northanger (northanger) wrote,

Anamorphosis & Anamnesis

k-punk mentions anamorphosis reminding me of a post by Marid Audran quoting PKD's anamnesis from Cosmogony and Cosmology. asteroids #8122 Holbein & #7650 Kaname represent ANAMORPHOSIS & ANAMNESIS on the 827 list (discussed in next post).


an·a·mor·pho·sis :: 1a. An image that appears distorted unless it is viewed from a special angle or with a special instrument; 1b. The production of such an image; 2. Evolutionary increase in complexity of form and function. [New Latin anamorphosis, from Late Greek anamorphoun, to transform : Greek ana-, ana- + Greek morphe, shape.]

Anamorphosis :: In drawing, anamorphosis refers to the representation of an object as seen, for instance, altered by reflection in a mirror. In botany, anamorphosis refers to an abnormal change giving the appearance, of a different species, as in the case of fungi or lichens. (see Anamorphism).

Anamorphosis :: Vision is ordered according to a mode that may generally be called the function of images. This function is defined by a point-by-point correspondence of two unities in space. Whatever optical intermediaries may be used to establish their relation, whether their image is virtual, or real, the point-by-point correspondence is essential. That which is of the mode of the image in the field of vision is therefore reducible to the simple schema that enables us to establish anamorphosis, that is to say, to the relation of an image, in so far as it is linked to a surface, with a certain point that we shall call the 'geometral' point. Anything that is determined by this method, in which the straight line plays its role of being the path of light, can be called an image.

Hans Holbein: The Ambassadors :: Skulls were often used in Tudor England, and Holbein himself included many pictures of skulls in his series of woodcuts called the Death of Dance. Art historians have suggested three possible reasons to why the distorted skull has been included. Firstly, the skull creates a sharp contrast to the objects of the table. The skull, like the Crucifix, is a reminder of death and suggests how death is inevitable. It may also signal Holbein's belief that the mission of the Ambassadors will fail which will led to Henry VIII ignoring their plea for harmony and create deep unrest in the Catholic Church. Lastly and funnily, the skull may be a pun on Holbein's name. In German, "hohle bein" means holow bone!

Hans Holbein :: the Younger (c. 1497–1543) was an artist who painted in the Northern Renaissance style. He was born in Augsburg, Bavaria. He first learned painting from his father Hans Holbein the Elder ... Holbein painted many portraits at the court of Henry VIII. While there he designed state robes for the king.

What is Anamorphosis? :: An unconventional way of seeing :: An anamorphosis is a deformed image that appears in its true shape when viewed in some "unconventional" way. According to Webster's 1913 Dictionary: A distorted or monstrous projection or representation of an image on a plane or curved surface, which, when viewed from a certain point, or as reflected from a curved mirror or through a polyhedron, appears regular and in proportion; a deformation of an image. In one common form of anamorphosis---usually termed "oblique"--- the unconventionality arises from the fact that the image must be viewed from a position that is very far from the usual in-front and straight-ahead position from which we normally expect images to be looked at.

The Ambassadors (Holbein) :: (1533) is a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger in the National Gallery, London. The sitters, both Frenchmen, were Jean de Dinteville (on the left), who was ambassador to England in 1533, and Georges de Selve, Bishop of Lavaur, who visited him in London in April or May of that year. As well as being a double portrait, the painting contains a still life of several meticulously rendered objects, the meaning of which is the cause of much debate ... Holbein used symbols to link his figures to the age of exploration. Among the clues to the figures' explorative associations are two globes, a sextant, an astrolabe, and the various textiles, the rug on the floor and cloth on the upper shelf being the most notably oriental. The choice for the inclusion of the two figures can furthermore be seen as symbolic. The figure on the left is in secular attire while the figure on the right is dressed in protestant religious garb. Their flanking the table, which displays open books, symbols of religious knowledge and even a symbolic link to the Virgin, is therefore believed to be symbolic of a unification of capitalism and the Church.

an·am·ne·sis :: 1. Psychology. A recalling to memory; recollection; 2. Medicine. The complete history recalled and recounted by a patient. Greek anamnesis, from anamimneskein, anamne-, to remind : ana-, ana- + mimneskein, to recall.]

