Standing inward




In Scandinavian peninsula there is an animal that remains all his life standing, the achlis, its shape is similar to elk but with a larger upper lip; the cause of its perpetual verticality is the lack of jointed limbs, ie, it has no knees. The reason of its name, achlis, is unknown, the first time it’s mentioned is in the chapter 16 of Book VIII of the Natural History written by Pliny the Elder in year 77. Achlis (Akhlys) is also the name of the first being created, Achlis, Greek goddess of the night, Achlis, goddess of the fog of death, Achlis, goddess of  the opacity in the eyes before the death. Before Chaos there was an achlis standing.



The word "instant" comes from Latin and it’s formed by the prefix In=inwards, the verb stare=to-stand and the suffix nte=that makes the word an active present participle, in other words, an action not finite, a gerund. Therefore, an instant is defined as to stand, inwards, in gerund: Standing inward.



Mithridatism consist in consuming small doses of poison with the intention to become immune to it, it is an absurd practice because you never know what poison will give your death and you should mithridatize your body with every existing poison to get full immunity. However, mithridatism not only produces immunity, in an Indian epic it’s said that during the Maurya Empire, the most beautiful girls were selected in order to mithridatize them, they were forced to consume so much poison that almost every girl founded their death in it, the ones which survived not only developed immunity, but turned deadly poisonous, fatal beautiful girls. Nathaniel Hawthorne was based on these women to write the story in which later Octavio Paz based his only theatre play: Rappaccini's daughter.


Hawthorne and Paz stories are essentially the same: Rappaccini, a doctor who cultivates and designs poisonous plants to mithridatize his daughter, Beatriz. Rappaccini seeks immortality, but he doesn't make the mistake of fighting against death, Rappaccini knows that to conquer death he must become death, therefore he transforms his daughter in such a poisonous being that kills everything she touches, as a hooded pitohui or a golden dart frog that have their skin covered with batrachotoxin to avoid being touched. Rappaccini, through his daughter, tries to conquer death by being death, by being the opacity in the eyes before death.


After a periplus of love, Beatriz is unmithridatize and the play ends at the instant before her death during which pronounces her last words: "I fall into and do not touch the bottom of my soul!", If she doesn't touch the bottom means that it is a non-finite fall: Beatriz is falling, falling inward her soul; Paz redounds the gerund of the instant before the death of Beatrice writing the following epilogue: "What happened, is happening still”. “She is falling…, it is happening”. While the gerund does not become past, the instant continues, Dr. Rappaccini defeated death by making Beatriz a permanent present.



As Siddhartha had his enlightenment by meditating under the shade of a fig tree, inside of a fig tree, where it is always now and every time always, Octavio Paz found poetry. At the center of the garden of Dr. Rappaccini raises a fantastic tree that, like Beatriz, kills with his touch. Beatriz calls it "brother", talks to it and it answers by running its sap at different speeds. The gerund of “to stand" is “tree”: to be a tree in order to be an instant, as the Tai Chi apprentice that has to convert his body into a tree that is firmly rooted and that dances.


An instant doesn’t follow another instant, it isn’t a stick dragged by the flow of all the fleeting and novel, an instant is that stick that being dragged by the flow, it’s trapped in a meander, and by vegetative reproduction develops roots, transforming the horizontal time of Heraclitus: time-river, in the vertical time of Parmenides: instant-tree.


The being that has remained alive longer is a Pinus longaeva that has been 5065 years standing in the White Mountains of California. Its seeds germinated simultaneously with writing, with the founding of Troy, with the start of the Minoan culture which later would built a labyrinth in whose web of stone many generations would be lost. The whole history fits into the instant-Pinus-longaeva and it knows it by elongating its duration, by breaking tempo-topographical layers access to the distant. Dinstant.


From its place in the White Mountains the Pinus longaeva knows what is far through a complex network of metonymies: it knows about the Minoan culture by the European roller of the frescos of Knossos that flies to mainland Greece to meet a Black-headed gull that will fly to Lake Constance to intersect with a Tufted duck that is heading to Norway where it will coincide with a Sooty shearwater which is beginning its journey to Falklands where it will be a Dark-faced ground tyrant waiting for it before it migrates to the Andes where it will cross with a Baird's sandpiper which also will be migrating to Yucatan to meet a Western wood pewee that will fly across the Gulf of Mexico to reach San Luis Potosi where it finally will encounter an American nutcracker that will fly to the White Mountains of California to stand on the branches of the Pinus longaeva and with his khraaaa-khraaaa tell it about San Luis, Yucatan, Andes, Falklands, Norway, Lake Constance, Greece and the Minoan culture. My thoughts are just your birds, standing, any distant light, arrives.


