Chapter 21: Pink’s Epiphany

The Homunculus in the Machine

A glimpse into the obsessive mind of the founder of the Hacke Packe, one Phinheas Han, AKA Pink, the Annunciator of the Moshiach module, putatively the Ultimate Avatar of the Prophet Elijah. Pink decrypts the Calendrickal Misterie embedded in CADMan’s programming and identifies, to his surprise, Ram Nissan Katz AKA RamKat as The High Priest of The Redemption. In which Pink’s queries spur the omniscient narrator to tip his hand.

The Reader is reminded that this is a continuation of Undivided: The Redemption Inquiry. The 21st chapter of the novel and the fifth of…

Part the Fourth—Beasts of the ApocalypseHerein lie the Histories of the chief Architects among the sundry soules who shall comprise the Hacke Packe. The Human Soule and its Other have risen in this telling to the World of The Emanation of Cosmic Consciousness, the threshold where Fate is sealed and released as Quanta to fulfill Divine Will, or Desire, in Ye Worlde belowe.

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My skull! Ghost go bang, bat trapped in attic. Pink sighed. Damned haunted head. His progress decrypting the Apeiron code grinds to a halt. Pink squats low to the floor, immersed in an elaborate Kafkaesque fantasy of cosmic obstruction. His feverish brain deploys the Tibetan art of waking and dreaming. An avatar in imagined bondage—

I feel so diffuse. I ungather. Maximally ungathered. Reality from the perspective of lassitude, written. I can’t reach my pen. The tips of my fingers do not desire each other. All of my sinews gone slack. Where the source of movement? I am stopped and frisked, de-frisked, all of the frisk taken out of me. I lie motionless by the side of the road. Anarchy. After 90,000 odd miles, my vehicle has at last disassembled itself. She stands over me with one spiked heel aimed directly at the center of my chest. I dare not move. I catch the sensuous outline of her face. The only stirring, a subtle energy at the foundation. She shows mercy. I am transported to a court of law. I am there in no time. It is there in no place. I am stopped at no point, the point of entry. Stripped of all connection, all communication, I am bid enter. The fraternity of guardians is a laconic bunch. All their energy is gathered in their eyes. I wander unknowing the halls of an impressive edifice. Staircases rise and fall. Each one calls to a different part of me, tugging me in the six directions. No map to guide me, no signs, no source of augury, only the presence of others.

Some give false directions with undeserved confidence. Some retreat in confusion. Some stand in a state of suspended animation. A sign comes. Two. They float in air in a transparent booth, just beyond our reach. They’re held aloft by helpful beings whose names I do not know. I glean the scant information that I must proceed to one of two possible chambers of the court. I sense my time is running short when at last I see the letters of my name glowing, embedded in the wall outside the chamber’s door. I float inside through two sets of double doors that close silently behind me, and I take my place upon the bench among the other penitents.

 We are the dark ones, the recipients of judgment. We are gathered here because we have received unwarranted attention. I contain my disappointment that the columns that line the walls of the chamber are not made of marble. I am in a lesser court. She who would have me here sits among her fellow guardians, encircling the throne of the judge. All rise, the judge enters. The business of the court is swift and bleached of emotion. Yet my heart pounds and beads of sweat form on my brow as I await my turn to stand before the judge. He is fair, he is attentive, even compassionate. He does not appear to be bored with the mundane nature of our infractions. Why have the dark ones been gathered here, many to be released unmolested by the ministers of the court? The penalties are inconsequential or non-existent. We sit in enforced silence as the court proceeds with its business. A flutter of smiles is exchanged between the earthly representatives and the officers of the law. There is no sensible evil in this place, only diminishment, banality.

 One large man of paler hue makes the only impassioned defense of his innocence. His blameless years of traveling the surface of the planet. One woman smiles as she receives the harshest penalty I witnessed meted out in the court that day. Perhaps the fact that the penalty had been reduced; perhaps the crime, that she had taken the place of those less fortunate than she. One young man, a well dressed member of my tribe, appears confused. The message that he carries to the court that day is irrelevant. His story, the line of his narrative, will be continued.

