northanger (northanger) wrote,

hodological space

[1] I have no sympathy with reptiles. Of any kind. But after Daniel Albright delivered his lecture at this year’s Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, Ireland, more than a few of us were struck by a sudden, obsessive interest in the chameleon. For Yeats, the Hodos Chameliontos, the path of the chameleon, was the poet’s sexy and dangerous enemy: the path of poetic error and imaginative paralysis that results from “venturing too far” into the imagination’s labyrinthine, shapeshifting symbols and images. The poet’s dilemma: snatch a glimmer of a mystical vision from the path and return to write about it, or drink deeply and remain its speechless captive. Albright described this uncanny allure of the chameleon that “confused the eye…to stare at it was like peering at one of those collations of swimming dots that opthamologists use to test for color blindness. And of course, if you stared at it, it would stare back at you, with a single eye, as the other eye gazed backward, as if it were making an arrogant display of ignoring you.” —Lost in the Poet’s Shape-shifting Image, Pursuing the Protean Yeats, Anthony Cuda

[2] When Yeats collected his early poems in this edition, he gave them the heading "Crossways." These works, written before The Picture of Dorian Gray, manifest a shared climate with Wilde. The culture of the chameleon is here set in borderlands of mist and dreams and moonlight, at the water's edge, where "eve has hushed the feathered ways, / With vapoury footsole by the water's drowsy blaze." Through the many voices sung out in the ballads and in the short lyrics of lost love, Yeats weaves a pattern of image and symbol, beautiful and intoxicating as a vision. Though Yeats work will diverge strongly from this early aestheticism, the chameleon's colors are imprinted on this first book; Wilde's remark, "all art is at once surface and symbol," is an apt description of the patterns of these poems. —W.B. Yeats: Collected Poems

[3] Yeats in his autobiography, alluding to alchemical traditions, calls hodos chameleontis, the way of the chameleon .... The path of the chameleon discernible in both Iser and Beckett is, as in Heraclitus's fragment about the hodos that is both catahodos and anahodos, a way up that is also a way down, a way forward that is a way back, and a response to living, even the end or goal of living, that is also a response to dying, another kind of end to and of living. Traversing the path enables looking in two directions. Yeats concludes the section called Hodos Chameleontis in his autobiographical writings by introducing his theory of masks. He takes Oscar Wilde’s ideas about masks and elaborates them into the notion that self and anti-self in the artist are linked. Wilde expressed the double, antithetical vision that Yeats took over in his essay, “The Truth of Masks,” from Intentions when he says in the closing sentences that “A truth in art is that whose contradictory is also true.” It is this kind of insight about the simultaneous coexistence of opposites, with its challenge to Aristotelian logic, that links Beckett and Iser in ways that make Wilde and Yeats also relevant. —The Way of the Chameleon in Iser, Becket, and Yeats, John Paul Riquelme

[4] See also:

[5] Hodology is the study of pathways. Not listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, this recently created word is used in several different contexts. (1) In brain physiology, it is the study of the interconnections of brain cells; (2) In philosophy, it is the study of interconnected ideas; and, (3) In geography, it is the study of paths. —Hodology, Wikipedia

[6] This leads us to an important structural characteristic within Bollnow's work. He presents his spatial concept in complementary oppositions. Evidently this has to do with his subject. On whatever level, experienced space is structured according to complementary principles. Bollnow describes the dynamics of "back and forth", the "fundamental double movement of going away and coming back" which articulate human space. This leads him to the description of all kinds of paths, ways, and roads and how space along such movements is experienced. Later we hear about the "hodological" space. This is a type of space which differs absolutely from mathematical space. Path-space or hodological space, corresponds to the factual human experience during movement between two different points on a map. It is absolutely different from the geometrical line which connects two points .... The term 'hodological space' is derived from the Greek word 'hodos' , path, way. In contrast to the mathematical concept of space as presented on maps, plans, etc. 'hodological space' is based on the factual topological, physical, social, and psychological conditions a person is faced with on the way from point A to point B, whether in an open landscape or within urban or architectural conditions. —Review of O.F. Bollnow's "Man and Space" (Part Two), Nold Egenter

