Astral plane and cyberspace
by phil on Wednesday Oct 1, 2003 11:40 PM
"Both cyberspace and magical space are purely manifest in the imagination," Pesce says as he sips java at a crêperie in San Francisco's Mission district. "Both spaces are entirely constructed by your thoughts and beliefs."
In a sense, humanity has always lived within imaginative interfaces - at least from the moment the first Paleolithic grunt looked at a mountain or a beast and saw a god peering back. Over the millennia, alchemists, Kabbalists, and esoteric Christians developed a rich storehouse of mental tools, visual dataspaces, and virtual maps. It's no accident that these "hermetic" arts are named for Hermes, the Greek trickster god of messages and information. One clearly relevant hermetic technique is the art of memory, first used by ancient orators and rediscovered by magicians and Jesuits during the Renaissance. In this mnemonic technique, you construct a clearly defined building within your imagination and then place information behind an array of colorful symbolic icons - by then "walking through" your interior world, you can recover a storehouse of knowledge.