Hauntology

Haunto­logy is a dying art. Haha. I’m not famil­i­ar with the social the­ory of the haunto­lo­gist. I just like the atmo­sphere. For me, haunto­logy con­jures images of dusty man­sions fur­nished in goth­ic style. And non-time is when the clock strikes thir­teen. You rang? I won­der if to study haunt­ing, really study it, one has to be a ghost one­self. Study haunt­ing first-hand. Like see­ing from the future. A ghost in the cob­web-filled cor­ridors. Play on the old piano, rattle some armor. Know all the secret pas­sage­ways, where lost treas­ures are waiting.

Each ghost is a world. One that could be free, as Mar­cuse might add. Although I don’t think that’s quite what he meant. See through the ghost. And if one wishes upon a star, just like a wooden mari­on­ette the ghost might become real. Real boys and girls.

I’m reminded of one of the Mr. Wong movies, with Kar­loff. The one with the Eye of the Daugh­ter of the Moon. At the end, the let­ter penned by the vic­tim, the one that will reveal the mur­der­er, finally arrives. But Kar­loff has already solved the case. He tears up the let­ter, unread.

 Haunting sounds, language and writing

The pro­fes­sion­al haunto­lo­gist must learn to dis­tin­guish the vari­ous sounds that go bump in the night. It is not so simple a mat­ter as telling the dif­fer­ence between a drag­ging chain and air in the pipes, or low moan­ing and ‘just the wind.’ The sounds with logic­al explan­a­tions might very well be the sounds of a haunt­ing. Thus a dif­fer­ent type of listen­ing is required.

The sound of the scor­ing plates reset­ting on an elec­tromech­an­ic­al skee-ball lane is a haunt­ing sound, one you won’t hear very often, if at all. By now, prac­tic­ally all skee-ball lanes have been digit­ized. For those who have nev­er had the pleas­ure, skee-ball scor­ing used to be tal­lied by a roll of plates. At the start of a new game, after insert­ing a dime or quarter, the plates rolled around to zero, mak­ing a sound like when the robot deal­er shuffles met­al play­ing cards in the Atlantic City of Tomor­row. Due to the desire to hear the sound, a pop­u­lar skee-ball man­u­fac­turer now pro­duces a ‘1930s-style’ lane, com­plete with flip-scor­ing plates. How­ever, these pro­hib­it­ively expens­ive lanes aren’t meant for the car­ni­val or board­walk, they’re for private arcades, where the sound drowns in the dis­placed nos­tal­gia of the sur­round­ing silence.

Can nos­tal­gia be any­thing but dis­placed? Sure, when it is nos­tal­gia for a dream. Many might inter­pret that in a des­pair­ing way. I don’t really find it to be such a bleak state­ment. No one has seen what justice looks like, “a fair and equit­able world”, as Craig Mur­ray puts it. And yet that does­n’t seem to stop any­one from hav­ing nos­tal­gia for it.

Many dread fall­ing asleep for fear of a recur­ring night­mare. And luck might have it that you’ve once vis­ited some out-of-this-world place in a dream which you’d love to go back to. Because when you go to sleep, you don’t know what you are going to get. One can do things that may or may not effect the prob­ablit­ies. One can make pre­par­a­tions for a per­man­ent move. And then close one’s eyes and hope to return.

Kitsch is a ghost of sen­ti­ment­al­ity. The liv­ing feel­ing has gone ahead, the echo all that’s left, haunt­ing words, filling time.

Ghost-speak is a com­plex mix­ture of spe­cif­ic and uni­ver­sal dia­lects. Any licensed haunto­lo­gist will tell you. Being able to trans­late and decipher the mean­ing of ges­ture is para­mount for a grasp of the lan­guage. Of course any­one can under­stand the basic ghostly hand ges­tures, the point­ing fin­ger says “over there,” the crooked fin­ger says “over here.”

But say you are at an amphi­theatre in the Pyren­ees at mid­night one March 18th. The ghost of a knight cries, “who will defend the temple?” and six oth­er ghost-knights respond, “no one, no one. The temple is des­troyed.” You’ve under­stood the words quite plainly, but what is the meaning?