Nycticorax nycticorax, 300716, 08:49 (19.275291, -99.101833) 



"Take me to the light" were the last words spoken by Lou Reed on a Sunday morning in which, standing on Tai Chi’s position number 21 he found his death. To die standing to not die, to escape temporal succession, as Philemon and Baucis, who asked the gods to die simultaneity and simultaneity were transformed into trees, an oak and a linden. "Take me to the light", standing, any distant light, arrives.

Hirundo rustica, 250716, 18:21 (19.290608, -99.102830)



The natural flow of water is horizontal, however, when environmental conditions make it comply the characteristics that make an instant, that is, when water remains standing inward its flow becomes vertical; a pot where water remains stagnant, stopped, standing if the simile is allowed, is put on the fire and due to the form of heat transfer, a cycle is created in which the water that is in contact with the base of the pot is heated and goes up, forcing to the water on the surface to go down, which upon the contact with the base is heated and goes up, forcing to the water on the surface… Stagnant water that goes inside itself to have a vertical flow.



Standing inwards, but towards what inside? Between 1987 and 1994 Abbas Kiarostami made three films in which tangentially describes the life in Koker, a small village in the north of Iran that in 1990 was destroyed by an earthquake. In the first of these films, Where Is the Friend's Home?, a child mistakenly takes his classmate’s notebook, in the afternoon, when is time to do the homework, he realizes about this situation and starts a journey to find the house of his friend to return him the notebook. The second, Life, and Nothing More..., is a pseudo-documentary in which an actor who plays Kiarostami travels from Tehran to Koker in a yellow Renault, yellow like the belly of an oriole, to know if the children who starred Where Is the Friend's Home? survived to the earthquake; because of it the roads are closed, and he is forced to go over a series of twists and turns that face him to different scenarios through which he sees the magnitude of the disaster caused by the earthquake. The last scene is a wide shot of a highway that connects Koker with the outside, a sort of topographical calligraphy, signature of Kiarostami’s films, which connects the outside with the inside, the yellow Renault goes from the lower right corner (outside Koker) to the upper left (Koker), in the half of this highway the Renault loses power and falls backwards to a flat, the main character gets out the car, turns around and standing watches the mountain behind which is Koker: Standing inward Koker, the protagonist gets to know Koker.


The last part of the trilogy, Through the Olive Trees is a fictionalized making-of of a scene  from Life, and Nothing More... in which the director is sitting in front of a blue house, blue as the back of magpie-jay, when a young man goes out of the house, sits next to him and while he is changing his shoes tells him about his recent marriage, that happened five days before, just the day after the earthquake. Through the Olive Trees transforms the three minutes and forty seconds that the scene last in one hour and forty minutes in which a complex series of narratives layers folds and unfolds: it depicts how the actors were selected and prepared, where the decoration pots of the facade of the house were found, which internal conflicts happen in the actors’ lives during the shooting; but above all, it constantly shows the camera that remains immobile on a tripod in front the facade. 


In an interview to Chilean television, Jorge Rivera Cruchaga describes the moment that standing in front of the house located at Rötebuckweg 47, on July 17, 1961, he rang the bell while the chiming clock strikes six in the afternoon and Elfride Petri, Heidegger’s wife, opened the door. Cruchaga promptly attended to a meeting with Heidegger, intending to ask what sense does philosophizing have when you are Christian, why scratch with scarce my reason, with my fingers, when you have the revelation of God himself. Heidegger's answer, like the telluric events in Koker or the stories that happen within the blue house are just some of the narrative layers that can be access through the moment of standing inwards: either the blue house serves to speculate about all possible multiverse in which inhabits that humble architecture, the standing inward the city of Koker to decipher a temporality that is not our own, or standing inward the house Rötebuckweg 47 to get access to the Being.


Kiarostami makes films-instant: the gerund of "standing" gives the temporality that requires the camera to grow roots, to become a tree, and wait for the birds to land on it. The "inward" puts  him out, each of his films is a step toward an outside from which you can see completely a previous narrative layer. Kiarostami's films are a dialectical game in which he is at the same time inhabited territory and observed landscape. Instant-Kiarostami, instant-film, instant-Iran, instant-Persian-poetry.


