On the summit with Alejandro Jodorowsky and René Daumal, no peaking allowed

This is a quick post intended to stoke smouldering embers and keep hearth fires burning until delayed guests arrive.

I had indicated that the next few weekly posts would focus on the meanings of the names I had selected for my hosted blog. Instead, I’ve been mountain climbing with the Chilean-French avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and the French para-Surrealist writer René Daumal:

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What my free time last week looked like – writing a journal article on analogous mountains

I had expected to reach the peak by now. When I got there though I realised I was only half-way up and needed to make camp in the next few days, so there’s nothing else for it but to keep climbing. I should be back to my original plan within a week, but I had to express my thanks for both the quantity and quality of the engagement I’ve gotten already on my first post (thanks for the name votes folks btw, keep ’em coming!) by following up with at least a recommendation – because if you haven’t watched Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain you haven’t lived:

With his first new film in decades ‘Dance of Reality’ having come out last year, a documentary on Jodorowsky’s Dune, the greatest sci-fi movie never made, having just come out, and an ever growing influence over pop culture, now is a good time to check out his work. All I can say is that I’ll miss writing about him once I’ve made it through to the other side:

No, this is a scene from the move …

Daumal deserves his own series of posts, and I’m sure it will not be the last time you read something from me about him. In the meantime, check out Gary Lachman’s 2001 introductory article. I’ll leave you with one of his poems from Mount Analogue, the implications of which I’ll be grappling with as I begin to make my descent:

Poem from ‘Mount Analogue’

One cannot stay on the summit forever –
One has to come down again.
So why bother in the first place? Just this.
What is above knows what is below –
But what is below does not know what is above.

One climbs, one sees –
One descends and sees no longer
But one has seen!

There is an art of conducting one’s self in
The lower regions by the memory of
What one saw higher up.

When one can no longer see,
One does at least still know.

And remember:

 

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