When a ghost speaks, it is the ges­ture of speak­ing that needs trans­lat­ing more than the words them­selves. When writ­ing, the ges­ture of writ­ing. A simple point, but for­get­ting it has been the cause of many rook­ie mistakes.

Thank­fully, ghosts of one cul­ture will respond to the cul­tur­al sig­ni­fi­ers of anoth­er. This is true for vam­pires as well. For example, throw­ing a chick­en egg into a coffin will stop a European vam­pire from rising as eas­ily as a Chinese one, and the wooden stake works just as well on eithera use­ful tip for those get­ting into the business.

Kitsch is a ghost of sen­ti­ment­al­ity. The liv­ing feel­ing has gone ahead, the echo all that’s left, haunt­ing words, filling time.

By now, you may have noticed that there is a big dif­fer­ence between dead lan­guage and liv­ing language.(You may also have noticed that I made no men­tion of the pop­u­lar ‘Twi­light Lan­guage’ while dis­cuss­ing haunt­ing lan­guage. There are sim­il­ar­it­ies, it is true. But I don’t use it, even though I’m per­fectly flu­ent. Like a French­man who can speak per­fect Eng­lish, but refuses. Although I do have a pretty pair of Twi­light Prin­cess con­verse sneak­ers, for spe­cial occasions.)

In the back­ground, Dieter Den­gler describes hav­ing his Sky Raid­er jet shot out of the sky, wrest­ling it to the ground and being thrown free of the crash.The sec­tion begins about 20 minutes into the doc­u­ment­ary Little Dieter Needs to Fly by Wern­er Herzog. After, Dieter talks about how when there is no time, there is no time for fear. When land­ing on an air­craft car­ri­er in a mon­soon, it’s after the land­ing that the legs start shak­ing uncon­trol­lably. The fear lags behind, like the thun­der mov­ing slower than the light­ning. And when it catches up, it’s fear of some­thing that already happened, a ghost-fear.

So, where were we? Ghost sounds, ghost lan­guages. We still have ghost writ­ing to cover.

Geese honk, let­ting the oth­ers know where they are to keep the flock togeth­er. Owl hoots so that the oth­ers know to give it some space. Two crows in flight talk in low voices to one anoth­er. The sounds turn into lan­guages. Finally, they become writ­ing. The most advanced form of com­mu­nic­a­tion, and the most refined. What is writ­ten might even be more import­ant than what is said, since what is said can be changed by arti­fi­cial intelligence.

What the hell are those crows talk­ing about, any­way? To be per­fectly clear, when I say the writ­ten word, I don’t mean all this honk­ing and hoot­ing. Tomor­row, every piece of writ­ing pos­ted to this site could be changed into the most banal trash, or into posts say­ing the exact oppos­ite of what they used to say. At the touch of a but­ton, probably.

Mis­un­der­stand­ing what the writ­ten word was, the ghost strives to live on through the writ­ing. Words on a page, words on a hard­drive. When I die, I think I’ll be all the words ever writ­ten. Ghostly fin­gers, hold­ing pens, typ­ing on key­boards, caress­ing in an ancient lan­guage, love. Knock­ing autumn leaves from the trees, pic­ture post­cards from old flames rekindled.

Three Types of Ghost 

As we know, there are three types of ghost, or rather three gen­er­al spe­cies. The first spe­cies is the pre­de­ter­mined ghost. This ghost will not see you as it makes its nightly rounds. It will drift over to the book­shelf, take a book down and read, ignor­ing you the whole time. If you stand in the path, it will pass right through you.

Not to say it isn’t harm­less. It can still cause sleep depriva­tion and lower prop­erty val­ues. And if you try to get rid of it, it can cause ser­i­ous harm. So great care must be taken. If you are pos­sessed by a pre­de­ter­mined ghost, you can feel its blind rage.

The next gen­er­al spe­cies is the will­ful ghost. This ghost will take a book off the shelf, but if you dis­turb the air it will look at you. It can be a most unset­tling sen­sa­tion. Try to get rid of it, and it will resort to every trick in the book. If you’re pos­sessed by a will­ful ghost, the room may start spin­ning, which can be disorienting.

