M. Snyder writes, “Did you know that scientists all over the globe are creating extremely bizarre human-animal chimeras? Over the past decade, there have been some absolutely stunning advances in the field of genetic modification. Today, it is literally possible for college students to create new lifeforms in their basements. Unfortunately, laws have not kept pace with these advancements, and in many countries there are very few limits on what scientists are allowed to do. And this is just the stuff that is publicly admitted. Can you imagine what kind of sick and twisted experiments are taking place in the dark corners of secret labs that nobody knows about? And what happens if these creatures get out into the wild and starting mating? At that point, it would be nearly impossible to “put the genie back into the bottle”. Scientists seem very eager to test the limits of what is possible, but what they are unleashing may have consequences that none of us ever dreamed possible.”
W.S. Burroughs writes, “Joe the Dead belongs to a select breed of outlaws known as the natural outlaws, dedicated to breaking the so-called natural laws of the universe foisted upon us by science and above all the monumental fraud of cause and effect, to be replaced by the more pregnant concept of synchronicity. Ordinary outlaws specialize, so do Natural Outlaws. Joe the Dead specializes in evolutionary biology. He dedicates his dearly bought knowledge of pain and death to cracking two biologic laws:
Rule One: Hybrids are permitted only between closely related species and then grudgingly, the hybrids produced are always sterile. The biologic police warn: to break down the lines that Mother Nature in her ripe wisdom, has established between species is to invite biologic and social chaos.
Joe says, “What do you think I am doing here? Let it come down.”
Rule Two: An evolutionary step that involves biologic mutation is irretrievable and irreversible. Newts start life in the water, breathing with gills. At the ordained time the newt sheds its gills and crawls up onto land, now equipped with air-breathing lungs. The he returns to water, where he lives out his days. So it might be convenient to reclaim his gills and breather underwater again?
No dice. Its the law.
A quiet enigmatic former herpetologist named Joe Sanford challenges rule two. He claims to have reinstituted gills in mature, air breathing newts by injection of a lamb placenta concentrate. Rule Two carries the implicit assumption that time is irreversible. Sanford makes a hole in time, and Joe sloshes through the hybrids.”
Now think about this last statement in relation to Alamout: the mystic garden for free mutation in vacuum conditions, or even simply a Bosch painting. What you have are ever-morphing creatures, who when static are still hybrids. Extreme individualism. Unrecognizable. Total chaos. It could be a Bosch hell, or it could make us Gods, with very little in between, it seems.
Perhaps the ancient Egyptians, with their hybrid Gods knew this. Perhaps this has to do with why people tripping on acid or DMT see these things. There is something deeply taboo and strange about hybrids. Thou shalt not lie with beast, and so forth. The religious conservatives get into a homicidal rage when thinking about the atheist scientists dabbling in human-animal gene swopping. You thought stem cells and abortions were bad enough? What about a man-pig, or man-wolf?
And of course the taboo nature of this concept is precisely why it leaks out anyway in mythology: werewolfs, vampires, reptilians and talking snakes, sphinxes, gods with human bodies and hawk heads, or hawk bodies and human heads.
The fantasy mythos, with its elves and orces and dwaves as mutated forms of humans, could be a breaking of a third biologic law: genetic manipulation on one’s own species. The elves are a successful experimentation, they are improved uber-men in every way. Orcs are a failure, they are degenerative, unless the foul creator wanted them that way, a slave race perhaps. And are we not a slave race to the elves or something that came before us, more advanced? This in fact seems more logical, as we are only now after thousands of years almost able to manipulate our own form, whereas the elves had the knowledge all along.
W.S.B: “The Zoo Team plunges into an orgy of outlandish operations on the animal subjects…hearts, kidneys, lungs, livers, appendixes are exchanged in the operating room where often six operations are underway, the surgeons passing organs and instruments back and forth, slipping the bloody floor. Brains are slopped from one pan to another like scrambled eggs.
‘Move over! I got a pregnant wart hog here.’
No cats though. Joe would permit nothing with a high cuteness rating, mute evidence that at one time a Creator with skilled, delicate and loving fingers drew on planet Earth, before the bad animal, Man, put an end to creation and so brough the evolutionary process to a halt.
