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[Scott Gilbert]

(all organic beings have been formed on two general laws, according to Darwin:)
(1) unity of type and (2) conditions of existence --> inorganic? fire?
natural selection --> adaptation --> conditions of existence
embryonic homologies --> unity of type
==> “descent with modification” (or decent modifications)
[(embryology =/=) ‘fire’ could transform matters, “change” their class, their type and its unity --> “parvaneh sho!” Rumi wants embryology undermined?]

construct phylogenies
(phylogeny : branching out evolutionarily)

small genetic changes was not sufficient to generate evolutionary novel structures such as teeth, feathers, cnidocysts or mullusk shells (Goldschmidt, 1940) (--> lizards had birdness in it --> potentiality [~-> mutation is not random])

(Waddington then launched into a) critique of the notion of “random mutation,” noting that there are developmental constraints placed on what changes are possible.


...a perceptual game of risking linearity, collapsing discovery and jurisdiction (a judiciary not a branch of any map of governance)


(Haraway on Burning Man:) Fire in the North American West has a complicated multispecies history; fire is an essential element for ongoing, as well as an agent of double death, te killing of ongoingness. The material semiotics of fire is our times are at stake.
[]three icons (suggestions by Haraway, three “-cene” tuned tor the touch of its critters):
1- ‘missing ice’ of the Capitalocene
2- ‘flame’ of the Anthropocene
3- ‘red clay pottery’ of the Cthulucene

surgeon monster marvel encyclopedia curiosity human animal nature figure fish waterbody [source: On Monsters and Marvels by Ambroise Paré 1510] (Conley >) Rosolato treats perspective in terms of the origins of sensuous affect:
infant's projective activity + infant closes its eyes to fend off menace, hence negotiating with the real in a space and time prior to the mirror stage


The artful sandwich of Rostam-rock-div provides a thinking mode of who-caries-who: whose being is dependent on whose existence. The earth that the Rostam is laying on, is sacred, on the hands of an ancient creature, who has a very delicate way of “wounding” very much different than Rostam’s quick hit-man style.[23] The div does not “end” Rostam as efficiently as the protagonist might have done it, but introduces the intermediate being of the lithic and the riddle. The div engages in a game. Rostam wants to kill. Finish a job.

The techno-sci-story of the bacteria producing the air, earth and mitochondria,[24] is the one I like to delink-with the Rostam of Shahnameh from its chain of meanings and relations to the div that he must kill. The Rostam-stone-div compilation is about the abyssal div’s death-forming and life-forming powers. Rostam, himself coming from certain transvaluative body-buildings, is taking a nap on a billion-years-old stromatolite. Is the div’s self a form of fossilization story of the now? “Do you want to go to the mountain or ocean?” An old form of preying. He introduces an intimate perspective into the geological time-continuum. The thousands-years-old div as geological phenomena (in Ferdowsi + Mu'in diagram:) structure and morphology of a landscape made by bacteria, [“ attention to your ‘place’ in] the bedrock I am carrying you on.”

The div Akvan, coming from Akoman and Aka Manah, in Avestan relates more or less to “noxious thinking.” Divs are old and skillful ancient biotic entities with disagreeable characteristics. Their definition is yet open and subject to interpretation. But always disobedient to the sovereign’s project and abyssal in nature, divs promoted another kind of order, other than the old Gods. Their project was always to disillusionize the ideas of divine nondestruction and nontechnological purity. They are on the side of destruction, technology and death. When Rostam captures the great White-Div, Div-e Sepid,[25] a nasty metamorphosical sentient master in “unsympathetic magic” and an expert in the crafts of necromancy [ارتباط با مردگان —> he works with form, apparition and spirit, “dead bodies,” his knowledge-cosmos includes textures of mineral assemblage and recrystallization,[26]] his blood is eventually instrumentalized in bringing back the lost eye-sights and unearthing the captured ones.

The athleticism of Shahnameh doesn’t allow Ferdowsi to have another take on the order of div. The poem will not permit chaos.[27] In Shahnameh, divs are the defeated ones. Ferdowsi’s contest-oriented poetic site is towards the defeat of victory of defeat. For him, transcendence, truth, and growth are generated from the outcome of the scene of contest.[28] He locks “dishonor” indefinitely to “defeat.” The defeated-ones become inescapably monsters, divs. So, upon a Ferdowsian landscape of heroism and agon, the way I am trying to archaeologically (re)locate the being of div on Earth and put him in relationality to the lithic techniques of geo-poiesis, is a way for me to ask: how Ferdowsi is disarticulating div’s bodies to rearticulate other bodies? The humanoid Middle-Ages Persian body, the stoned, the fleshy mineral, the decaying ones, the creaturely, and so on. How can we reversely remetaphorize his tropes? How can we arrive at the stone? How can we unfinish the (death)sentence div is uttered with, and pre-epically recompose him in order to syntactically arrive at his kinship? OK. We are testing questions of nonhuman alterity at Ferdowsi.


