Wake Indra: Why

"Why?" - Wake Indra / Experience Mythology Project / Fin Wake Indra Net

Context: WakeIndra.com website, the "Fin Wake Indra Net" art project of collage art. "Experience Mythology Project"


I, Stephen Gutknecht, became frustrated with the trends of the commercial Internet (humanity in general) and what I saw as a worsening of the "Tower of Babel" metaphor in human relationships. From November 1999 onward, age 30, I stopped working in traditional offices and moved into RV full time in USA and in 2004/2005 spent one year in South America, specifically Arica Chile / Tacna Peru. I wanted to understand how the Internet was changing everyday life, media ecology. This was self-funded travel, I worked from home since November 1999 on cloud computing, my travel had nothing to do with any employment or work. Again, media ecology and comparative mythology / comparative cultures of everyday living and technology progress of everyday people was my reason for travel.

I found myself frustrated that everyday people and technical creators and designers alike seemed to lack education and understanding of media ecology, metaphors as a common human interpretation, and that technology was expanding divisions that the metaphorical Tower of Babel defined.

In 2006 I studied the Ubuntu philosophy and you see I have associated on the home page of this very website Ren (Chinese: ) with Ubuntu philosophy. I intend no disrespect in blending these, I consider it part of the need to humanize the machine-influence of all human languages in our current period important, and that is my inward to outward intention. Similarly, I may invoke the metaphor of "out of Africa' origin of humanity, I'm not here to debate fossil evidence and migration paths ,but the general idea that we all have a common ground, I would point to Sagan's poem Pale Blue Dot.

Since my 2006  focus on Ubuntu, I found myself coming back time and time again to James Joyce's body of work on the Tower of Babel metaphors and cross-references. And I recognize in what I see as his core trilogy, year 1916 onward publication of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man a pattern of expression on the humanities, with an eye towards media ecology.

Two teachers/professors based much of their life work on James Joyce's perspective. New York Professor Joseph Campbell on the field of Comparative Mythology, and Toronto Canada Professor Marshall McLuhan on Media Ecology / Medium Systems.

Education, Information, Understanding, Comprehension

I was born near Martin Luther King Jr's church in Georgia, USA. I have studied his sermons/lectures/writing throughout my life, and he has been an excellent translator of USA lifestyle to Ubuntu philosophy and Ren philosophy for me. I have also found Malala Yousafzai (and her father) to share many of the same ideals on reformed interpretation and understanding of humanity. Both Martin Luther King Jr and Malala warn of third world war, notably Malala in her interviews with John Stewart in October 2013. Malala's focus on education is one I have had my eye on since the 2005 One Laptop Per Child Internet project. It seems an overwhelmingly large problem, how people turn away from education and the network effect of being on Pale Blue Dot with such poor comprehension and understanding as common ground. This again has always brought me back to James Joyce's illustrations of Tower of Babel in Finnegans Wake, and his focus on metaphorical myth in Portrait, Ulysses, Wake trilogy. And, again, Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, Joseph Campbell, who connect to Finnegans Wake - and I've also been a serious student of Paul Allen and his focus on films and music, George Lucas in his interviews with Bill Moyers, Rick Roderick's lectures from 1993 "Self Under Siege", and since 2016 Peter Pomerantsev on media ecology hostile assaults upon the mass mind, which Howard Bloom has also articulated well.

Marshall McLuhan's 1968 book "War and Peace in the Global Village" has truly been an inspiration, it is thirty years after the finished publication of Finnegans Wake by Joyce, and builds upon the media ecology themes. McLuhan is a great public speaker, he dresses snappy, he had social popularity - all of which I personally lack. But his focus on collage art has inspired me to focus less and less on my personal words in speech and writing, which have declined with my personal brain damage and problems over the decades, and the "book as information service" concept of clip-art. Not to say I support simplistic "meme communication" that you find dominates modern social media,  because most of what I feel is absent in comprehension is deep, complex, rich - like Finnegans Wake is by Joyce. I could never write as good as Joyce... and the research he did in publishing 1916 Portrait onward in the trilogy is amazing!  I couldn't reproduce his 1916 work with my modern Internet tools in 2024! At best, I feel myself a kind of cheerleader trying to draw attention of more people who can better organize, articulate, communicate... all of which I severely struggle with in 2024.

Sorry if this writing is sloppy, poor. I am truly struggling with brain damage in my input/output. Further, I have been immersed in other cultures with language - in Africa with French and Arabic, in South America with Spanish, in Jordan with Arabic, in Indonesia and Malaysia with their languages. I know my autistic brain can not cope with foreign languages, yet computer code I can more easily read and interpret, but even that has become an overwhelming soup since turning age 50. Let me be clear the multi language aspects of Finnegans Wake and verbally being able to speak it - is a horror show for the damaged areas of my autistic brain.  The beauty to me in Finnegans Wake is the Indra's Net of Pearls / Gems / Jewels - the interconnection of meaning and experience. It garbles my input/output center of my brain, as does immersion in other cultures and even now since 2015, my own culture I can barely communicate. I struggle with every sentence, written, verbal, etc.

Overlapping waves of expression are what I also like so much in Joyce's work, Neil Posman's work, Malala's emphasis, Howard Bloom's work... going at common ground issues of humanity from a prism perspective. You will find me repeating and re-iterating like FInengans Wake, there is no begining or ending and it may all seem too verbose and complex, but that is how I have experienced  life in my travels - and it is metaphors that bind all the Tower of Babel. In 1993 Rick Roderick described "fractal selves" in his Self Under Siege lectures, and so too does that metaphor come up. Fractals are repetitive and also patterns that describe life itself - and I think Finnegans Wake is a great example of fractal expressions of metaphors in language.

I did create a collage art of videos "About WakeIndra page"...

Everybody, I love you (Deja Vu, echo echo echoland), but I do find input/output to be a constant struggle, and the violence of conflicts between humanity jams up both my input and output, and I truly hope we can merge the best of all of us into Pale Blue Dot poem understanding.

Stephen Gutknecht, RoundSparrow

Repeater repeats: Autism Translation