The Cosmos, Echoed: tracing parallels in myth, the fetish, and intention in a digital cosmos
Like our ancestors who faced the unexplained forces of nature in their daily lives, we are living in a world that is increasingly unexplainable. Faced with a non-concrete technological plane and an imminent reality of cyborg man, we now ask the same questions of our ancestors, but directed towards a different, digital cosmos. This essay traces parallels in myth, the fetish, and intention, questioning their task when forming a new digital world. Traditionally, fetishism and myth were subject to a renegotiation of their power or meaning. Why then, do we not subject the digital cosmos to this same renegotiation?
In the autumn a young man had a vision. Every night he dreamed of an often-travelled wood. In this wood lay the path he travelled to reach a neighbouring village.
In his dream a path digressed from the known path, and from it, another path led into the deep wood.
From that path, came another path. Like the roots of the oak tree, so it continued until these paths spread over vast distances, hidden from the skies above.
While he walked, he met many young men unknown to him. To each one, he asked, “Where are you coming from?”
They did not answer, but they chose to walk alongside him.
The men would walk together through that first night and the many other nights that followed. At times the paths crossed one another until there was no longer a beginning or end. The more they came across such paths, the more soothed the men felt. They became lulled in their implied eternity.
One night they took a turn where they should have not and they no longer came across any new paths. They walked that single line for many nights, until all the leaves had fallen from the trees and they could smell snow in the air around them. The men began to hurry. They walked faster, hoping to find a new way to take them out of the woods before winter came. They searched the leaves at their feet for signs of direction.
And though it had all this time remained, the men did not glance at the sky above them where the stars hung in fixed permanence, now visible through the exposed branches.