Anamnesis (Greek: “recollection”, “reminiscence”) :: is the term that Plato uses in the epistemological theory that he develops in his dialogues Meno and Phaedo. In "Meno", Plato's character (and old teacher) Socrates is challenged by Meno with what has become known as the sophistic paradox, or the paradox of knowledge: Meno: And how are you going to search for [the nature of virtue] when you don't know at all what it is, Socrates? Which of all the things you don't know will you set up as target for your search? And even if you actually come across it, how will you know that it is that thing which you don't know? (Meno 80d). In other words, if you don't know what the knowledge looks like, you won't recognise it when you see it, and if you do know what it looks like, then you don't need to look for it; either way, then, there's no point trying to gain knowledge. Plato's response is to develop his theory of anamnesis. He suggests that the soul is immortal, being repeatedly incarnated; knowledge is actually in the soul from eternity (86b), but each time the soul is incarnated its knowledge is forgotten in the shock of birth. What we think of as learning, then is actually the bringing back of what we'd forgotten. (Once it has been brought back it is true belief, to be turned into genuine knowledge by understanding.) And thus Socrates (and Plato) sees himself, not as a teacher, but as a midwife, aiding with the birth of knowledge that was already there in the student.

Cosmogony and Cosmology :: Anamnesis is achieved when certain inhibited neural circuits in the human brain are disinhibited. The individual cannot achieve this himself; the disinhibiting stimulus is external to him and must be presented to him, whereupon a process in his brain is set into motion by which he eventually will be capable of fulfilling his task. It is the hidden, true Christian Church that approaches men here and there to trigger off that anamnesis -- which acts at the same time to permit that man to see the projected world as it is. Thus he is liberated in the very act of performing his divine task. The two realms (1) the macrocosmos, i.e. the universe; and (2) the microcosmos, i.e. man, have analogous structures. 1. On the surface, the universe consists of a spurious projected reality, under which lies an authentic substratum of the divine. It is difficult to penetrate to this substratum. 2. On the surface, the human mind consists of a short-term limited ego that is born and dies and comprehends very little, but behind this human ego lies the divine infinitude of absolute mind. It is difficult to penetrate to this substratum. But if there is a penetration in the microcosmos to the divine substratum, the divine substratum of the macrocosmos will manifest itself to the person. Conversely, if there is no internal penetration to the divine substratum in the person, his exterior reality will remain occluded over by the artifact's spurious projected world. The point of entrance to effect this transformation lies in the person, the microcosm, not the macrocosm. The sanctifying metamorphosis occurs there. The universe cannot be asked to remove its mask if the person will not shed his. All the mystery religions, the Hermetic and alchemical and Christian included, hold the individual human as target by which to transmute the universe. By changing the person the world is changed.
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We were constructed to bring the Urgrund into wakefulness, and the instant we acquire anamnesis and faithfully reflect back the totality of the Urgrund, we bring it to consciousness. Thus we perform a major -- a necessary -- task for it. However, when we have performed that task, it will protect and support us forever; it will never desert us. Christ, in his statement in Matthew 25, makes clear that the attempt (with no envisioned goal of an ultimate nature, but merely human love and human help and human kindness) in itself is sufficient. What is not comprehended -- although the meaning of the passage is evident -- is that the poor, the hungry, the sick, the estranged, the naked, the imprisoned -- all are forms of the presiding deity, or at least must be treated as such. To act so as to clothe, to feed, to give shelter and medicine and comfort -- those all constitute reflections of the Urgrund to itself. Those acts are the Urgrund, made plural, ministering to itself in its diversified forms. No right act is too small to matter. We know the basis of judgment and we know the permanent consequences (such metaphors as "eternal fires," "eternal damnation," merely indicate that the decision once rendered is permanent; we are talking about the final disposition of the universe).
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The maker (of the world-projecting artifact) is here, in the animate debris of this world, his memories erased, so that he has no knowledge of his own identity. He could be any one of us, or a number of us, scattered here and there. The artifact, unaware of him, unaware that it is an artifact, unaware of its purpose, will eventually subject this memoryless maker located here to too much pain; this final excess of pointless, unmerited pain inflicted on the life form that, unknown to the artifact and itself, the maker, will cause anamnesis to occur abruptly; the maker will "come to himself," recall who and what he is -- whereupon he will not merely rebel against the artifact and its pain-filled world; he will signal the presiding deity Shiva to destroy the artifact, and, with it, its projected world.
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The Holy Spirit is regarded in the N.T. as an impregnating divinity; it was the Holy Spirit that engendered Christ -- and that Christ is transmuted back into, upon his resurrection. The human race assumes a yin nature, or female nature, with the Holy Spirit as the yang, or male principle. Man, then, does not evolve into God; he evolves into a womb or host for God; this is crucially different. Anamnesis is the birth, in essence the offspring of two parents: a human being and the Holy Spirit. Without the entry into the human being of the Holy Spirit, the event cannot occur. The Holy Spirit is, of course, the Pons Dei. It is the link between the two realms.

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