Maybe we should consider the longevity from the position of the immortal. The previous article gave the beginnings of a description of such a thing, which I will repeat here:
A. Patience must override judgment
B. Patience and prophecy yields a complex strategy
C. Ambergris is the cause of moderation
D. Moderation mysteriously is the cause of life
This has deep roots in mysticism which I will sketch out here. (D) suggests superstition about the bones, and a way in which the body is endlessly animated. (C) is rooted in the superstition about immortal drugs, and the profound capacities necessary to make use of them (e.g. ‘a mortal would fail’). (B) is simply a re-hash of the age and youth conundrum, but it is also a rhebus for ambergris. (A) ‘patience must override judgment’ refers to the age-before-youth principle, but also a kind of divine ‘madness’, which is not passion or reason, but something original mixed between them.
Summarizing the four points, we have the following effects:
Nor are these points to be take alone or in another order.
One interpretation is that someone in a position of privilege was merely interpreting what was thought to be an experience of the immortal realm, but which in fact was a very involved fantasy. While that might be a possibility, it seems certain that at least in a fantasy capacity, the future experience of ambergris depends on prior examples of experience. That is not to say that ambergris is un-serious, or that anyone should do any unscrupulous sampling. Instead, as I have outlined before, the very nature of ambergris is to be scrupulous. So what is the meaning of the set?
One approach is to compare opposites (A-C and B-D). Madness is supposed to have a ‘function’, and ‘pensiveness’ is an ‘activity’ presumably involving the drug itself, or the related madness. For practical reasons I will discount the idea that the drug is maddening, at least in the sense ascribed to normal drugs. We are considering that the effect of the drug may be ‘omniscience’, ‘omnipotence’, ‘omnipresence’, ‘omni-benevolence’ or some other such principle (‘omnivolition’, ‘omnivalency’, etc.), so there is no concept that the drug is dysfunctional except by a failure to reach some threshold of mastery; If this is an assumption based on the martial arts or some political mask of strength-over-weakness, we can at least declare that there could be some occult significance to the idea that one or another of these properties is attainable; On a literary level, each form of mastery refers to a linkage of multiple texts, which connote time spent or life enjoyed, which must be taken in at once, or seen to be a part of the temporal knowledge of other people, and perhaps unattainable things; It appears that there is a threshold of profit within the experience, which is also folded against knowledge; Yet knowledge is the ultimate reward, if immortality is already ‘attained’;
Returning to the theme of the earlier passages, the function of madness may refer to something specific, such as knowledge or vitality, whereas I suspect that pensiveness is a general function which may be observed independent of the tenuous nature of the exercise. I treat the case as an abstract one, perhaps symbolic more than metaphorical, yet clearly it interpenetrates with psychology.
What if function is taken with ‘activity’, and ‘pensiveness’ is taken with madness? The result is more radical, and seems to depend on some kind of correspondence with the world. Pensive madness is like a direct correlation with experiences, such as symbols, interpreted from experience. Activity-functions then become dubious enterprises of engaging with the manifestations of the significance of whatever qualifies as ordinary life. In the case of the Greek Gods, the riskiest immortal activity might involve (via some concept of conservativism or orthodoxy), the most sincere communications with other beings, or the most creative endeavors upon truth and reality. This is comparable perhaps to those who experience altruistic leanings when they have taken cocaine or heroin. Clearly those are not behaviors to be condoned. So there is of course the usual note of caution. We don’t know much about the nature of ambergris, unless it is something of the utmost subtlety, and even available universally to the most refined senses. I don’t call this madness as much as an endeavor to make good on the literature.
The first perspective, which I did not fully describe, was the combination of mad-function with pensive activity; This was the primary enterprise of the drug, the process of endeavoring to make good of the drug in its own terms; So there are two processes implied by the use of ambergris, according to the descriptions which I have generated in analysis: (1) The creative and communicative yet utterly corrupt stage of mad pensiveness, and (2) The primary function of the drug, that is, adapting to the qualities and functions of ambergris, or pensive activity. This bears some comparison to the idea of standard mania in humans, of stages which are by turns productive or depressed. It is possible that history has sustained more than one guess about the connection between creative genius and the mad workings of the gods. So perhaps that explanation is something we can weed out of the determinations.
Say, if it is neither a drug, nor brain ‘chimaerastrae’ what of it then?
We cannot say it is ‘mad activity’ because that is like mania. We cannot say that it is merely pensiveness, because this brings on descriptions of many unhelpful emotional states. Instead, we must consider the full comparisons of pensive and active, to pensive and mad. Mad sadness suggests an ironical view in which (1) sadness produces happiness and vice versa. This seems like a good clue. (2) Perhaps understanding by contrast, or (3) by insincerity. (4) Understanding what others do not understand. The second comparison, ‘pensive activity’, must be a response to those conditions (truth and falsehood, contrast, insincerity, knowledge); The result is something like (1) Appraisal, (2) Balance, (3) Performance, and (4) Wit;
Comparing the two sets of four, the result is the following four stages:
1. True and false appraisal
2. Contrasting balance
3. Insincere performance
4. Knowledge of wit
5. Balanced truth and falsehood
6. Contrasting performance
7. Insincere wit
8. Appraisal of knowledge
9. True and false performance
10. Contrasting wit
11. Appraisal of insincerity
12. Knowledge of balance
13. True and false wit
14. Contrasting appraisal
15. Insincere balance
16. Knowledge of performance
Comparing opposites within the sets yields the following abbreviation:
1. Appraisal: True and false appraisal of insincerity
2. Balance: Contrasting knowledge of balance
3. Performance: Insincere performance of true and false
4. Wit: Contrasting knowledge of wit
5. Balance: Insincere balance of truth and falsehood
6. Performance: Contrast with knowledge of performance
7. Wit: Witty insincerities about truth and falsehood
8. Appraisal: Contrasting appraisal of knowledge
This can be abbreviated further to reveal four levels:
1. Appraisal of Wit: The true and false appraisal of insincerity involves witty insincerities about truth and falsehood
2. Balanced Appraisal: Contrasting knowledge of balance involves contrasting appraisal of knowledge
3. Balanced Performance: Insincere performance of truth and falsehood involves insincere balance of truth and falsehood
4. Witty Performance: Contrasting knowledge of wit involves contrast with knowledge of performance
This is more like standard-exam consciousness than ambergris consciousness, but for once it is a relief!
The levels may be seen as relative and extensive, and called by the following names:
1. Stated opinion
Each level can be treated as a kind of Brahmin-ascension ambiguously linked to the use of a powerful drug called ambergris.
That concludes The Secret Principles of Immortality, Edition 19.
Nathan is an author of books and an avant-garde artist. He encourages everyone to live a long, healthy life. His published works (coherent philosophy and other themes) can be found at the following address: