Jun 10, 2011 0
It began with a Tarot card reading on a muggy summer afternoon in 1977. At the time I was living behind barricades, 1 of 200 squatters occupying four adjacent streets. We had dug in to protest their demolition in the midst of a housing crisis. Precedence from similar evictions showed I’d be arrested, given a beating and charged with assault. I was already warned that my next offence could bring a term of imprisonment. But what the hell, I was a veritable hero of the people, whether they wanted one or not.
As the months stretched into years, a bureaucracy emerged to negotiate a ‘victorious’ re-housing deal, principally for themselves. Meanwhile the rest of us had been busy barricading. The result was a tactical stalemate on all fronts. The High Court ruled in favour of delaying demolition, preferably indefinitely and everything changed. Within eighteen months there was regime change at the Town Hall and as a newly registered “housing co-operative” we inherited ownership, funding and control.
But that afternoon, whilst drinking magic mushroom tea and worrying about the future, an unexpected visitor came clambering in through the first floor window. Our first since raising the drawbridge and replacing the rope – our only means of entry – with a wobbly ladder. My friend Kay had been recently initiated into the mystic and was on a perilous mission to read our fortunes. Not wanting to look disrespectful, I accepted the offer with an open mind. The liberty caps were taking off.
Kay proceeded to lay down ten cards in a spiral pattern she called the Tree of Life. The divine Word as conveyed to Moses on Mount Sinai, or more likely, through initiation into the Egyptian priesthood. She intimated an adjacent, shadow layout, a Tree of Knowledge mirroring and preceding the first. Quarter down its spiral she missed a card out, calling this the abyss, the place of transmutation between heaven and earth. At which point my mind instantly joined the dots and saw the “meaning”. It was a two-dimensional mnemonic for a double helix – DNA hidden in plain view.
Over the ensuing months I scoured libraries and bookshops in the expectation of an explanation for this unexpected discovery. I searched in vain of even a mention. Could I have been mistaken? In exasperation I took a three-month sabbatical and using felt tip pens on graph paper created the first fully fleshed out draft of this work. I then sought out feedback. Adults generally lost concentration and gave up. Kids, on the other hand, fell under its spell and generally sped to a finish.
Not the outcome I had expected but the one that makes most sense. So I put it to one side and did my best to forget about it. However, some secrets remain secret not out of the need for secrecy but out of a desire to preserve innocence. This was unfinished business and I had a responsibility to see it done. Then one rainy autumn evening I couldn’t help but notice a new bookshop was still open. As I aimlessly wandered the aisles my eyes fell upon two books sitting side by side that set my spine tingling.
One concerned “DNA and the I Ching – unlocking the code of the universe” by Katya Walter, whose synopsis read: “evidence of a Master Plan in which God is the all-encompassing pattern present in all life”. The other, “The Tao and the Tree of Life” by Eric Steven Yudelove came with the following recommendation: “This unique text reveals for the first time the fascinating parallels between the Hebrew and Western Traditions of Cabbala and Taoist Internal Alchemy”.
Of course neither author made reference to a third connection, DNA linked through sacred geometry to The Holy Cabbala, but between them the proposition was all but made. By way of an unwanted Tarot card reading I had stumbled upon a synchronicity between DNA and the Tree of Life. As such I consider this work an example of outsider art. A poetic fancy describing the first instant in time of a dimensionless point manifesting itself into four-dimensions. Or maybe it really is an implanted message beamed in by aliens?