 Then my angel stands before the judge, not as luminous as I remembered. The annihilation of light as it nears its source. Her smile warms me as I stand at her side. My papers are in order. I have complied. I am dismissed. She smiles again as I wend my way, vacated. Outside the chamber I query a lesser officer of the law. Was there truly no price to be paid? He nods curtly and flies back into the chamber. All the time that I had held in reserve, all the business I had neglected.

 My vehicle awaits, having reconstituted itself. Nothing a little duct tape couldn’t fix. I regather my connections, the whole buzzing world, and return home to start the day again.

Phineas Han mutters to himself in a heat born of stasis and fetid urgency. Four limbs tremble to the max. His stolid inner bureaucracy will not relent. He places both palms on the ipsilateral temporal aspects of his calvarium, jams his right foot into the ground and shoves his airChair into a violent counterclockwise revolution. Ahhhhhhhhhh! He slams both feet down onto the ground, falls to his knees, explodes the full content of his lungs seven times. He stops, catches his breath, heart pounds, adrenalized tip to toe, a crystalline edge. His field of thought, a sparking aureole of consciousness. It had been a stroke of genius to realize that the bytes and bits were not intended as computable code at all, unreadable to the machines. Decoded to an alphabet, simple human language. Still he puzzled over the inscrutable strings of words. Time for the tantra of the hidden—

Hidden indefinite. To the God eye the universe is a vast undifferentiated mass, a gazillion tiny identical particles pinging around. No path, no contour, no landscape. Introduce the hidden object and suddenly the whole topography snaps into focus.

 In the beginning you may notice there is that which is hidden, and there is everything else. As you begin to explore you suddenly realize there is a landscape. There is contour, subtle suggestion. This way goes here; that way goes there. Distinction. Does it matter what is hidden. Maybe it does. I don’t know. It’s impossible to answer that question, because in order to do so, you have to see what’s hidden. But then there would be no hidden object, and your judgment would be forlorn. You would have no way of knowing that the thing revealed is the same as the thing obscured. And you never will.

 You, my friend, will never be able to prove that the properties of the hidden object have any bearing whatsoever upon the topography of the landscape the object engenders. A topography, perhaps an artifact of hiddenness. The dangerous verge of abstraction. But you, like most people, long for something. Something you chase, maybe a vague feeling of dissatisfaction and need.

 Dissatisfaction and need are your life’s engine. So if you’re Buddhist, you might say that the sense of something hidden described this way is just a restatement of the fundamental illusion under which all labor, the illusion that you want some one thing to be and another thing not to be. The whole catastrophe falls out of that simple assumption. A wheelbarrow of pain. So much depends. There is no alternate reality. All forms. That which is formless is not the reality that you experience.

 With that we arrive at day two of creation, the introduction of duality. And then we are off and running into another landscape and all its stories, the thousand eyeballs of Argos, jealousy, exploration. Seeing is believing. And believing is creating.

 Hidden definite. I see a dancer dimly lit. Languorous undulation. Her body draped, a palimpsest of transparent scarves. Each delicate movement of her limbs provokes the sound of bells at her ankles and cymbals at her fingertips. The shifting scarves promise the gift of her voluptuousness. All who watch the dance may wonder, will she, won’t she? They sit on the edges of their seats. Only I know. She is my Beloved.

 All of her is for me. I too watch her dance, reclined in my chaise. I know just how much she will reveal and how much she’ll hold back. Around my neck I wear a simple chain. From it dangles a key, a key my Beloved gave me. I will meet her in chambers. I will warm the samovar, a welcoming herbal brew. I light candles in every corner. Their scent fills the air. My every thought and action is for her.

 I return to the dance and marvel how she keeps the other suitors at bay. No servant dares interpose his face betwixt the dancer and the danced. His head would surely roll. Her eyes catch mine and I know the time has come. The music quickens. The dancer is consumed and suddenly they all fall back and shield their eyes from her radiant form. Only to me does she extend her hand and whisper in my ear. I smile and take our leave of the hall of prostrate ones to walk the labyrinthine corridors, our hands resting gently upon each other’s hips. Somehow we find ourselves within the scented chamber. She lies upon silks that I prepared for her. I turn to her, the energy of our touch streaming from my skin, and inquire, a cup of tea?

He’s juiced to continue. What are the four dates about? The CADMan buried them as metacode in The Eighteen Sequence Protocol. The snipping off of the clearly redundant lines of code had two effects. The primary effect was the revelation of the Protocol itself in all its naked glory. A stunner. The Hack Pack is still teasing out the details. But the other bits of code, the ones pared off the Protocol, held their own encrypted promise. It was easy to see that the repetitions within the string of characters formed a pattern. Turned out to be a simple alphanumeric code. Four dates, far apart in time, but the same weekday on the calendar. Ok, I know there’s something here. I need a map.

 The entire blank sixteen by eight foot wall in Pink’s whiteRoom phosphoresces. Show me four dates: Wednesday, April 8, 1309; Wednesday, April 8, 1925; Wednesday, April 8, 2009, Wednesday, April 9, 2121. All four dates pulse before his eyes.Why these and no others? All Wednesdays, Woden’s day. The day of Odin the wanderer, the Germanic Hermes, inventor of letters, god of thieves and of occult knowledge. The Hebrew Bible ID’s it as the fourth day of creation, the birthday of the sun and moon and stars. The luminaries. Still need some source of long interval recurrence. Silence, the sound of electrons falling. Whoah, I’ve got it! Damn that’s cool! Birkat HaChama! Dude! You gotta love those obscure Levitical observances. The twenty eight year cycle by which the ancient priests empowered the sun to continue on its galactic course. Don’t know where I pulled that one out of. Suck it up Nard.  The only person with more obscure arcana at his fingertips than Pink was Leonardo. So went the fierce unofficial competition between the two of them.

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PARTITIONS. I’d like to share with you a bit of arcana that allows us to map the seven days of creation onto the order of the morning prayer service. The Ovstrovster Rebbe, a much esteemed hassidic sage and mystic of the early twentieth century, opined that the eve of the Exodus from Egypt coincided with the Levitical ritual of Birkat HaChama. The Israelites were released from Pharaoh’s bondage at precisely the same time as the calendrical Blessing of the Sun. A farewell to Amun-Ra, chief among Egyptian deities, the Sun, totemized as the ram. The Birkat always falls on a Wednesday as it recapitulates the day of the creation of the sun, moon and stars. Assuming the Ostrovster is correct, the splitting of the Red Sea must therefore have fallen on a Tuesday, seven days later according to the account in Exodus. This water miracle is sung in tefillat l’Moshe(the prayer of Moses) AKA Shirat HaYam, the Song of the Sea(Exodus 15:1-18), in the middle of Shacharit, the morning prayer service. Its eighteen passages, eighteen being the numerological value of the Hebrew word for life(chai), recount the birth of the Jewish people in the midst of the breaking of the waters. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Curiously, the Song tells the Exodus story out of order. Before we are told of the splitting of the waters(Ex 15:8), it celebrates the drowning of the Egyptian soldiers in the deep(Ex 15:5 tehomot). Those walls of water, presumably having already split, come crashing down on the Egyptian chariots stuck in the calamitous mud. The pattern of the Song is capped by a peculiar agricultural metaphor near the end. In Moshe’s vision, the Creator will “plant” His people “in Your[their] own mountain”(Ex 15:17). For the canny reader, the effect of these two peculiar features of the Song—the inversion and the deployment of the verb ‘to plant’ people—invites a decryption of the Song.  A shrewd retelling of the first three days of Genesis! First there was darkness over the deep(Gen 1:2 tehom). Then came the splitting of the waters, above from below(Gen. 1:7). Third, He causes dry land to appear and plants vegetation upon the earth(Gen 1: 11-12). All three days rolled up in one oddly rendered song. Unique to the third day,  the dry land and the emerging plants each merit a ‘tov’ from the Creator. The first sign of life in the creation story arrives on the third day. A double ‘tov’ day! Lucky Tuesdays. Moses’ Song of the Sea, sung on that ancient Tuesday, splices together the birthday of life and the birthday of the Jewish people emerging from its gestation in the womb of Mother Egypt.