[7] Many successful Generation X'ers -- those born between 1965 and 1984 -- are tormented by anxiety, fear of failure and a lack of control over the forces that affect their lives. To cope, many have adopted "chameleon" personalities, pretending to be what others want them to be, but at great emotional cost to themselves, according to a new book by a Cornell sociologist. In Masks and Mirrors: Generation X and the Chameleon Personality (Praeger, 2001), Bernard Carl Rosen, professor emeritus of sociology, asserts that elite Generation X'ers are at the forefront of the technology revolution but are filled with anger at the preceding generation -- the baby boomers -- who, they feel, takes advantage of them. To the frazzled, elite X'ers, who feel under intense pressure in a fiercely competitive society, the glue that keeps society together looks weak and the social system feels wobbly. "To cope with their anxieties and fears, many X'ers have decided that fighting is useless, submission intolerable and escape impossible. Thus, they choose pretending -- that is, they become chameleons as their only chance for protection," says Rosen, a socio-psychologist. "This practice, however, of pleasing whomever they are with, is ultimately self-defeating." Over time, "chameleonism," pretending to be something one is not, becomes permanent, Rosen said. —Book Review, Susan Lang

[8] Lewin defines a "hodological space," which enables him to consider directed paths in his topological diagrams. "Hodology" is a term Lewin derived from the Greek hodos, meaning "path." —Understanding Conflict and War, Chapter 3: Psychological Field Theories (see note #58), R.J. Rummel

[9] Kurt Lewin is considered one of the pioneers in psychology, especially social psychology, one of the founders of group dynamics and one of the most eminent representatives of Gestalt psychology (Gestalt theory). In Organizational development (OD), social psychologist Kurt Lewin is considered a founding figure. —Kurt Lewin, Wikipedia

[10] “...for a building to be motionless is the exception; our pleasure comes from moving about so as to make the building move in turn, while we enjoy all combination of its parts. As position varies; the column turns, depths recede, galleries glide: a thousand visions escape...”. Paul Valery, The method of Leonardos.Movement & Space, Lecture 8, Intro to Architecture & Environment

[11] Space is experienced through movement. —Movement & Space, Lecture 8, Intro to Architecture & Environment

[12] In antiquity, the Greeks realized that man was born with an inquisitive mind, and as result of this inquisitive mind, man quickly realized that moving from one point in space to another point in space in the efficiency of mathematics or the shortest distance between two points, a straight line, was in fact, spatial[ly] boring. The Greeks realized that man preferred, instead, to meander through space and experience space through movement in numerous qualitative ways. This desire to move through space, by meandering, is referred to as a “hodological sense”. Movement and its interactive experience must be designed; otherwise movement through space is merely functionally efficient .... The Greeks located their sacred temples so that an observer could meander around the temple, and view the temple and its architectural delight from many different positions. The temple served as a landmark to the meandering observer. As creators of our environment, we can orchestrate movement in much the same way that a choreographer orchestrates a dance. We can combine the systems of movement with the attributes of movement, and in doing so; we can alter static environments into animated ones. —Movement & Space, Lecture 8, Intro to Architecture & Environment

[13] Gibson offers useful insights into the visual perception called into play in a large outdoor space like the theater of Dionysus in Athens. A second "spatial thinker" who provides interpretive help is the gestalt psychologist Kurt Lewin, whose notion of "hodological" space seems particularly appropriate to Greek tragedy. Hodological implies roads or paths, the root hodos present in the Greek word eisodos 'way in' (used by Aristophanes of the side entrance-ways into the theater), exodos 'way out' (applied in Old Comedy to the chorus's final exit), and parodos 'side way' (the term for the entrance song of the chorus). For Lewin, hodological space is space that matters, paths that tie people together or distances that keep them apart--put simply, direction to and from. The basic pattern of arrival and departure in the Greek theater--the interpretive basis for Oliver Taplin's groundbreaking study The Stagecraft of Aeschylus--lends itself to Lewin's psychological view of space. We might contrast Lewin's gestalt sense of space as a medium of connection with that of a "modernist" like Proust, who viewed space as a primal quality that keeps things from coming together, manifesting a cruel separation at the heart of things. Speaking broadly, Greek tragedy prefers Lewin's hodological connectedness but sees it (and not Proustian separation) as the source of potential tragedy. —The Play of Space: Spatial Transformation in Greek Tragedy, Rush Rehm

