Κυριακή, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Treasure-hunt cultural game PAI 2011




 Illustrations by gameimager Antonis Papantoniou




ΠΑΙ


«The aeon is a child (ΠΑΙ) playing (chess);' the kingdom is the child's". (Heraclites, fg.52)

Sometimes, a word opens its gargling ‘mouth’ in the midst of our ordinary reality, swallowing us in its resonant belly, in which we shed our skin, peeling and molting according to its image. Thus, the word is incarnated over and over again.
My obsession with the word ΠAI started in the nineties, when I surrendered to SEM; this irresistible attraction of Something Essential Missing; sort of a wound, grafted deep inside me, so deep it was touching the stars and even more. SEM was infiltrating, in my recurrent dreams, in the form of a tiny child; a little prince, pulling me with its little hands out of my comfort, waving me in a game of hide and seek, throwing me into continuous self-shedding adventures and wonders, in the abysmal spongy fields of legends and myth; its natural landscape.
My desire to share this fascinating mythical dimension, softly, overlapping our conventional reality, led me to create the Maps of the Hidden Treasure in the nineties, in which, ancient symbols, names, and natural elements, sprouting in mythical sites of Greece, were interconnected in meaningful experimental itineraries, in which, the participating poets, each “looking for himself” (101), was entering the self-referential riddle of "true nature which likes to hide”(123), feeling the pleasure of “God that transmutes like fire, which, when mingled with incenses, is named according to the perfume of each” (67). There are exceptional gaps in our time texture, which escape from the censorship of our perceptual system, shortcuts to the undetectable background hum of our existence. Those maps were described by D. Bisutti as “landscape semiotics...opening doors to unimaginable dimensions” (La Clessidra.n.1, 1995).
In this map-making process, I was attracted, in 1998, to Samothrace, the legendary island of the Great Gods, where, the mysteries of Ierogamia (sacred wedding) and conception/ birth of the divine Child were at the core of the Cabirian Mysteries. In this sacred site, I recognized the mythical confirmation of a deeply emotional, visceral experience I had in the nineties, as I was painting on old tiles while tuned to SEM: this unknown source of magnetism.
I witnessed ΠAI, the Child,, traversing, the multidimensional forest of my consciousness, landing in our dimension, while, I was Mother/Kore/Child in the Father, at the same time. It was an intense, wordless, poignant experience, objective and subjective at the same time and I was feeling deeply unworthy of the inner vision of that, unconscious, undetectable emanation which is at the root of our irresistible longing for self -surpassement, for love, for birth, for eternity in time..
According to C. Jung, the archetype of the Child is a psychological organ deep in the human body; a human law which contrives us to perform acts of self knowledge. As a 'bordeline phenomenon', its function depends on our connection with the remote past; its malfunction leads, to the destruction of our conscious mind, by its unconscious content, as we are left, rootless, prone to any external suggestion. On the west of his Bollingen tower which represented, for him, the structure of the psyche, C.Jumg set up, in 1975, a stone cube, with the Greek inscription of Heraclites' fragment 52: “The aeon is ΠAI playing...”.
In the museum of Palaiopolis, in Samothrace, I found the inscription ΠAI carved on a votive clay utensil- or, had I carved it myself, sometime, in order to recover it, someday, at the end of the game? I dared to think in a monumental insightful moment of time collapse- The inside out recreation of symbols is the only way to decipher the enigmatic landmarks of memory and the Child/PAI in me was opening hermetic ancient symbols, feeding itself with their core, growing from inside me, as I was diminishing, willingly, surrendered to its infatuation
Through this secretive, pineal experience, that had preceded my voyage to Samothrace, I had, somewhat, conceived, in my own way, the transtemporary mystery of the Great Gods: Axieros (Demetra/Mother), Axiokersa (Persephone/ Kore), Axiokersos (Dionysus/PAI), distinctively blending in Kadmelos (Hermes, or, the consciousness of the initate himself?).
The tentative approach to these 'matters of the soul' requires, what Lucian Blaga calls, an 'ekstatic' state of mind that transcends antinomies; a state of self-hypervasis which is the contemporary trend: “The simultaneous introduction of the continuous and the discontinuous seems, now, necessary in a form that is not understandable” stated Louis de Broglie in the beginnings of the XXc, referring to the wave/ particle structure of matter.
The antinomic fragments of Heraclites, the ancient Greek thinker, known as the Dark one, or, as the Riddler, are in line with the contemporary quantomechanical view of the world. Their very antinomic structure, triggers in us a fundamental intuition of opposites, that leads to transfiguration and produces presence (Parontopoisis). They “do not conceal, nor do they reveal; they mean (simainei)” (93). Heraclites gives us a clue as to their approach with fragment 122 'agchivassiin'/ “ΑΓΧΙΒΑΣΙΗΝ “, ie. moving like a crab, in all directions, simultaneously, around the hermetic paradoxical nucleus, that keeps us stretched in the high frequencies of Agchinoia which means tension of the mind - Agchinoe, nymph of the running waters, is Cabiro's mother and Cabiro is the Cabirs' mother! Greek language contains a vital, fractal, self-referential puzzle, in which the question is the answer?
