403 I-land frogging to Penang in a veiled return to undifferentiated animism
Kupang, West Timor—Jan 10, 2015
Dear Inurnet ..
Shifted from SoE to Kupang .. on the coast .. where in 1990 we 1st arrived in Indonesia .... had good seafood on the beachfront .. tho a barbed-wire fence separated us from the beach .. covered for the most part w/ detritus + signs warning of crocodiles .... got a room + went to workout but wasnt open .. brand new hotel nothing working .. sweltering hot + aircon not working .. not in room either + no window to open .. we can switch hotels they said .. change rooms or hotels? .... ends up entire hotel (56 rooms) needed to be relocated to another hotel .. what a nightmare ..
.. around Kupang we walked in flip-flops .. down round the market + harbor .. complete shithole .. garbage + pigshit/mud everywhere + lecherous guys ogling at the 2 girls we with .. now pouring rain ..
.. continue us to read How Natives Think by Lucien Lévy-Bruhl .. formulating theory on primitive consciousness in terms of collective representations of a community .. nowadays in such a globalized world the collected representation becomes embodied in u .. Inurnet .... every1 + them mothers connected .... he gives ample examples of intresting superstitions + beliefs that exist round the world .. funny tho .. we've been to a lot of «undeveloped» (as Lévy-Bruhl calls them) places but the most superstitious place we've ever been? .... Italy ..
.. but the «primitive» makes no distinction between the mystic + material world .. undifferentiated all the same .. them belief system so ingrained + intuitive them dont even call it nothing («animism» an anthropological construct) ..
.. about dreams Lévy-Bruhl also talks .. sumthing we also heed w/ reverence .. specially in terms of our writing .. but as he anthropomorphically says (for how cd he know?) between reality + dreams natives cant distinguish either .. sleep time blurs w/ the waking ..
.. natives also don't believe in chance .. while to sum extent a belief we ourself buy .. we've probly said this before (no such thing as coincidence) but (w/ us) it has more to do w/ underlying hidden causality than chance .. the mathematician in us believes in chance .. it knows that even tho 3 planes have gone down in this region in the past year that our chances = same as ever of crashing yet again .. unless there exists an underlying/hidden cause ..
.. in light uv all this cartoonish violence over religion we call for a return to animism .. a universal animism rooted in our fundamental biology + evolution + our need to live in harmony w/ the animal world .. a troubling aspect about Indonesia—they have ID cards that require them to declare a religion w/ 5 options .. but atheism not an option .. nor animism (even tho many of the primitive cultures specially in these parts still have animist beliefs or have incorporated them to some extent into whatever religion has been imposed upon them) .... the other day we applied for an Indian visa + a required question = your religion .. but atheism or «none of the above» or animism not an option .. only the recognized big 5 .. (we checked Buddhism just cuz seems most benign in regards to why India asks) ..
South Kuta, Bali—Jan 11
.. resurfaced back in Bali .. 1 day of relative luxury after West Timor .. spent the afternoon recharging (bodysurfing + drinking piña coladas in pool) ..
Bali —> Penang (via Kuala Lumpur)—Jan 13
.. now at airport .. still reading How Natives Think .. Lévy-Bruhl starting now to delve into language + how it reflects the primitive mind set .. giving numerous examples in particular Native American cuz seems he worked w/ Klamath Indians .. while sum things become simplified (like in bahasa Indonesia no grammar) .. other language developments become very complex .. reflecting the priorities of the peoples speaking it .. for example in the Ewe language there exist dozens of different forms of the verb to walk (zo) by combining w/ adverbs only used in this context:
.. sum landgauges have no words for body parts (arms or tongues etc) unless specific to a person .. other languages have no generic term for father (or mother .. brother etc) .. only when talking about a specific person .. + not all pronoun set a given .. we not the only 1s rejecting the idea of «I» .. + the verb «to be» which also we renounce .. «i think therefore i am» means nothing to us .. in undifferentiated collective method-acting by way of language ..
.. w/ us our collective representation ever becomes the sum of books + art + globalized experience ..
.. other landgauges seem almost boolean or mathematical .. «to be or not to be» becomes the quest-ion .. or not .... forgot us to mention here but before we left we read Fish or Not Fish by Peter Markus which beautifully employs such primitive language .. a book composed solely of 1 syllable words .. Markus expands his limited vocabulary to include such words as bird .. while having to renounce brother .. a 1 word review? .. dope ..
.. also intresting how many cultures independently have tradition of taking a vow of silence .. 1 of the more intriguing aspects of The Leftovers cult the «Guilty Remnant» .. tho not sure about all the smoking ..
.. + beyond language (still regarding natives) .. sumthing else we take for granted = enumeration .. counting to 10 .. how there exists many peoples that can only count to 2 or 3 or 4 .. Lévy-Bruhl understands how base-2 or base-5 (# of digits) numbering came along .. but puzzles over why base-4 (the # system we use in our own The Becoming) .. does he forget about the 4 cardinal directions? .. or that we (+ most animals) have 4 limbs? ..
Batu Ferringghi, Penang, Malaysia—Jan 13
.. survived Malaysian Air .. the 1s that got in deep water recently for tweeting «want to go somewhere, but don't know where?» .. which we thawt sort of brilliant .... + also there bucket list competition ..
.. arrived Penang .. more civilized/better infrastructure than say Indonesia .. but kinda boring .. sorta like the Florida of SE Asia .. lots of high-rise condos + traffic .. hazy + sultry .. great food tho .. a perfect storm of Chinese + Indian + Malaysian .. all w/ a worldly fusion sensibility + a plethora of exotic fruits + spices + seafood at their disposal .... we also went to Penang on our 1990 world trip but havent logged that transcribed journel yet .. maybe next ..
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