[14] In her paper, "Apollonius as a Hellenistic Geographer," Doris Meyer considers the physical organization of Apollonius' narrative in relation to the habits of thought of Hellenistic geographers. Meyer notes that attempts to understand Apollonius' use of geographical matter in terms of scientific geography have been unsatisfying, and therefore moves the focus of the debate from Apollonius' use of geographical data to his use of geographical narrative. The importance of geographical narrative to the Argonautica is most clear in Meyer's distinction between "hodological" and "cartographical" narratives, the former represented by the experiential periplous, the latter by the map. Meyer thus explains, for example, the fantastic Istros of book four as, "not a real geographic entity but a projection onto an imaginary map of something which was partly trade route and partly schematic speculation"). Meyer touches on related topics such as the poet's relation to his prose sources and the distribution of "hodological" and "cartographic" geography in the poem, offering a tantalizing glimpse into an under-explored aspect of Apollonius' thought. —A Companion to Apollonius Rhodius, Paul Ojennus, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

[15] SEPTEMBER 28th - (Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, Sixth Day, The Holy Night) The way through which they issued from the city was' called Hiera hodos, the sacred way, the resting place Hiera syke, from the fig tree which grew in the neighbourhood. They also stopped on a bridge over the Cephisus, where they derided those that passed by. After they had passed this bridge they entered Eleusis by a place called mystike eisodos, the mystical entrance. —Perpetual Calendar, Fellowship of Isis

[16] ...the first day being called Anodos (ascent), or, according to others, Kathodos (descent), the second Nesteia (fast), and the third Kalligeneia (fair-born). —Thesmophoria, 1911 Encyclopedia

[17] The world was produced by the transformations of the primitive fire. There is a cycle of changes by which fire through a process of condensation, or rather of quenching (sbennusthai), becomes water and earth. This is the downward way. And there is a cycle of changes by which through a process of rarefaction, or kindling (haptesthai), earth goes back to water and water to fire. This is the upward way. Now, the one is precisely the inverse of the other: hodos anô katô mia. —History of Philsophy, William Turner

[18] HODOS ANO KATO: MIA KAI HOUFE. Way Up Down, One and the Same. —Heraclitus

[19] ASTEROIDS: Persephone Downgoing = Kathodos (Descent) | Proserpina Upcoming = Anodos (Ascent).

[20] Fragment 60: "Way up down, one and the same." hodos ano kato: mia kai houte. There is one way and two directions; there is only a way if there is a going one way or the other; yet there must be a way that allows for up and down but is not up or down. This way is the structure of change that does not change. This is the one of day and night. It is one and the same; but there cannot be a same if it is not the same as another. Up is not down but the same as down; they are two. There are altogether three: way, up, down. The way is the one of up and down; it is one only if one and one are put together. It is logos that puts them together. Just as the second part of the logos tells us through the "and" to put the three together--the one of the "one" and the two of the "same"--without itself putting them together, so the first part of the logos does not put its own three together either but sets them side by side. It allows them to be read together without being put together, if one takes it as a nominal sentence on its own that says, "Topsy-turvy is the way," or as we sometimes say in distraction, "I don't know whether I am coming or going." Disorder, however, is pathless, yet there is a way. Topsy-turvy and up-down are one and the same. There is and is not a structure, and they are the same. The absence of structure is in either of the ways by itself as well as in both ways taken together if they are simply put together-topsy-turvy-without the bond of mind (aneu nou). Only if one puts them together with mind (xun noi) does one understand (xunienai) that they are together (xunon) and one. Heraclitus' deepest pun seems to be that "to go together" (xunienai) and "to understand" (xunienai) are one and the same. This is the one of "being together" (xuneinai) and of "understanding once and for all [xuneinai]." —(broken link)


