[-empyre-] What is the 'egreore'? Arousal, avatar, subliminality

Dear Vijay, Greg, Joseph and empyre,

Regarding the question "what is the egreore'.   Joseph brought this up early

>From Joseph's remarks in his first post (digest #261)...I have eliminated
the accent ague from the words because they have messed up the text when

The context of the word concerns the liminal character of viractual space.

"This space can be further inscribed as the "viractual span of liminality" -
... the condition of
being on a threshold between spaces...
...In alchemical terms an egreore (an old form of the word agreger) is a
third concept or phenomenon which is established from conjoining two
different elements together. I suggest that the term (concept) viractual
(and viractuality) may be a concordant entrainment/egreore conception
helpful in defining our now third-fused inter-spatiality which is forged
from the meeting of the virtual and the actual ...

Gregory, with regard to the difference between the cyborg and the avatar,
does the term egreore relate to the space of either or both of them? It
seems that the avatar archetype in Sanskrit involves the pass through, the
threshold, the liminal; but does it include 'conjoining two different
elements together'? Quoting from your text...

> 1. Introducing Avatars
> AVATARA-Sanskrit.; ava-'down', tarati-'he goes, passes beyond' literally, 'a
> descent', a conception described in the Bhagavad gita, 4th Teaching, 1-8 where
> Krishna confides: "when goodness grows weak, when evil increases, I make
> myself a body." (OED)
> This essay studies the covert, market driven forces at work in our choices of
> images for the avatars inhabiting cyberspace... In contrast, the avatar is
> a mythic figure with its origin in one world and projected or passing through
> a form of representation appropriate to a parallel world. The avatar is a
> delegate, a tool or instrument allowing an agency to transmit signification to
> a parallel world. The cyborg and the avatar, then, share the purpose of
> facilitating operation in another environment. The cyborg has been described
> as a unified but hybrid "other," whereas the avatar is born of a telematic
> split; the original remains in its originary environment while sending a tool
> of signification, the avatar, into a second. In that it never detaches from
> its referent, the user, the avatar differs as well from virtual software
> agents produced by artificial intelligence and neural networks. It is not
> independent and does not in itself learn. The avatar is inseparable in nature
> from its host, the human user. The virtual avatar is software. Its conditions
> are those of a coded environment. The avatar is essentially a visual
> representation, a virtual instrument or imaged prosthesis of its referent-the
> user, and so fundamentally related to linguistic signs and representational
> icons. > Who use an avatar, and to what end? A survey of the avatars and
virtual bodies 
> inhabiting the web reveals a colony of extremely generic, homogenous
> representations rooted in prevailing constructions of successful
> commodification and accumulation: pop icons, juvenile fantasies, dumbed-down
> cartoon characters, and racially pure, white, young, "perfect bodies." A tool
> with the potential for the playful generation of territories of signification
> and empowerment, the avatar is being used instead as a weapon against its own
> referents to seize this terrain of potential as part of a rabid process of
> accumulation. Whether the avatar is a physical, earthly body inhabited by the
> immanence of the metaphysical (Krishna), or the reverse, a virtual
> representation of a corporeal body (a " strap-on" visual agent) the creation
> and use of an avatar involves a pairing or doubling at a metaphysical,
> semantic, and dimensional level between the corporeal and the immanent,
> language and thing, image and imaged, mind and body, and, as we shall see,
> between self and commodity. The avatars inhabiting the World Wide Web have
> been co-opted by forces beyond the user at the keyboard. As I have noted, the
> original avatar marks a top-down descent of a force beyond the human, like a
> Hindu deity,
Is there a geneology from the going-down/descent of the avatar in Sanskrit
to the 'descent' or 'embodiment' into the world by compassionate agents
(bodhissatvas) in Mahayana Buddhism? ( a comparative religion question)?

 but in our current cultural condition it is Kapital, not Krishna,
> that makes itself a body.

