The free association thread

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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:23 pm

I'm finding that to have considered the possibility that a post in the cat thread was deleted by the mods says something. Not about the mods, or the 'current climate' of the board, although it might say something about that, too. But it says something about me.

What does it say, though. It says Cats are super important to me, of course.

I don't know, maybe it doesn't 'say' anything. Not like a cigar is a cigar, but like a sign is silent.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:21 pm

In the quarter of the tavern, there are many men
Who can decipher secrets from the tablet of existence,
Outside the wonders of the conditions of the world,
They are aware of secrets, but they lead their normal lives.

Don't you believe it.

I found it in the memoirs of the first Aga Khan, he's quoting Suhrawardi. There's been a shit-ton of research on and translations of Ismaili literature from the Alamut period in recent years. We've come a long way from "assassins lurking in a cloud of hashish."

Although research had already put the propaganda to rest long before. Bill Burroughs and Bob Wilson should have known better, or didn't want to know better.

I'm not angry at them, just disappointed. Since then, Bill did turn me on to Denton Welch. So I guess Bill is redeemed. Denton's prose goes down so easy. It's as if what is said extends right up to the horizon of what's left unsaid, there's no "gray zone" left in between. A thoroughly enjoyable writer.

Not that the Old Man of the Mountain isn't dangerous. It just isn't because of any assassin drug cult. It's because he proclaimed the great resurrection in August of 1164. The end of sharia law. Women need no longer wear veils, and should be educated alongside men.

So you can see why the old man was dangerous. These heresies are always the same heresy, aren't they?

But what does the great resurrection mean for you, a stubborn literalist who doesn't live under the shariat. Nothing, nothing at all.

Obviously I'm not technically free associating here. But where else to put a post like this? Don't feel like searching through the thousands of threads for an appropriate one. Or starting a fresh Alamut thread. I see no reason. I'm not on a crusade for the Ismailis.

Why bother writing it at all. Or writing, at all. I don't know. Maybe you have heard of the wound that can only be healed by the weapon that made it. Or the fetters that can only be loosed by the one who tied them.

But whatever. I'll let you get back to more important matters. The great debates. How many licks to the center, mr. owl. How many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

Yes, but how many can you fit at the end of your pen?
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby Harvey » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:57 pm

Obviously I'm not technically free associating here.


I believe you're perfectly within the wide and generous spirit of the thread.
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:11 am

Thanks, I do try.

But now perhaps I should free associate in a more traditional way, as an encouragement to participation. Although, all my words nowadays could be considered an invitation.

A wide and generous spirit, a wide mouth with generous lips. A big smile. A cheshire cat, a Cheshire cheese.

Why does a Cheshire cat grin like that. The historians continue to speculate. Some say the smiling cat was a popular label on good, crumbly Cheshire cheeses. But that doesn't answer the question, why put the cat on the label in the first place?

This is because in an area where much cheese is produced, there are lots of mice. Also, lots of milk, naturally.

A cat would be quite happy there, wouldn't you say. I can just picture a contented cat sitting by the fireside, reading a book. Of Mice and Milk, of course.

Also, the cats all have milk on their whiskers. A milk moustache on a cat highlights the shape of the cat mouth, brings out the grin.

Moustaches, mario, mushrooms. We're still in the vicinity of Wonderland, here.

Adding the vanishing cat to the moustache leads to Groucho singing Hello, I Must Be Going. And we're back to crumbling cheese.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby Harvey » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:53 pm

dada wrote:Thanks, I do try.

But now perhaps I should free associate in a more traditional way, as an encouragement to participation. Although, all my words nowadays could be considered an invitation.

A wide and generous spirit, a wide mouth with generous lips. A big smile. A cheshire cat, a Cheshire cheese.

Why does a Cheshire cat grin like that. The historians continue to speculate. Some say the smiling cat was a popular label on good, crumbly Cheshire cheeses. But that doesn't answer the question, why put the cat on the label in the first place?

This is because in an area where much cheese is produced, there are lots of mice. Also, lots of milk, naturally.

A cat would be quite happy there, wouldn't you say. I can just picture a contented cat sitting by the fireside, reading a book. Of Mice and Milk, of course.

Also, the cats all have milk on their whiskers. A milk moustache on a cat highlights the shape of the cat mouth, brings out the grin.

Moustaches, mario, mushrooms. We're still in the vicinity of Wonderland, here.

Adding the vanishing cat to the moustache leads to Groucho singing Hello, I Must Be Going. And we're back to crumbling cheese.


I take it this is a personal invitation, since you bring up the Cheshire cat (real enough, like the Welsh dragon (which was adopted by Liverpool for their symbolic heraldic beast, the 'Liver Bird') all of whom I've seen and vivdly remember (much as the genesis of Frederic Edwin Church's vision was clearly remembered by him)

Frederic_Edwin_Church_-_Our_Banner_in_the_Sky_(Terra_Foundation).jpg


but the real question remains, 'what is real?') and since you appear aware that I'm a denizen of Cheshire and have been much of my life, perhaps I should accept the invitation, despite not knowing what it entails. My experience was of a gigantic golden intricately drawn cat, woven of cloud and evening sun, grinning straight out of Tenniel, but with no attached suggestion of origins. It led me one day to the Cheshire Cat pub ostensibly to apply for a job. While I waited for my interview, I noticed some archive photographs of King George V visiting Chester in 1913 https://www.britishpathe.com/video/king-at-chester-drive-in-open-coach in a 'motorcade' of open topped carriages, on a stretch of road remarkably evocative of Dallas in the photo I saw. I'd just been immersed in reading about the Black Hand and Gavrillo Princep, and suddenly it occurred to me that if George had been assassinated here (this feeling was accompanied by intense intimations of some such unrealised plot) other European heads of state would have been slightly more careful in the year that followed, and of course modern history would have been very different. I never followed up the lead but I do remember the vivid 'intuition.'
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And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


Eden Ahbez
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:17 pm

I didn't know you are in Cheshire, but free associating led me there.

What is real, like a riddle? I feel like gollum when bilbo asks him, 'what have I got in my pocket.'

Not an official invitation, more like the stars are an invitation to look up. They don't send out official invitations.

Looking up at the invitation of the stars, one sees them turning around a centre, marked by the pole star. Is this a real perspective? It is for the navigator charting a course. Real enough.

Exactly as real as it needs to be, more or less. But really for the navigator, every sky is a painting of the banner of a nation in one world or another. All the places he'll be making stop overs. Resupply, give the crew a break.

Traditional free association: Dragon, King George. A King, a throne. Angels. Cabbages. Walrus, capenter. Joker, thief. Thief, baggins.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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