Image by Bialy--Gallery: The Counterfeit Countess

Taoist minister in Chinese livery with some exuberance carries — and I cannot say whether he carries this inside or out him a dark and smoky Buddhist master — as his source or proxy — some temporizing accommodation has been reached with the local Buddhist constabulary — i.e. temple apparatus — or possibly the converse of this — the Buddhist metaphysicians regulate the polity and the Taoist bureaucrat were his factotum. The interchange twixt Taoist and Buddhist in whatever era pretended here, betokens nothing quite historical — that is, not temporizing at all — but an interchange of subtly related archetypal dominants. The local details of the arrangement; sums exchanged; moralities exerted or compromised, are with due deliberation and in support of the transcendent aim, suppressed withal. In any case, if I just stood around and waited, eventually, through the fog of the ambient, all things would come into view — not as a vast and all-ingratiating panoply, but one by one, disclosing the chain of intimate time as a clearing IN the fog: a tortuous compound or composite, rivers through improbable localities crossing on the moor, autumnal paths incised with blackened Cenozoic leafage, the hoof prints of variant pachyderms, petri-dish detritus of laboratories (haply) long-unfunded . . . for the matter itself is tortuous, diffident, almost impossible. Still, the mind is almost like that – snap-shots and fragments, yet each one internally undulant with effluvial riches if one finds support in oneself for the leisure to explore. To say that reality itself is a circle sans circumference revealed at the focus of some optical apparatus, perhaps is to confine one’s inquiry too exclusively to eye-born informations; though, for some millennia now, the Eye has been the favored surface of the human sensorium. The other senses hide beyond the “outline,” and to leave the outline unlimned — well that’s the argument. Concentration, whether of Taoist or Buddhist variety, nevertheless shall be called upon to elicit even optical information; con-centration itself being an optical principal for ordering the sense: to hold one’s bearing among haptic, olfactory, or auditory data requires some other regimen. And it does take concentration to extract from the gray puppy-dog figure with extravagant ears at the top of the unlimned circle, something other than a cuddly glow, for the “function” applied succeeds in disarming such distraction: those are not ears, but a  smoky zodiac that swirls round him as a crown. In sum: Outline and liminal ambiguation alternate throughout, inducing intellect to disclose, as if in recovery of unwonted frankness, the internal disparity of its most puissant algorithms.

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