The third type is the clumsy ghost. This is the ghost that will knock all the books off the shelf. It seems to behave with no rhyme or reas­on. Get­ting rid of it is always a com­plic­ated affair, like an absurd, con­vo­luted scav­enger hunt. Pos­ses­sion by a clumsy ghost will oddly enough make you clumsy, which causes bad luck.

A clumsy ghost can occa­sion­ally be help­ful. Instead of knock­ing all the books from the shelf, it knocks only one. The help­ful clumsy ghost is argu­ably a fourth type, although tech­nic­ally it is an ideation, not quite a ghost, and not quite an idea.

Sug­ges­ted meth­ods and strategies for the dif­fer­ent types can be found in your text­book. They range from the simple to the frankly ridicu­lous. Con­trolling the winds with incant­a­tions, reagents and jing. Use­ful, I guess, if you’re dead in the water.

But for­tu­nately or unfor­tu­nately, noth­ing beats first-hand encoun­ters with the super­nat­ur­al. So do try to have some.

Ideal Forms

Here we run the risk of pic­tur­ing the ideal forms as objects instead of sub­jects. Pla­to’s philo­sophy as the ideal form of a haunted man­sion, seen through the twis­ted trees. We explore the house and its grounds, but can­’t find the occu­pants. Maybe they’re on vacation.

Still, the house itself seems to be alive, and try­ing to tell us some­thing. Prob­ably ‘Get. Out.’

By treat­ing the ideal forms as sub­jects, a rap­port can be estab­lished. We might even make the guest list for the next big party. Either way, our exper­i­ence of the old man­sion will be very different.

I’m of the school which main­tains that this leap from object to sub­ject is a decis­ive moment in the life of any philosopher.

Does the ideal form of every fire­place already have a fire in it, or must it first be lit?

Above the ideal form of the fire­place in one room of the old man­sion, hanging over the mantlepiece, is a mir­ror in which is reflec­ted one’s own ideal form, or what my school calls your Per­fect Nature. But let’s set aside what is meant by the ideas ‘per­fect’ and ‘nature’ for now, and say that this ideal form is your subject.

You should notice that your ideal form has much more in com­mon with the oth­er ideal forms than it does with the por­traits and hunt­ing trophies which adorn the walls, with eyes that fol­low as you move past them.

(Here, one read­er argues that the ideal fire­place must have a fire in it, and anoth­er read­er argues that the ideal fire­place is inde­pend­ent of the fire. The second read­er pauses thought­fully, then asks, “Is the ideal form a stat­ic object inde­pend­ent of time?”)

I’m sorry?

(Shout­ing, the second read­er repeats the question)

I must apo­lo­gize for the noise. Today the engin­eer­ing team is fit­ting the found­a­tions of the man­sion with the sol­id-fuel rock­et boost­ers. Soon we’ll be able to lift this suck­er right into the air and fly into space. Although by now, I doubt that any­one would be the least bit surprised.

My take on the mys­ter­i­ous fire­place: If the ideal form of the fire­place con­tains the set of all fire­places, then the ideal form of the fire­place is like a tree, with the spe­cif­ic forms of each fire­place the branches. As well we could say that this fire­place presents itself as all fire­places, those with a fire already in them, and those yet to be lit. There­fore the dilemma of the fire is not solved by decid­ing one way or the oth­er, but by see­ing that the dilemma itself is a false one.

So the ideal form of the fire­place should be dif­fi­cult to visu­al­ize. Through an angelo­lo­gic­al lens, we’d say that the ideal form of the fire­place is its angel, the angel of the fire­place. This is a kind of philo­soph­ic­al short­hand used to facil­it­ate dis­cus­sion without get­ting caught up in false dilemmas.

The ideal form of a stat­ic object, let’s say this cof­fee mug (with tea in it) exists in ideal space­time. As the spe­cif­ic forms of the cof­fee mug do not exist inde­pend­ently of time, the ideal form of the mug does not exist inde­pend­ently of etern­ity. Using the angelo­lo­gic­al short­hand, we’d say that this cof­fee mug now exists ‘in heaven.’

Haunting vs Visitation

A shoddy product may be cheaply made, con­struc­ted with poor mater­i­als. How­ever, not all products pro­duced at low cost are shoddy. Cheap and poor here refer to lack of skill in the con­struc­tion of a product. It’s the low-qual­ity of the work­man­ship that res­ults in shoddiness.