[22] I am watching the opalescence of my absinthe, and it leads me to ponder upon a certain very curious mystery, persistent in legend. We may call it the mystery of the rainbow. Originally in the fantastic but significant legend of the Hebrews, the rainbow is mentioned as the sign of salvation. The world has been purified by water, and was ready for the revelation of Wine. God would never again destroy His work, but ultimately seal its perfection by a baptism of fire. Now, in this analogue also falls the coat of many colors which was made for Joseph, a legend which was regarded as so important that it was subsequently borrowed for the romance of Jesus. The veil of the Temple, too, was of many colors. We find, further east, that the Manipura Cakkra--the Lotus of the City of Jewels--which is an important centre in Hindu anatomy, and apparently identical with the solar plexus, is the central point of the nervous system of the human body, dividing the sacred from the profane, or the lower from the higher. In western Mysticism, once more we learn that the middle grade initiation is called Hodos Camelioniis, the Path of the Chameleon. There is here evidently an illusion to this same mystery. We also learn that the middle stage in Alchemy is when the liquor becomes opalescent. —Absinthe: The Green Goddess, Aleister Crowley

[23] Hodos Chamelionis: Path of the Chameleon—the knowledge of the colours of the forces which lie beyond the physical universe. 3:31. Lecture details of the Rainbow Colors of the Queen Scale Sephiroth, coloring to be used by the Adeptus Minor. The Bow [Qesheth] is of brilliant and perfect colour, whose analysis and synthesis yield others of the same scale, and hence is this entitled “The Book of the Path of the Chameleon”—that Path, namely which ascendeth alone through the force of Qesheth, the Bow [Temperance card or Hebrew letter Samekh as path from Yesod to Tiphareth, therefore up the middle pillar]. 3:31. To climb this path one must work with the Forces of Qesheth the Bow, that is: the Sephiroth being in the feminine or Queen’s scale [Briah, Cups, Heh, Water] and the Paths in the masculine or King’s scale [Atziluth, Wands, Yod, Fire]. ..&etc. —Hodos Chamelionis, Glossary, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

[24] is necessary to postulate the existence of a form of Energy at their disposal which is able "to cause change to occur in conformity with the Will"—one definition of "Magick" .... the thaumaturgic engine disposes of a type of energy more adaptable than Electricity itself, and both stronger and subtler than this, its analogy in the world of profane science. One might say, that it is electrical, or at least one of the elements in the "Ring-formula" of modern Mathematical Physics. In the R.R. et A.C., this is indicated to the Adept Minor by the title conferred upon him on his initiation to that grade: Hodos Camelionis:—the Path of the Chameleon. (This emphasizes the omnivalence of the force.) In the higher degrees of O.T.O.—the A.'.A.'. is not fond of terms like this, which verge on the picturesque—it is usually called "the Ophidian Vibrations," thus laying special stress upon its serpentine strength, subtlety, its control of life and death, and its power to insinuate itself into any desired set of circumstances. It is of this universally powerful weapon that the Secret Chiefs must be supposed to possess complete control. —Chapter IX: The Secret Chiefs, Magick Without Tears, Aleister Crowley

[25] If you decided to pursue philosophy and the good life, you would approach the divine by becoming conscious of your soul. You would then ride across the geography of the all and everything in its vehicle, arriving at a conscious union with the divine. The essence of the Alexandrian tradition is the study of how to remain conscious of the existence of an invisible world of great meaning and importance in the everyday state of mind. The vehicle of the soul and the emotions is the amphibious nature of a human whose body is confined to the earth while the soul can fly or swim through space. —Orphism, Ralph Abraham

[26] There was the way out of the little room with millions of changing colours, ever so beautiful, and it was lined with armed men, waving their swords for joy like flashes of lightning; and all about us glittering serpents danced and sang for joy. There was a winged horse ready for us when we came out on the slopes of the mountain. You see the Sixth House is really in a mountain called Mount Abiegnus, only one doesn't see it because one goes through indoors all the way. There's one House you have to go outdoors to get to, because no passage has ever been made; but I'll tell you about that afterwards; it's the Third House. So we got on the horse and went away for our honeymoon. I shan't tell you a single word about the honeymoon. —The Wake World, Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light, Aleister Crowley

Tags: hodology

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