Tuesday, 5 January 2016

#makinguse 3

A text to be activated, one of protocols by ESTAR(SER)/ The Order of the Third Bird. 
"The document reproduced here emerged in a sheaf of polyglot Nachlass attributable to Marton Bialek (1889-1966), a Francophone Transylvanian priest, orientalist, and explorer who almost certainly had ties to practicing communities of Birds in Ottoman and French Mandate territories during the interwar period. The small holograph sheet appears to represent a “protocol for sustained attention” of a sort familiar to initiates of the Order: instructions lay out a sequence of mental “postures” by which the practitioner is directed to give attentive presence to a given work of art; possible effects and ramifications follow. This brief text would thus seem to shed light on a distinctly Buddhistic strain of Bird practice in use among initiates of the Order working in Paris, Turkey, and the Levant in the early twentieth century. Interestingly, however, much earlier sources may be in play: “The Exercise of the Trochilus” appears on a scrap of foolscap pinned to Bialek’s elaborate translation/summary of three highly syncretistic manuscript scrolls he claims to have found in Chinese Turkestan during service with the third Aurel Stein expedition (1913-1916). Composed in a largely illegible aggregate of central Asian scripts, the “Rülek Scrolls”—at least on the basis of Bialek’s redaction—outline a remarkable and exigent technique for attaining psychosomatic/metempsychotic union with a material, human-made object. This ritual process, comprising elements of both acute danger and unbearable rapture, begins with close meditational attention to the object, and transits through episodes of mental transmigration, of near self-loss, and of (ideally) temporary metamorphosis. Paraphrase is quite impossible, but a full publication of Bialek’s manuscript is currently underway. Until then, it is hoped that the present text—apparently a preparatory exercise devised by Bialek to assist practitioners in readying themselves for one phase of this demanding encounter—will be of interest and use to the relevant persons."