Qual­ity suf­fers when time is in short sup­ply. But is a time in short sup­ply, itself, a shoddy product? Then, maybe we could say that shoddy time is the poor mater­i­al with which shoddy products are made. A his­tory built with this cheap mater­i­al would be such a shoddy product. The com­pres­sion of time into a line, infin­ite yet space­less, thus squeez­ing out all sense of pres­ence. A his­tor­ic­al time of a ‘pres­ence that is not present,’ this is the time of haunting.

A desire for con­nec­tion, for con­tact, is impli­cit in a haunt­ing. The geist is on the oth­er side of a screen, mar­shalling every ounce of con­cen­tra­tion to move someone, hold onto some­thing, touch anything.

The oppos­ite of a haunt­ing is a vis­it­a­tion. The vis­it­or con­nects, makes con­tact without effort. Appear­ing to each in their capa­city to see, talem eum vidi qualem capere potui. As it has been said, and long ago.

You know how a page in a book can mean one thing to you on the first read through, but when you go back and read the same page, maybe you get some­thing more out of it than you did the first time. This new read­ing of the same page can hap­pen five minutes after the first read­ing, or five years, or fifty-five. What has changed? The words on the page have not rearranged themselves.

And then, there are people who go back and re-read a page, and it means the same thing to them as it did before.

Time and Eternity

Sit­ting in front of the fire­place in a room of the old man­sion, drink­ing tea from heav­enly cof­fee mugs, the read­ers now agree on say­ing that this is a fire­place which already has a fire yet needs to be lit, and does not already have a fire yet does­n’t need light­ing. A funny sort of fire­place, indeed.

(The second read­er adds wist­fully, “which like all things is tem­por­ary: things don’t exist, or everything is a verb and not a form.”)

All things in time are tem­por­ary. Every thing in time is not a form, but has a form, albeit a tem­por­ary one. All things in etern­ity are etern­al. Every thing in etern­ity is not a form, either, but has an etern­al form.

Exist­ing may not be a ques­tion of is or isn’t, but a scale. Between not exist­ing and totally exist­ing are degrees of exist­ing to a great­er or less­er extent.

When Ham­let says to be or not to be is the ques­tion, is he sane, or out of his wits? Or sane but pre­tend­ing otherwise?

I won­der if we might clear up some mis­un­der­stand­ings about eternity.
Adding up all zero-dimen­sion­al points does not get us to the line, we must add a dimen­sion of exten­sion. Adding up all points on the one-dimen­sion­al line does­n’t get us to the two-dimen­sion­al plane, we must add a dimen­sion of height, or depth. Adding up all the fig­ures on the two-dimen­sion­al plane does­n’t get us to the third dimen­sion, we add the dimen­sion of volume. Adding up all solids does­n’t get us to the fourth dimen­sion, we add the dimen­sion of time, or space­time. Adding up all the moments of time, or coordin­ates in space­time does­n’t get us to the fifth dimen­sion, we add a dimen­sion of eternity.

So etern­ity is not the sum of all time, it’s an added dimen­sion. Now we can vis­it the upper floors of the man­sion, see what’s up. Maybe even get invited into a bed­room or two. Hubba hubba.

Adding up all etern­als will not get us to the sixth dimen­sion, we need to—you guessed it—add a dimen­sion. Let’s call it the weird­ing dimen­sion. Adding all weird­ings will not get us to the sev­enth dimen­sion, we add yet anoth­er dimen­sion. And so on.

Some people stop at around nine or ten, maybe elev­en dimen­sions. Those brave souls who go bey­ond that write their reports with sym­bo­l­i­fic­a­tions. They’ll write about a world of light, with cit­ies and everything. A man­sion of light. They’ll say it is a world of sol­id water, flu­id earth, incom­press­ible air and impen­et­rable fire. Of course they aren’t writ­ing about a dif­fer­ent real­ity far removed from this one, but this same real­ity,. Just with more dimen­sions revealed so we can see them.

“So what would it mean, then, to look for the future’s rem­nants?” asks Owen Hath­er­ley at the begin­ning of Mil­it­ant Mod­ern­ism.