““What I undestood is important and what I did not understand is important as well “ commented Socrates on the Riddler's fragments, who captured the image of the aeon as the primordial Child playing and tossing in the theater of time, delivered through us “Mortals/ Immortals, Immortals/ Mortals interchanging, living each other's death, dying each other's life” (62). During the sacred conjunction of mortal-immortal in the Cabirian Mysteries, in the temple of Aphrodite in Palaiopolis, Alexander the Great ( al Acbar or Cabir) was conceived. He was venerated as the son of Aphrodite's priestess Olympias and of Ammon-Zeus. He is an historical facet of ΠAI who has founded the Hellenistic cornerstone of the present age, where like children, we play with the contents of culture; the fundamental blocks of the civilization, of all ages.
It was in Palaiopolis, that the legendary Heracleian Stone was said to transmit its magnetism to the iron rings of the initiates and they, in turn, transmitted to the other rings the enthusiasm of the Stone, creating a transtemporal long chain of lodestones, extending to our days. Was this magnetic Lapis, referred to by Socrates as the Spirit of the Age to which poets are first exposed, at the root of my irresistible SEM attraction, that had pulled me in this vertical adventure?
In 2010, a set of circumstances allowed my return to Samothrace for the ΠAI 2010 events, inspired by my poetic text ΠAI, published in 1996. It seemed like the archetype of the Child was ripe to manifest itself, in this critical time of co-resonance of Being (Tauton) with Becoming (Eteron) as described by Plato in Timaeus; necessary, conjunction of Mortals/Immortal for the rejuvenation of the aeon, which is ΠAI playing, tossing, the theater of time. The cascading landscapes of Samothrace captivate you inside their vibrant waterwalls. All thoughts and fears are reverberating back to you. The only way out, of this intensified echo, is to burst, vertically, out of yourself allowing the revelation of wholeness.
For ΠAI 2011, I prepared the concept for a new Treasure Hunt game, in which, the participants, by shuffling a deck of cards illustrated with the sites and symbols to be discovered, confect their own path, “each, growing according to his missing” (126b), looking for Πai inside/ outside himself, ”disentangled from the estrangement that occurs through the constant intercourse with things' (72), hoping for the unhoped, because if you do not hope you will not explore the unhoped, which is unexplored (18)
They are meant to discover hidden clues while tuned to the Riddler's antinomic fragments which topple our conceptual bed and lead to 'awakening'. The object is perceived as a visible expression of the universal, waving us in the poetic hyperspace that embraces the 'sleepers', unexamined, space, opening ourselves to 'evarestissis'; the universal pleasure of Wisdom “that rules everything through everything”(41), “that is apart from everything“(108).
Listen to the Logos (Word) not to me” (50) advices the Dark one.
In this stochastic project of self/ environmental ecology, we open the challenge for a perceptual shift from an Egocentric to a Logocentric mode of existence.
The Treasure to be or not to be found is ΠAI, the Lapis Exilis,'“that is resting in its change(84a). The neglected cornerstone, which is 'despised by fools and cherished by the wise' (Rosarium Philosophorum) will remain on the island, as a long-now tribute to the legendary Heraclean Lodestone; in the hope that it will attract, in its fields of resonance, future generations, challenging them to investigate anew that ever-promiscuous/ ever- virgin landscape, where “the sun is new everyday” (6), where “you cannot step in the same river twice”, actually, not even once; “we are and we are not”!! (49a).
I write this text in Patmos, five minutes walk from the Apocalypse Cave. On the entrance of the little church, there is an inscription from the book of Revelation: “In the beginning is Logos.” and the Enigma deepens, giving birth to more and more questions. In Greek, 'I question' is 'Eroto', derivative of the word 'Eros', which is an anagram of the word 'Ores' meaning 'hours' (time). The winged PAI is the eternal fugitive in our never ending quest for truth, in our lifelong, timebound, fascinating,Treasure Hunt that makes us human .
Patmos, Art 4 View studio, September 2011
Notes
  • ΠAI /Pai means Child. ΖΩ /Zo means I live, ΠΑΙΖΩ/ Paizo means I play (I live like a child).
All the numbers in parentheses stand for the fragments by Heraclites, as numbered by Diels-Kranz, 1956
  • Π is the mathematical essence of circularity that describes the manifestation of our physical world. It is derived by the ratio of the circle periphery to its diameter, as in the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet Θ, initial of ΘΕΟΣ/Theos (God). Θ is carved on sacred utensils of the island, which belongs to the Gods.
  • hic lapis exilis extat, pretio quoque vilis, spernitur a stultis, amatur plus ab Rosarium philosophorumedoctis ("this stone is poor, and cheap in price; it is disdained by fools, but it is loved all the more by the wise"), Lapis Exilis dedication and Greek Inscription of fragment 52 .on C. Jung's Cube stone at his Bollingen Tower, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bollingen_Tower
-The PAI 2010 events in Samothrace were organized by the Union of the Cultural Associations of Evros,
Useful bibliography
K. Axelos, Heraclite et la Philosophie, Les Editions de Minuit, 1962.
L. Blaga, Trilogie de la Connaissance, Librairie du Savoir, Paris, 1992.
C. Jung, C. Kerenyi, Essays on a Science of Mythology, Princeton UniversityPress, 1969.
P. Kasda, ΠAI (Les Sept Dormants, coed. Lucian Blaga University press, 1997).