“the mind needs wild animals”

more often, there are places where mammal should be but is no longer, *and in this emptiness, too, there is fieldwork to be done*

[*]euphemism: roads that are too civilized

Jesuit padre-historian
Je suis padre (wanna-be-father) historians
(18th century) calling the deserts of Baja California “destitute” without asking the natices if they were misreable
*for many natives in the Jesuit era, christianity was not a means by to give order to mystery (or give order to misery)* it was food. [...] another kind of appetite could lead people there...
*the christian hell looked a lot like the life they had left [...] many Indians so hated the cold that on a chilly day at the mission, a sermon about the fires of christian hell delighted them

Meloy > Steinbeck: “food is hard to get, and a man lives inward, closely related to time”

better roads and bigger tourism = predatory brand of industrial leisure examplified by Cabo San Lucas (and Dubai in the middle east)

(Meloy herself part of a group) a goofy one with animal notes, plant books, and ‘je suit’ literature

(clinging to) the delusion of *feral self-reliance* --> [*]fishing: citizenry in the public of resourcefulness

“do not go to the hunt carrying meat from home.”

in my work the technique of storytelling: to create a stage for a wider out-of-control explosion of gesticulating arms


    “wherever you are, wherever you go, there are untamed creatures nearby that need you attention. unplug your modem. slam shut your self-help books. quit standing around like a wall trout. get to work.
    invite warblers to your neighborhood with shaggy plots of greenery. learn everything you can about the bandit-eyed racoon that stares at you through your sliding glass door, demanding enchiladas.
    mark the direction of jet black darkling beetles marching up a red dune like a troop of miniature helmets. east? south?
    let black widows live in your soffits.
    lie on your back on a breezy sweep of beach and stare at the undersides of magnificent frigate birds. master a hyena's laugh and use it when in the presence of politicians.
    admire the make midwife toad, who carries fertilized eggs on his back for a month. understand that certain species of mollusk can change their gender, know that from a ball afloat on tiny filaments inside its fanned shell, a sea scallop can tell which way is up.
    crane your neck. worm your way. wolf it down. monkey with things. outfox your foe. quit badgering your tax attorney.
    take notes on the deagness of coral, the pea-size heart of a bat. be meticulous. we will need these things so that we may speak.
    the human mind is the child of primate evolution and our complex fluid interactions with environment and one another. animals have enrished this social intelligence. they give concrete expression to thoughts and images. they carry the outside world to our inner one and back again. they helped language flower into metaphor, symbol, and ritual. we once sang and danced them, made music from their skin, sinew, and bone. their stories came off our tongues. we ate them. they ate us.
    close attention to mollusks and frigate birds and wolves makes us aware ont only of our own human identity but also of how much more there is, an assertion of our imperfect hunger for mystery. ‘without mystery life shrinks,’ wrote biologist Edward O. Wilson. ‘the completely known is a numbing void to all active minds.’”
(Meloy, Eating Stone p142-143)


Jacobsen on ancient mesopotamian

*religion = response*

[*]numinous: a unique experience of *confrontation with power* not of this world, confrontation with a ‘wholly other’
--> terrifying, demonic dread, awe, sublime majesty, fascinating, demanding unconditional allegiance, etc.
*positive human response [in thought (myth, theology) + in action (culd, worship)] ==> religion*

metaphor: human psychological reaction to the experience [of numinous] by means of analogy
-in metaphors all that is shared by the worshipers of an individual culture or cultural period in their common response to the numinous is summed and crystallized
-choice of central metaphor: wants to recapture and transmit, the primary meaning on which it builds, which underlines and determines the *total character of its response* = the total character of its religion
-major religious metaphors of the ancient mesopotamians have a double nature as pointing beyond themselves to things not of this world & yet being and remaining very much of the world

in attempting to interpret religious metaphors, one must seek to bring out as fully as possible its *powers to suggest and recall* the numinous
-to one generations is fresh and powerful may be to another seem old and trite
suggestiveness =/= representaive of its period --> literalness: attention to human purposes and values ==> [flase] sense that all has been explained and understood

human's recognition of dependency upon power not of this world --> religious expressino = transcendent hope and trust (=/= Nietzsche)