Here we’re tak­ing for gran­ted the idea that the destruc­tion of the present has reduced the future to rubble. Look­ing for the rem­nants of a future that nev­er came to pass. Not the rem­nants of the future which are the future’s leftovers. If we were look­ing for those, we’d have to look else­where. Would­n’t have to look very far to find those.

The man­sion is also trans­par­ent. I see the con­cepts I’ve hid­den in my descrip­tions of the man­sion, through it.

Not that the leftovers of the future trail behind it. More like the tail of a comet. Half the time the tail comes before the comet, and it always trails away from the sun.

NASA says: “Most comets have two tails. The tails appear as the comet approaches the Sun. Sun­light pushes on things, but very gently. Because the comet dust particles are so small, they are pushed away from the Sun into a long tail. Anoth­er tail is made of elec­tric­ally charged molecules of gas (called ions). Very rarely a comet will have a third tail made of sodi­um, which we usu­ally don’t see with our unaided eyes.”

The Sultan

I get the feel­ing that the sul­tan and I are com­ing from and going in oppos­ite dir­ec­tions. When I bring things back to their base real­ity I end up in a place that looks very dif­fer­ent than what it is for the sultan.

I ques­tion wheth­er the sul­tan is really awake or aware. The forms are ghostly, trans­par­ent. Base real­ity is seen through suc­cess­ive lay­ers of trans­par­en­cies. The odd fel­low with the clev­er device is trans­par­ent, I see the haunted man­sion through the trans­par­ency. For me, the man­sion is more real than the phys­ic­al per­son that I am.

The man­sion is also trans­par­ent. I see the con­cepts I’ve hid­den in my descrip­tions of the man­sion, through it.

Behind the con­cepts, I see my edit­or. More real than all that. Killing time, pretty much just shit­post­ing memes while wait­ing for the writer to fin­ish writ­ing what is writ­ten in the stars so he can edit it. Bey­ond that are a few more trans­par­en­cies. I won’t bore with the details. But base real­ity begins at my edit­or. For the sul­tan, what is real and what is more real is flipped on its head.

Advanced Strategies

On a large por­tion of the grounds of the man­sion is the most mar­vel­lous grave­yard. Maze-like unman­i­cured garden paths between the tomb­stones, statues, mauso­leums make it easy to get lost. Some guests nev­er return. Some swear that the tomb­stones move, rearran­ging the paths. In the middle of the grave­yard is a pretty pool with a foun­tain. Not that every­one has seen it. Some guests spend hours at a time explor­ing, wan­der­ing along the paths, and nev­er find it.

A very peace­ful spot. After sit­ting there, the man­sion seems dif­fer­ent. No longer just a haunted house, but a home, drafty and eccent­ric. The whole thing seems to glow from with­in. 

If you hap­pen to be at the old man­sion when the thir­teenth day of a month falls on a Fri­day, you’re in for a treat. That’s when gandma cooks up a cauldron of her spe­cial squid eye­ball stew. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried it. Might not live too long after­wards, either. If you even sur­vive the ordeal itself, that is. The squid is def­in­itely dead, but the stew is not. As grandma sings-songs as she stirs, “until the squid is truly dead, the stew can­not live.” And don’t both­er ask­ing her about what makes the stew taste so good. You prob­ably don’t want to know. But she won’t tell, any­way. She always says “no explan­a­tion is as sat­is­fy­ing as a bowl of hot squid eye stew, sweetie. Now shut up and play with your food.” 

One floor of the old man­sion has many, many rooms. Prob­ably over a hun­dred. But all of the doors are locked. There is a key in front of each door, but it’s the wrong key.

Find­ing the right keys for the doors would be a time-con­sum­ing and ardu­ous task. These ingeni­ous locks res­ist being picked, by pulling the little tools right out of the hands of a break-in artist.

Oppress­ive loneli­ness hangs heav­ily in the quiet cor­ridors up here. After try­ing a few keys in a few doors, most guests give up and go back downstairs.

You want to get a tight grip, because the rope is yanked up very fast. So fast that it looks like everything around you is sud­denly fall­ing away with such speed that fric­tion against the air causes it all to burst into flames. Quite a har­row­ing exper­i­ence. But you’ll do fine. Just make sure you hold on to the rope.