Selected articles
- D. Bisutti, Polyxene Kasda,La Clessidra magazine, 1/1995 Joker, Italy
-. V. Avram,”Sa surprinzi mitul in starea sa originara”, Tribuna Culturala newspaper, 16/5/97 no. 1918, Sibiu, Romania
- E. Van Itterbeek, « ΠAI Toi et moi», Avant-Propos, n. 159 Cahiers Europeens de Poesie, 1997.
- V. Avram, «Spatiul primordial», Transilvania review 1-2-3, 1996, Cultura Nationala, Sibiu, Romania.
  • E. Koscielak «Μyth/Network 5», Arti magazine', Athens 95.
  • P.Kasda, Il Bambino, Poesia e Spiritualita, Milan, Ιtaly.2009
  • - P.Kasda, Progetto Myth/Network 6 Sulla soglia del tempo, La Clessidra n2. Joker'96
- P. Kasda, Myth/Network 5: The Gate of Fire, Euphorion journal, VI, n. 55.56.57, Romania1995
- P. Kasda, Progetto Myth/Network 1-5 La Clessidra n.1 Joker, 1995

- P. Kasda, Cer si pamant, Transilvania 1-2-3, Cultura Nationala, Romania, 1996
- P. Kasda Myht/Network6: Arkteia. Tradition et Modernite Les Sept Dormants n4 et Universite Lucian Blaga press, 1995

ΠAI 2011
Tinkering with the Riddler's 'dark' fragments in the primordial landscapes of Samothrace
Treasure hunt cultural game


Looking for ΠA, the Tracers cross a deep landscape made of fire, earth, air and water exchanges, while exposed to Heraclites' riddles.They are encouraged to experience the ancient symbols as trans-temporal activators of their brain/ psychic functions, through which subtle unconscious processes are made visible, inducing an extraordinary, unified, awareness of the surrounding world, that involves our whole being, while, tuning to the plantworld's time zone, climbing on mountains, crossing woods of cross-woods (taxus baccata), wild olive trees, protogenic oaks, chestnut, wild maple and pear, cedar, plane trees, smelling hundreds of varieties of bushes and herbs. They navigate under Hanging Waters, they dive in iced lakes, lagoons and waterfalls springing at an altitude of 1400m and bath in warm, sulfurous waters.
Inspired by the PAI concept, a group of local residents created the cultural association IDEA to this end. They shared their living experience in selected locations, with A. Papantoniou/VimViva, who illustrated the spots and the clues to be discovered, on a series of playing cards.The Treasure clues, are magnified, beyond proportion, in these surrealistic images that move between the real thing and the idea we make of that thing while searching for something. They also devised a popular Samothrace Game, based on the illustrated deck, dedicated to the building of a local amphitheatre.
The Treasure is the Lapis Exilis, a stone collected in the island of Aphrodite, Melos, which P. Kasda had used in her performance ΠAI, in the ancient theatre of Megalopoles, Arcadia,in 1997. It is meant to be the foundation stone (Themele) for this new theatre; image of the Child playing in the theater of time.. .
"The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is "man" in a higher sense - he is "collective man," a vehicle and moulder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind." (C.Jung, 'Psychology and Literature', 1930)