Gregory do you view then the Kapital situation a force 'beyond the human'
and in what sense, ie perhaps on the level of phenomenology and
architecture? It is interesting in this connection to contemplate the sense
of the commercial space of the net as having its nascence in the arcades
(more on this below).

Regarding the doubling you mention:

> the creation 
>> and use of an avatar involves a pairing or doubling at a metaphysical,
>> semantic, and dimensional level between the corporeal and the immanent,
>> language and thing, image and imaged, mind and body, and, as we shall see,
>> between self and commodity.

Is there, beyond the pairing, a condition of egreore, in other words, a
recombinant condition, a third or liminal space of identity?

It would seem that the most disturbing aspect of the ubiquity of  avatar
functionality in the liminal spaces of the internet is the fact of

> and dimensional level between the corporeal and the immanent,
>> language and thing, image and imaged, mind and body, and, as we shall see,
>> between self and commodity. The avatars inhabiting the World Wide Web have
>> been co-opted by forces beyond the user at the keyboard.

One wonders if the avatar and the space of the avatar are in western
culture, not liminal but rather subliminal or interiorized in character.
What I mean to imply is the suggestion that the avatar as a 'descent' from
kapital is accompanied by a dulling of the sensorium and neurologic
elasticity of humans.  Avatar as mild anaesthetic...not enough to knock you
out, just enough'there' to make you forget who you are, what your history
is, where you were born, who are your brothers and sisters.  This
anaesthesia is like a gas mask.  The atmosphere inside the mask is
saturated.  I was reading last night, in the ICONOCLASH text put out
recently by ZKM and MIT,  Peter Sloterdijk's essay "Analytic Terror:
Keywaord for Avant-Gardism as Explicative Force" .  He is concerned with the
function of modernity  in connection with  the conditions of what we have
here been calling virtual  constructions.  "we should not forget that what
is today caled the consumer society was invented in a hothouse [he is
following Benjamin here] -- in those glass covered arcades of the early
nineteenth century, in which a first generation of adventure -customers came
to breath the intoxicating perfume of a closed inside world of consumer
In the electronic interiorized space of the net might we contemplate a crowd
of avatar-selves inside an entrapped space that is the functional equivalent
of total multimedia?  Wherein as you suggest, there is  pairing or doubling
of self and commodity, self as commodity, commodity as self.

Sloterdijk gestures, I believe, to that co-optation by forces beyond the
users at the keyboard, to use Gregory's phrasing -- presumably descended
from 'Kapital'-- in the following passage about the atmospheric conditions
of a mass semiconsciousness, or mass subliminaolity.

"A state of semi-consciousness," he writes, "is such in which people move
merely as trend followers in a trance of normality.  As the prevailing total
war is waged principally atmo-terroristically and ecologically (this in the
medium of total mass communication), it spreads the 'morale' of the troops,
who can now hardly be distinguished from the population.  Through toxic
communications, the fighters and non-fighters, the synchoronically gassed
and simultaneously excited, consolidate in a collective state of

Let's imagine for a moment that the 'egreore' --creation of a third
condition from conjoining two elements together, self and avatar, humanity
and commodity, makes, in the space of the saturated hyperreal, a toxic
atmosphere. Everybody has to breathe it.  There is no escape. Amnesia
abounds.  Paranoia is pervasive.  These are the conditions recently
discussed at Cornell under the rubric of Digital Terror and Ethnic Paranoia
(see <http:/ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu>).

"...Beneath sealed communication domes, hopelessly aroused...the inhabitants
breathe in their own breath, again and again.  Whatever is in the air is put
there through totalitarian circular communication: it is filled with the
victory dreams of offended masses and their drunken, far from empiric
self-exaltation, followed like a shadow by the desire to humiliate others.
Life in a multi-media state is like a stay in an enthusiastic gas palace.
" (Peter Sloterdijk, "Analytic Terror:  Keyword for Avant-gardism as
Explicative Force," p. 359 in Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, editors,
Iconoclas:  Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Religion, and Art, Cambridge
and London:  The MIT Press and ZKM/Center for Art and Media/Karlsruhe,

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