There are so many inter­est­ing things to do and see in the rest of the man­sion. The steamy labor­at­or­ies, the writh­ing green­house, the dusty lib­rar­ies. Floors of magic and syn­chron­icity. Who could for­get the dun­geons, every­body’s favor­ite. And the salons where cob­web-covered skel­et­ons sit on the sofas. They talked their sub­jects to death.

I think it’s funny how the first impres­sion of the floor with the locked rooms is a sigh and a “this may take a while.” But if you were pris­on­er in a fort­ress and one of the locked doors led out­side, you’d say, “Ah, what a care­less jail­er I have. I’ll be out of here in no time.”

That’s time for you, I guess. We aren’t in a fort­ress, though. It’s just a plain, silent floor. Hey, listen. You can hear some skel­et­ons still chat­ter­ing in one of the salons downstairs.

The old man­sion is a pop­u­lar des­tin­a­tion for ghost watch­ers. Some don’t call them­selves ghost watch­ers, they prefer ‘paranor­mal invest­ig­at­ors.’ And they aren’t ghost watch­ing, they say that they’re fol­low­ing the breath of the man­sion. We oblige them, naturally.

A favour­ite ghost to watch is the ‘ball­room hanger.’ A long spir­al stair­case in the grand ball­room climbs up through the high vaul­ted ceil­ing and into a tall tower. Sec­tions of the stair­case have col­lapsed, leav­ing large gaps here and there.

But that does­n’t stop the ball­room hanger. It glides around the stair­case, over the empty spaces and right to the top. Then jumps into the middle of the spir­al wear­ing a noose with enough rope to stop it just before hit­ting the ground.

Then the ghost dis­ap­pears. But the rope does­n’t, it retracts as if someone is pulling it back up. Which is use­ful, as it turns out, since by grabbing onto it you will be pulled up, too. This is the only way to get to that par­tic­u­lar tower, what with the big holes in the staircase.

(In that par­tic­u­lar tower, we have a Got­tlieb Haunted House pin­ball machine. There are three play­fields on this table. Two but­tons con­trol the flip­pers on the main floor, and a second set of but­tons con­trol flip­pers on both the upper floor and in the base­ment, which can be seen through a plexi­glass win­dow in the main floor. Drop-tar­get mul­ti­pli­ers, hit numbered tar­gets in order for skill bonus, unlock multi-ball. All to an awe­some soundtrack: Bach’s Toc­cata and Fugue in D minor, nat­ur­ally. Go for the high score.)

You want to get a tight grip, because the rope is yanked up very fast. So fast that it looks like everything around you is sud­denly fall­ing away with such speed that fric­tion against the air causes it all to burst into flames. Quite a har­row­ing exper­i­ence. But you’ll do fine. Just make sure you hold on to the rope.

The import­ant parties at the old man­sion are the ones that hap­pen every full moon. There are parties on new moons, hol­i­days you’ve nev­er heard of, and oth­er spe­cial events and occa­sions, too. The New Year’s Eve parties every Hal­loween are legendary. But the full moon parties are the ones every­one wants to be at because they’re the ones with a guest list.

If you did­n’t make the guest list you can still crash the party, as long as you agree to play a vic­tim in the murder mys­tery party game that starts dur­ing dinner.

Guests come wear­ing the latest fash­ions from the present, past and future. The mix­ing styles always tri­an­gu­late in sexy arbit­rage. These parties have been known to get pretty wild.

The obser­vat­ory tower is roped off. Dur­ing the party, a few chosen guests are allowed up into the v.i.p. area. They’re nev­er seen again. The guests are only chosen at the party, there’s noth­ing you can do before the party to ensure you will be allowed up past the vel­vet rope.

The occu­pants of the man­sion dis­ap­pear around mid­night, wan­der­ing off into the night car­ry­ing dessert plates and glasses. But the party rages on until dawn, when the man­sion itself dis­ap­pears, guests and all.

Only the drivers in the obser­vat­ory tower know where the man­sion goes after it dis­ap­pears, if any­one does. The rest of the guests invari­ably wake up in their respect­ive homes, in their respect­ive beds, not know­ing how they got there.