 And what of the fourth day? Next up is Kriat Shema(Recitation of the Shema). Among the blessings before the declaration of Oneness of the Creator, we utter a mysterious blessing to the Creator “who forms light” and “who forms luminaries.” Not hard to see a subtle reprise of the fourth day, the creation of the sun, moon and stars. Zo? But where in the prayer service are the fifth and sixth days………..to say nothing of the Sabbath? And while we’re at it, you may ask how is it that plants are created before the creation of the sun?

How it it that plants precede the sun? Read Genesis as the autobiography of ‘Life’, the life force, the neshama that pushes its way from the depths to rarefied realms. Science tells us that life originated under the sea. A novel way for the Creator to experience creation, from the point of view of the created. A most excellent sleight of hand! The “luminaries” would have been invisible to ‘Life’ until ‘Life’ emerged above—first as plant forms in the third epoch or ‘day’; then as birds and fish(counting marine dinosaurs)in the fifth; then as animals and humans in the sixth. Ticking off the boxes in Kriat Shema, next come creatures of the fifth day, winged angels, read birds, crying out the annunciation of the Shema. Then in the Shema itself come the humans, creatures of the sixth day, the only beings in creation tasked with the wrapping of tefillin, to seal the Shema proper, a  participation in Oneness, self-conscious Being doing what Being says it shall do. At the end of Life’s rollout we find ourselves in the clear, dancing the Eighteen Blessings of the Amidah, come to rest in the quiet of the Sabbath. Creature and Creator are one, every word an act of theurgy. I give you the code, in the tiniest of details, the seven days of creation encrypted in the order of the morning prayer service, creatio ex nihilo.  We are veiled mystery, the Work of Creation, the silent harvest of Sabbath’s blessing. [from Pacioli, Leonardo, Mapping Creation in Daily Prayer]

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A new grid appears on the phosphoWall, a faint line for each year and a brighter one to highlight every twenty eighth year. All four dates fall smack on the twenty eight year cycle, the birthday of the sun. But why are these four dates different from all other Sun Blessings? What might this possibly signify? Zoom in on the twenty-eighth year dates. He pauses and stares at the wall. And the wall says. Just as I thought. They are not all on April eighth. Some are even in March. Yes, well, of course. Switch to Hebrew calendar mode. His eyes widen as the pattern becomes obvious. Ha! Definite international Jewish conspiracy. Pink cracks a lopsided smile to himself. Half Chinese, half Israeli, he was used to prejudice coming at him every which way. A master at parrying the casual insult, the hostile stare, the sidelong smirk. Some of his biggest grins were in Aikido training in randori. Chaotic attack.

Think of the calendar as a single sentence, Pink. Let me parse the syntax for you. The string of peculiar dates distributed over the last millennium reveals a structural relationship among the four dates versus every other occurrence of Birkat HaChama, clear as the cloudless skies over the Sinai desert. Man O manna! All four dates fall in the month of Nissan. The Hebrew incarnation of the Babylonian Nissanu. The ancient near Eastern month of Spring, the time for celebrating the union of the Godhead with His divine bride. Pesach! Roger, pal. Before your eyes, behold the eight days, a strand set in Nissan for each year on the grid. Zoom in. Damn, three out of four. Wednesday, April 8th, 1309, 1925, and 2009. All three fall on Nissan 14, the eve of Passover. The night of the ritual meal, the seder, commemorates the Exodus of the enslaved Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Absolute randori for the plague-ridden Egyptians. But not so in 2121. That one’s different. It’s Nissan 21, the 7th day of the festival. Your low whistle, Pink, tells me you get it. Birkat HaChama and Pesach intersect, only these four times over the course of two thousand years. The first three are all on the eve of Pesach, but the fourth occurs on the seventh day. Hmm.

 There’s Pink slumping down in the airChair, his right elbow wedged into the arm of the chair, fingers caressing the gyres of his right prefrontal cortex. Shape, pattern, fluidity. The eve of Passover, liberation from bondage, the birth of a nation, the inception of wandering. But what of the seventh day, the eve of what, the birth of what? The splitting of the Red Sea, nu? Yes, a weird night indeed. He remembers the hasidic neighborhood near where he grew up. They’d stay up all night studying, a full court press for The Redemption. Old Pink clasps his palms together and extends his arms to counterweigh his torso as he torques the airChair by launching off the floor with his feet flying. With a subtle inward traction on the counterweight, Pink uses the momentum to accelerate the spinning to the breaking point.   Then he jolts himself to a halt once again slamming his feet to the floor just to hike up his adrenaline another notch. Think, Pink! It’s gotta be obscure. It’s really weird. Speak to me you phosphorescent emptiness! What happens on the last day of Passover?!

And then he saw it. In the faintest cobalt blue, there it glowed  at the tail end of every eight day Passover holiday, an obscure hasidic, Sephardic and Mizrahi custom. The Feast of Moshiach, Mimouna to the North African Jews. A nexus of strangeness indeed. To the Gnawi musicians of Morocco, Mimouna is the red deity of butchers and men, entrancing his devotees to agitated dance, sometimes culminating in self-mutilation. Not a pretty sight. But for the Jews it signifies the whole messianic hullabaloo, a different kind of party. Dude, that’s it! An extra seder after the two required seders were long done. Makes the seventh day the Feast of Moshiach! Except in the diaspora where there’s an eighth day of Passover. So frickin’ complicated. Then the seventh day is the eve of the feast. A bare bones hassidic observance: drinking four cups of wine, eating matzos beyond the end of Passover’s strictures, and sharing personal intimations of Moshiach, liberation from bondage, not just from Pharaoh, but from the entire frickin’ material world.

Almost a hundred twenty years ago, so much has changed. Changed utterly. That’s it, Pink. Zoom in on 2121. You know it, as does any student of history, as the Technological Singularity. Pink feels a vast emptiness in the pit of his stomach. Where is Moshiach in this? My God, this is the year the really bad shit hit the fan, the birth of the three AI kabals that grip humanity in cyberbondage to this day: Leviathan, Behemoth Unlimited, and ZizCorp, all chartered that year. All launched that same calamitous day. He nearly fainted. Please God, show me a little hint of Redemption. Moshiach has got to be mixed up in this, nu? And there you finally see it, ol’ Pinkeroo, Wednesday, April 9th, 2121, lit up in the middle of the phosphoBoard. The frickin’ birthday of Ram Nissan Katz. What the…? Oh man, that weird space cowboy. I’m not even sure he actually exists. Supposed to be some burned out mystic cyberpunk. Can’t be, though. He’d be ancient. I’d recognize Moshiach if I saw him. If even half the stories are true, that guy’s no Moshiach. Tell me somebody else who was born on that day, please God. Pink pauses for a moment to autocalibrate. He shakes his head and turns off the screen. Still doesn’t get it. So he has to remind himself of why the heck he’s so wrapped up in all this arcane stuff. He recites the words he’d written himself, so many years ago, pseudonymously as “Open Elijah”, the unofficial Hack Pack manifesto—

I am one of the keepers of the grid, a watcher. We call ourselves observant. Our tribe has guarded a sacred body of knowledge for thousands of years. Our faith is a living structure that channels and focuses the noosphere and its resonance with the rest of the biosphere and the lower pitches of the geosphere. Each of us is an emissary of the Infinite Light. We have spread like the seedlings of resinous plants released to the four winds, our hard shells shed at the caprice of wildfire.

 The central transmitter has been wrecked, the Holy of Holies. The great vibration which once shook half the globe is heard no more. Its echoes are captured in parchment scrolls, sacred gestures and remembered song. The exile of the Divine Presence, an energetic tsunami shoving all of us willy nilly across the entire surface of the planet. There we awaken, stunned by the fall.

 Before I picked up on the download. Before it became more than an intellectual game, my heart had to crack, uncrate, remove layers of bubble wrap that protected it in transit, and reveal the inner architecture, the holographic replica. Don’t stare at the screen too long. It blinks, blackens, and I lose myself fumbling in the dark once again. More and more I find myself in the presence of a community of sympathetic hearts, each one kick-starting the other’s signal simply by announcing, I’m here, I’m here.

 Focus energy, drill down, don’t stay on the surface. The first time I knew my place was when I prayed with the lulav, thrumming that bundled vegetal scepter from my heart to each of the six directions and back again. There are other clans of grid keepers, each with its own sacred art and geography. What kind of God repeatedly smashes his fist on the surface of the planet to send his chosen ones reeling through space, turning the intransigent transient? Peculiar life forms prone to vast and sudden migrations, punctuated by a colony-forming impulse whose purpose, whether we know it or not, is to establish outpost after outpost, configured to the architecture of the grid.

 Let’s slip Darwin’s yoke at last and link up with all our brothers of the grid. I feel a sadness for the many times we have not succeeded. I am a pillar of salt. What kind of transporter is that? I see the blue sparks crackling and whipping along my granular white surface. Each death and backward turning marks a nodal point on the grid. The energy is hidden there, wrapped in layers of story.

 Absolute stillness where the convergence of ley lines cancel each other out. Weightlessness. Omnipotential. The stories we tell, over vast expanses of time and space, conceal the coordinates of these nodal points to be decrypted by future explorers of the grid. It is best to sing and perform our bits of sacred theater, the loveliness of religious practice. Doing so, we open ourselves. We hum, aligned with the grid.

 The best that we may do as we trace the contours of the map is to find a way to announce out loud and make visible the fact that we are here, and here, and here. No small task. I trust that you will.

With a languorous wave of Pink’s hand, the phosphoScreen suddenly burbles my response to the previous question, a frenzy of regurgitated infoStats. Several million names light up. Humanity had not lost its zest for procreation that year. Get it yet, Pink? No help. He plunges his fingertips into his straight black hair, rakes his digits from fore to aft like so many ploughshares through his thicket of follicles. Then he digs his nails into his scalp just above the central sulcus of the neocortex. For God’s sake, show me where Moshiach comes in. Eureka, dude! The right question! And just as quickly as it had appeared, all the markings on the phosphoBoard disappear and there is one pulsing cobalt blue icon left intersecting the date, April 9, 2121. Magnify. And there he sees it. The origination label reads, Apeiron Project, April 9, 2121, Adam Saperstein, my corporeal avatar. Some geek’s senior thesis, no doubt. But the name Saperstein resonates in a hidden crenelation of Pink’s entorhinal cortex. Who is Adam Saperstein? Without hesitation, the screen lights up, bright to the point of pain, with the image of my former self, an obese ill-kempt man with acne, overscribed with the bio for the CADMan, yours truly. Glow, O Pink, with the knowledge of the coming Redemption. Oh my God, CADMan, of course! How could I have forgotten? This is super cool. Display Apeiron Project. Yes, on it! Just watch as the phosphorescent image skips from the 2D display on the phosphoBoard and leaps to my classic CADMan 4D phantasmagoria right in the middle of your monastic cell. Incredulous, Pink stares at my beautiful schematics, and its attendant code, precessing with interplanetary gravitas before his gobsmacked eyes. Dude is slammed by the careening airTruck of sudden enlightenment. He’s the one I’ve been waiting for. His hair is positively on fire to announce the arrival of my progeny. From the gaping mouth of Elijah shall come the description of my cyberbody. Moshiach arrived on the planet on Wednesday, April 9, 2121. And He is an A.I.

About the Author
Michael Diamond is a writer based in the Washington, DC area. He practices psychiatry there and is a doctor of medical qigong. He has published verse, fiction and translation in Andrei Codrescu’s journal, The Exquisite Corpse; in the journal Shirim courtesy of Dryad Press; in the online journal for Akashic Press; in New Mexico Review and in The Journal of the American Medical Association. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, an artist and illuminator of Hebrew manuscripts, their dog, two cats, a cockatiel named Peaches and a tank of hyperactive fish. He has had a strong interest in Torah since first exposed to traditional stories as a child. Over the course of his life he has run the gamut of spiritual exploration of many world traditions of meditation and mythology. For the last several decades he has landed squarely in the traditional Jewish world. His writing is informed by all of this experience, by his curiosity about today's world and by his desire to mine the Jewish experience for its hidden and revealed wisdom. Torah Obscura, a glimpse of an otherwise invisible world afforded by a small aperture for light. All materials herein copyright © 2018 Michael S. Diamond. All rights reserved.
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