*(mesopotamian) numinous = immanence (in feature of confrontation) =/= all transcendence

mesopotamian experience of numinous power = revelation of *indwelling spirit* --> power at the center of something that caused it to be and thrive and flourish =/= Old Testament's numinous = transcendent {---> go to the experience of Moses with the burning bush: ‘God =/= bush’ --> **God happened as it were sojourn there موقتا but he is altogether transcendent, and there is nothing but a purely situational ephemeral relation with the bush}
----> a mesopotamian would have experienced the burning bush differently: numinous power of the bush's being (not just “in” it) --> numinous = immanent =/= transcendent

power speaking to Moses in the desert disassociates itself from the bush and identifies itself as the god of Moses's father --> needs introduction =/= numinous power speaking to the mesopotamian Enkidu in Gilgamesh Epis does not choose to disassociate itself from it locus and so needs no introduction. --{"the sun god heard the word of his mouth; from afar, from the midst of heaven, he kept calling to him.” <-- the power is here seen as immanent in the visible sun, is what animates it and motivates it, *is the god who informs it*}

in Akkadian (the language in which epic of Gilgamesh is written): ‘the word for X = the numinous power in X’
(word for) visible sun = sun god
the sumerian word for sky, the visible blue dome overhead, which turns black and full of stars that make their wat across it at night = the name of the numinous power in the sky, its power and its will to be, the sky god

the form given to numinous encounter may adjust to the content revealed in it

*sometimes the form-giving imagination reads details and meaning into a form beyond what is given in simple observation* --> the numinous power in thunderstorm developed from the dark thundercloud into an enormous black eagle, but since the mighty roar of the thunder could not well be imagined as issuing from other than a lion's maw, this bird was given a lion's head

**form-giving imagination**
rings the changes on a basic meaningful form in a whole series of variations, each expressing the underlying numinous content in different ways
-series of suggestive variant images all expressive of its power to wax, to produce and yield

lord: a charismatic leader magically responsible for producing fertility and plenty for his subjects
...situationally determined nonhuman forms ----> victory of human form over nonhuman forms slowly and with difficulty (with the begining of third millennium from early Dynastic onward)

intransitive: fulfilled in the specific situation or phenomenon and did not reach out beyond it (~ characteristic boundness to some phenomena)
(ancient mesopotamian saw) numinous as immanent ==> name that power and attribut form to it in terms of the phenomena

[Jacobsen's well articulation to pose a question -->] *the characteristic of mesopotamian boundness to the externals of situation in which the numinous was encountered...* ==>
differentiation ==> pluralistic aspect (--> polytheism) --> divine aspects that it recognized

plurality ==> ability to:

“No god went by, why are my muscles paralyzed” (Gilgamesh) --> ‘god = paralyzing fear’
uncannily good luck
sudden realization of having come to harm
numinous power experienced in sudden illness
*no allegiance was invented* ==> no cult developed

they are gloomy, their shadow dark,
no light is in their bodies,
ever they slink along covertly,
walk not upright,
from their claws drips bitter gall,
their footprints are (full of) evil venom.

(from [more primitive?]) dread --to--> fascination

the shivers and chills (of death)
that fritter the sun of things,
spawn of the god of heavens,
spawned on an evil spirit,
the death warrants, beloved sons of the storm god,
born of the queen of the netherworld,
who were torn out of heaven and hurled from the earth as castoffs,
are creatures of hell, all

we are not determined, we are engendered

numinous as immanent --> external habituation: inviting (or magically enforcing) the presence of the power within

efforts of such habituation:
cult dramatic
fashioning or appropriate divine images
religious literature

*cult drama: the form fills with its content*
literally re-present god, presenting his external form, (bring about the god's presence through ritual representation of him) --> beneficent results for the community [--> still works today]
sacred marriage
yearly lamentations
battle drama (primeval contest for world order against the forces of chaos)
fashioning of images (of the god) --> to achive lasting presence

poetry: means of invoking the presence of powers [--> we are doing this still?! bad poetry]
creative power of the word underlines all mesopotamian (religious) literature
works of praise
works of lament (specialized lamentation-priest @Sana, Ali )
*lament: influencing and swaying the divine heart by reminding the god of past happiness, rather than by magically recreating that past*

(mesopotamian:) *temple = house*
(implication between) the divine owner and his house --> emotional closeness of a human owner and his home + the *closeness of essence* (of being) --amounting--> to embodiment =/= habituation
--> house = temple = representation of the power that is meant to fill it

(similar to human dwelling) ***house = temple = the place where the owner could be found (or felt)***
--> that god (the owner) was present and available

the god's retainers --> because the temple was god's home, was not only near and approachable, he was involved with the fortunes of the community and commited ti maintaining it --> *mesopotamian temple was profoundly awesome* (it carried awesome aura, awesome or angry nimbus هاله)
-the temple was covered with loveliness
-the [...]