“What is it when someone feels the need to change, to change something really deep?” Arlo asks and realizes that he and Jessica have now just agreed in an inner way that this will be the question of the night. Maybe she was about to leave. Maybe he was just about to go the washroom. But now suddenly the question of the night has been asked.
“It means they’ve found a big pile of shit right in the middle of it all,” Jessica laughs.
“Yes. And the pile of shit is the realization that everything that lives eats, and as a result of eating there’s shit.” Arlo takes a bite of his sandwich with a mock glower. They’ve turned the music down, but there’s still the dim scrabble of wan flutety sounds.
Jessica hears the shift. The music is just on the verge of her hearing. What was light jazz brunch music is now something like space music. She likes it.
“Gurdjieff’s understanding of food, of eating, is intense. It’s near the beginning of the Tales, the description of the shift from the Autoegocrat to the Trogoautoegocrat. That which is sustaining in the universe is not really. Some food is needed,” Jessica says.
Arlo adds, “What does that mean for us? You know Jung wrote about having dreams when he was young of piles of shit. God’s big poops landing on stuff – like churches I think.”
“It’s relevant,” Jessica responds. She settles in, “You know when you occasionally catch a strange wiff of your own body and it smells unusually bad. Like not everyday stuff. There’s this question, ‘Could I really smell that bad?”’
“You’ve had that?” with something like alarm.
Holding course. “There’s this urge that says, ‘This is not real.’ Something wants to keep right on moving.”
Arlo laughs easily. “Yes.”
“It’s all these things in life, in you, that keep leading you to these piles of shit.”
Arlo settles in.
She continues, “Your partner leaves you because he says you don’t understand him. No, worse, you don’t’ love him. You realize that the thing you’ve been trying to accomplish keeps running ahead of you or cycling back on you or running out of juice on you or the thing had no real juice in the first place, only you took a long time to realize it,” Jessica says.
Arlo signals for some more hot water for the tea, then says, “It’s a programmed ineptitude. Our feeling for the need to change has been spoofed and re-directed to the outside. Sensitivity becomes suggestibility. It’s not just in the materialization of it; it’s the suggestification of it.”
“Spoofed?” Jessica says.
“You know you get these emails that pretend to be your bank telling you something important. Blah, blah, blah. Somebody’s pretending to be your bank. Spoofing the bank. Then the email has a link that re-directs to some site where you give your password. Whatever. Worst case is total identity theft.”
“Then you’re in the Matrix,” Jessica offers. “You’re in the personality, running to keep up with the media image. The impulse to understand? No longer your own. The pipe is labeled ‘will’ but the data is coming from the Matrix. Spoofing. Hmm.” She pauses. “And the question of feeling the need for change?”
“The realization that you are the Matrix, you are the program, you are the embedded system. Well, not you really, but you pasty-faced and wriggling in the moment. Sensitivity has no firewall. Once the will-pipe is re-directed, it’s open to programming.” He pours tea for both of them. “Can you connect it to the shit thing?”
She rolls her lips. “Trogoautoegocrat means ‘I eat and keep myself’. Eating and, presumably, being eaten becomes the new system of the universe. Nothing is isolated. Everything has repercussions. The web of existence. Everything connected to everything else. Time is in everything.”
“Too many ideas,” says Arlo.
“Come on Arlo, you always say that when you put the ball in my court to play.”
He smiles. “Too many ideas.”
“Consciousness is time. And how can consciousness just end? It wants to expand like time.” She pauses to listen inside. “It either drives us mad, puts us back to sleep or wakes us up. If it wakes us up, then the game is afoot. We’ve leveled-up. Now there is heaven and earth, not just heaven.”
“Genesis…” Arlo trails off. He’s watching the woman across the room put her coat on.
“That’s a two point deduction,” she says drolly. “Lack of attention.”
He groans in the way of a trope between them. “What do you mean consciousness is time?”
Jessica says, “The shift to the Trogoautoegocrat is the consciousness of time already there, already chomping away. There is something that you did not realize before. Something really big that goes right to the core of it.”
“The load of shit?”
“Not yet,” she responds. “Consciousness is time because it is through time, in time,” she puzzles at the prepositions, “that we are aware that we are aware. Then there is a real change. We have to accept time, to process it, to let it process us. Then we have a new level of time.”
“Abstract,” he says.
Jessica gets animated. “The load of shit is the result of eating time.”
“Hmm.” He raises his eyes up to a corner of the room where he realizes that there is about an inch of dust all along the crown moulding. “Human consciousness is a conundrum then,” he says to the dust. “Some of it wants to expand like an empire builder and leave a shit storm in its wake.”
To be continued.