No ghost­watch­er­’s trip to the old man­sion is com­plete without a vis­it to the garage/rec room. Ghost mech­an­ics work on old cars, while foozball tables played by invis­ible hands look like non-euc­lidi­an engines, the pis­tons on the sides mov­ing in and out in their arhythmic way.

Cir­cu­lar paddles and pucks hov­er and glide high above unplugged air-hockey tables. Appar­i­tions crowd around arcade cab­in­ets, root­ing for the ghosts. Every time a pac-man dies, they cheer.

The back of the gar­age is a jumble of video mon­it­ors and car parts, wrapped in a tangle of wires and cir­cuit boards. This is where doc­tors and sci­ent­ists both liv­ing and dead exper­i­ment on dif­fer­ent ways to get a ghost into a machine.

They have not had much luck yet. A ghost can pos­sess a machine, but actu­ally get­ting in one is anoth­er mat­ter. One ghost will get lost in the chips, anoth­er gets sucked into a vacu­um tube.

The most prom­ising meth­od so far is entrain­ment. For this, the tech has to be fairly advanced. The exchange between the tech and the ghost must be of such a nature that they learn from each oth­er. The cycle of reci­pro­city gains momentum, soon the tech has a heart which is the ghost’s heart, a soul which is the ghost’s soul.

The biggest hurdle is giv­ing the tech a mind that is the ghost’s mind. For this to hap­pen, the ghost must con­cen­trate. If the trans­fer is suc­cess­ful, the res­ult is not an arti­fi­cial sin­gu­lar­ity. It’s more like the video game comes alive, becomes a game to which the ghost can now entrain itself completely.

Secret pas­sages, stair­cases and hid­den rooms in the old man­sion reveal them­selves unex­pec­tedly, as if the man­sion chooses when to show them, and to whom. You can search for entrances, but a wall pan­el that you were cer­tain was sol­id yes­ter­day may slide open for you today.

Guests are usu­ally stunned when they begin to real­ize the extent of the net­work behind the walls. Sud­denly every book­case might be a door, the heavy mys­ter­i­ous fire­place might swivel.

Now there are red-hot embers in the fire­place. Funny how the fire is lit, and yet isn’t. Isn’t, yet does­n’t need light­ing. By pla­cing wood on the glow, the fire will jump up of its own.

It’s kind of like in the story of Lord Nrsimha, avatar of Krishna. I’ll sum­mar­ize off the top of my head. A demon-prince, I don’t remem­ber the name, has fol­lowed all the rules of sac­ri­fice and pray­er until he’s gran­ted a boon. He asks to be invin­cible day and night, on the ground or in the air. Now he thinks he can­’t be killed, and goes around act­ing like a demon-prince with impunity.

So Lord Nrsimha grabs him at twi­light, sits down on his throne with the demon-prince in his lap, and tears him to pieces.

On rainy nights a green light comes from the win­dows high at the top of the obser­vat­ory tower of the old man­sion. The green light isn’t seen from the inside, though. The source of the green light is a mys­tery. It has been sug­ges­ted that it is an atmo­spher­ic elec­tric­al phe­nomen­on like the St. Elmo fire.

The room at the top is an astro­labe. Ancient devices have been mod­ded to con­nect them to the latest advances in com­put­ing equip­ment, the whole room quietly clicks and whirs, hums and purrs.

In the middle of the room is a table with a book on it, n‑dimensional col­lapse manip­u­la­tions: har­ness­ing syn­chro-entan­gle­ment. The book is as cum­ber­some as its title.

The book is open to a page in the first chapter. To make it inter­est­ing, I could place the con­tents of the page in a quote box, and provide a dead link at the bot­tom of this strategy guide. But I won’t do that. Why should I make things interesting?

The page starts in the middle of a paragraph: 

“Adding up all wierd­ings does­n’t get us to the sev­enth dimen­sion, we need to add a dimen­sion, we’ll call it the myth­ic dimen­sion. Adding up all myth­ics does­n’t get us to the eighth dimen­sion, we need to add a dimen­sion, we’ll call it the celes­ti­al dimen­sion. (Incid­ent­ally, this eighth dimen­sion is where the galactic fed­er­a­tion has its headquar­ters. Although that is top secret inform­a­tion, so don’t go blab­bing about it. Human­kind just isn’t ready.)