My house is rainy

in the kitchen, in the living room

and in my bedroom rains

and me in the porch, behind the glass

gazed out



There are two verses in the Bilble that if are read with literalness propose a gerundial relationship with God: Leviticus 6:13 “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” and the First Epistle to the Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing." Alexander “The Acoemetae" inspired by these verses, founded a monastery with the rule of St. Basil in Gomon, Bosphorus, near Constantinople, where he established six shifts of choir, divided in Roman, Greek and Syrians monks, who followed one to another, each choir sang the psalmody twice a day for two hours, to get a continuous chant twenty-four hours a day, in this way Alexander inaugurated the practice of Laus perenis, perpetual adoration, which has been replicated and is being replicated in different chapels around the world.


The first perpetual adoration in the West, and perhaps the longer, emerged as an initiative of the bishops of Burgundy when Prince Sigismund asked how to save his soul, they recommended establishing a perpetual psalmody; for this enterprise, Sigismund gave to the Abbey of St. Maurice in the year 522 the necessary goods so the monks could permanently devote themselves to pray: hundreds of monks chanting for hundreds of years. Prince Sigismund died, 32 abbots were succeeded, the lives of several generations of monks began and ended singing, the perpetual adoration of the Abbey of St. Maurice lasted until late ninth century, almost four hundred years singing without interruption, praying in community.


The gerund of perennial singing, a pray that goes out inward, a monastic community that rejects the horizontality of the body; Christianity teaches that the instant, in addition to vertical, not finite, and inward, is collective.



An instant ends when another instant absorbed it; the instant that lasts the life of a monk,  is absorbed by the communal instant of perennial prayer; communal instant of perennial prayer, is absorbed by the instant of the Carolingian Empire. The way an instant delimits itself is reflective, similar to how the German Romantics of the eighteenth century executed the act of thinking: You start inhabiting a shapeless instant, to model it you invoke to the Totality-of-Instants (TI) and intuitively decide which instants are contiguous; in this way, although arbitrary, you have the first form of a Subtracted-Instant (SI) from the Totality-of-Instants (TI). Again, you inhabit an instant and discovered that the subtraction was incorrect, the Subtracted-Instant (SI) is very broad or too narrow. To refine its shape, the Subtracted-Instant (SI) is returned to the Totality-of-Instants (TI) and these are thought in an impossible simultaneity from one to the other, with the intention to be more accurate the definition of the boundaries of the Subtracted-Instant (SI). You have a new Subtracted-Instant (SI), only this time is more complex because it was adhered a layer of the Totality-of-Moments (TI) when it returned to it: SI=SI+1TI. Once again, you return to inhabit an instant to discover that the subtraction was wrong…, this formula is repeated: SI=(SI+1TI)+1TI, and once you have begun to proceed according to this rule, you can never indicated a final point.


The number of monks of the Abbey of St. Maurice was declining during the seventh and eighth centuries, in the ninth century, Emperor Ludovico took over the Abbey, then his son Arnulfo, then Hucberto, then Conrado, gradually the Abbey ceased to be a temple and became a royal residence, slowly, the monks dwindled, and with them their singing.




In Introduction to Gnosis, Samael Aun Weor, founder of neognostic movement, gives nine lessons to initiate into Gnosis, each of them consists in a small theoretical reflection, reinforced by a simple practical exercise: breathing control, to put the body in certain positions, block the senses, pray, reflect during the time before the dream. The second lesson aims to develop the power of thought; the exercise consists into pend a needle form a hanging silk thread, then concentrate on the needle and try to move it with the power of thought. You should work ten minutes a day in this exercise, Samael Aun Weor says that at first the needle will not move, but eventually will be seen how the needle oscillates and moves vigorously. Within this the lesson lies a hidden trap: to tell the students that the needle is immobile, but there is nothing immobile in the universe. The real exercise is to ensure that the needle stays still, and from its stillness, as the knight of faith of Kierkegaard, to watch the movements of the universe; standing inwards the needle penetrates time and bursts it.


Leucophaeus atricilla, 010816, 18:43 (19.199418, -96.128173)



The instant does not deny temporal succession, neither astronomical universe, it coexists with them; time is the substance I am made of, yes, but the instant is the accident that fractures it and turns into duration. There is the job of being. The instant is a vertical needle busting time, but I'm the needle; is a constant and collective singing, but I am the singing; is a respectful staring awaiting for the parousia, but I am the staring; is a tree that is firmly rooted and that dances, a door that reveals even is not open, a poison that for unknown kills, an unbending elk with opaque eyes, but I'm the elk, the poison, the door, I am tree that is firmly rooted and that dances. To the entire heartbreakingly real universe I access in an instant.