case, they constitute evidence of networked reality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: