Thursday, January 21, 2010

Disney World as the wilderness of absurdity. Once, when there was a frontier, the seeker could go beyond the boundaries of the known into the wilderness in search of a vision. On our recent trip to Disney World, it occurred to me that the wilderness can also be the absurd. That place were nothing makes sense and all that you know as sound and reasonable is turned on it’s head. Your sense of orientation, your sense of value, your sense of time and space. All is altered in the Magic Kingdom. Romanticized ceremonies of native cultures often take an initiate into a contrived alter world. A Kiva, or a sweat lodge, or a cave. The orchestrators of the ceremony: a medicine man or witch doctor, or priest, work to so disrupt the person’s grasp on reality that the psychic hold on a perceived reality is shattered. There are often mythical characters involved, each with a role in the ceremony, members of the community dress up in elaborate costume. The events are all carefully choreographed and timed and the initiate, it is expected, will, once so disoriented, achieve a state of psychic readiness for a supernatural experience. A vision, or an enlightenment. The events can not be mild. They have to be extreme. Often cutting, or starving, or sleep deprivation is involved. Well, I have to say. Our trip to Disney World came as close to this description as any excursion into the wild I have ever undertaken. So if you, like me, are not the Disney World type, and you prefer the study of ancient mystical ritual and spiritual ceremony to the antics of Mickey Mouse, might I offer a note of caution to the skeptic. Do not overlook the wilderness of the absurd in your seeking. You never know when the least likely places will end up being the closest you will get to a complete altered state of consciousness.

1 comment:

John Franks IV said...

Very Insightful, Thought Provoking as well!