Adding up all celes­ti­als does­n’t get us to the ninth dimen­sion, we add the dimen­sion of the mundus ima­ginal­is. The high­er dimen­sions begin at the tenth dimen­sion, the world of light. The elev­enth dimen­sion is the heav­en of light. Altern­ately, the tenth and elev­enth dimen­sions are called the lower and high­er dimen­sions of light.

The twelfth dimen­sion is the hid­den dimen­sion. We don’t see it, but it is there. The thir­teenth we call the world of pure lights, and the four­teenth is called simply the resplendent.

This is by no means the end. After the resplen­dent is a veil of mys­tery, bey­ond which are dimen­sions without end. There is no end but the end of end­ing. To say there is no God but God is only to say there is no hori­zon but the next hori­zon, and after anni­hil­a­tion comes the anni­hil­a­tion of annihilation.

So work­ing our way back­wards from the anni­hil­a­tion of anni­hil­a­tion, back through anni­hil­a­tion and the veil of mys­tery, the resplen­dent and the pure lights, the hid­den, and the high­er and lower dimen­sions of light, we find ourselves back in the mundus ima­ginal­is, at the top of the lower dimen­sions. If we keep going, down through the celes­ti­al, the myth­ic, the wierd­ing, and the proud and cour­ageous etern­al, we finally come to the dimen­sion of space­time. We’ll call it the hero­ic dimen­sion, the abode of the hero of time.

Below that is the dimen­sion of faith­ful bod­ies, the dimen­sion of sym­bol­ic mas­tery, and the first dimen­sion, the dimen­sion of dimen­sion. Bey­ond the first dimen­sion is a dimen­sion­less dimen­sion. This is where you can find me at my post. Some people divide the dimen­sion­less into four ele­ment­al dimen­sions, or dimen­sions of integ­ral struc­tures, fire, air, water, earth. some people add anoth­er dimen­sion­less dimen­sion inside the earth, where they mine for mater­i­als, like Minecraft.

After the dimen­sion­less dimen­sion, there are no more dimen­sions, just demen­tia, the­or­et­ic­al phys­ics and oth­er spe­ci­al­ity math­em­at­ics. As Hawk­ing says, “there may be things smal­ler than a Planck length, but it would be mean­ing­less to talk about them.”

So we go up again. When in the dimen­sion­less dimen­sion, look­ing up at dimen­sion one, the dimen­sion of dimen­sion, it is import­ant to remem­ber where you are in the field of dimen­sions. For­get­ting the scale of dimen­sions is the biggest mis­take one can make. It causes stu­pefac­tion, and you will lag behind. And when you are at the bot­tom and lag behind, it can­not end well. If you become stu­pefied high­er up you will also lag behind, but there is at least a chance you will snap out of it before you fall too far behind.

To read more you’d have to turn the page.

Occa­sion­ally a new occu­pant settles in to the man­sion. The pre­vi­ous occu­pants don’t move out, the new occu­pant joins the others.

The new­est occu­pant always takes out the trash and recyc­ling, gath­ers the mail and news­pa­pers down by the gate, gives tours, pol­ishes the sil­ver, and much more.

The new occu­pant is an expert tour guide, bring­ing the man­sion alive for the guests. But the new occu­pant does­n’t see the man­sion as guests see it. For the new occu­pant, the man­sion is in ruins. Walls caved in, ceil­ing col­lapsed, noth­ing but the sky above. A rare type of bird lives in the ruins, sort of a cross between crow and para­keet. A super-intel­li­gent spe­cies, not your aver­age murder and pandemonium.

When the moon split apart, the new occu­pant was down by the gate get­ting the paper, watch­ing in sur­prise as the pieces rained like met­eors down on the man­sion. But the new occu­pant chose to stay in the ruins, liv­ing with the super-intel­li­gent birds. Does­n’t see the old man­sion as it was, not even in the mind’s eye. Yet still sees it clearly, plain as day, somehow.

Any­way, I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. Tell your friends. Be sure to stop at the gift shop on your way out.

Soon the old man­sion will get lost in the threads. But those who have vis­ited it don’t ever get lost, they simply van­ish. In a moire dis­tor­tion veil, leav­ing lots of cherry blos­som petals in their wake.