For man is indeed the final product. Not because homo sap is the apogee of perfection, before which God gasps in awe, – “I can do nothing more!” -but because Man is an unsuccesful experiment, caught in a biologic dead end and inexorably headed for extinction.
‘All right boys, lets cut our way to freedom!’
The hybrid concept underlies all relations between man and other animals, because only a being partaking of both man and animal can mediate between two species. Joe creates blueprint hybrids, potentials rather than actual separate beings, capable of reproduction.” He then, in a way unlike him, brings up love, a love stronger than the romantic one and its that for a being that you have created (or had a hand in) creating.
I don’t love what I see often in a Bosch painting. But I feel like it needs to be seen, and like I’ve seen it before, perhaps in my dreams. It resonates with me, troubles yet delights, a world without boundaries it seems, even people and the landscape are merging into one chaos. Animal, Plant, House, these terms are all meaningless, it’s all one. And its in a frenzied moment of both celebration, horror and slaughter, rape, sex, singing and dancing, fires and shifting landscapes.
At first I thought maybe it represented pre-biblical man. Or what the bible was alluding to with the garden of eden story. But then I noticed imagery from modern times here and there, a nun’s garb, a graduation hat. So it must be a timeless place, or outside time. Time collapses when you die, do you go to this realm, where all things in history are mushed together in a chaotic dancing jiggle? Do you dare go there? Risk your ego – cus of course everyones naked, bunched together like animals eating large berries. They resemble modern humans but are acting so, alien.
Egoless, like animals, yet singing and dancing in a glossalalia, nonsense singing. And they were joined by a chorus of birds, mammals and stick like insects, all rocketing noise like, celebrating some insane ritual, do you enter into their chanting? Do you accept their ways? Or are you going to remain on the outskirts with your fragile 21st century ego, you were never prepared for this place by your culture you were given materialistic science which denied the existence of consciousness without a brain. Shamans prepare for this by losing their ego and dancing with the forest, summoning up the Animal Gods who reign here.
Well, to be fair to Bosch its not clear who the creator of his worlds is. He seemed to believe in a creator which begs the question why was there some period in time either in this dimension or someother, where genes that resemble the ones in our world, were in some kind of random, chaotic scramble. Mutating more frequently, and in the absence of natural selection. A world populated by hybrids but even this word ‘hybrid’ is no longer necessary because it suggests the mixing of two species. Because here, there was never time for species to form. There was only genes to build organs and body parts, and then scrambling. Man is not left out. Even the very ground can be made of a giant human mouth for example.
This is so foreign to us because in the realm of the living we have the ‘gene swarm,’ where genes naturally follow the laws of natural selection and evolution, a survival mechanism is found, copied, and that prototype reproduces into a species as all the members utilize the same niche, the same survival principles. On the surface of things, you would see things like ‘bird, ‘antelope,’ ‘tree,’ begin to form, as prototypes that come out of random mutation either survive and multiply, and enter the species game.
In the species game, we have successful prototypes that formed populations, and now the populations are vying with each other. Further evolution of form only occurs as a necessary result of species interaction, it doesn’t allow what Bosch allows and what Burroughs strives for, which is extreme individualism of form, each soul protoype in vastly different than its own brethren. Our changes happen on the species level, yes we are different but there is no dispute as to what’s human versus some other speices.
In BoschWorld, the Species Model does not work. Success comes from uniqueness, not conformity. It could be that the garden of earthly delights was a place where humans were one of many strange models that burst forth fully formed, there was no long slog through evolutionary history, of fish slogging through the mud to become amphibians, no here lion tiger antelope are arising fully formed and thrown together in a garden with giant flora. It was the beginning, and it looked like it could have been made in seven days. How did it know, its like the genes existed outside of time, and scrambled together the ones from the future with the ones from the past, and in this timeless state, we like to think its the afterlife, we linger as souls like dream bodies, it feels like limbo at first, but maybe the genes are experimenting with a different model, one outside the realm of cause and effect, the scientific outlining of natural history. But even the landscape is unearthly: fire and brimstone, paradisal gardens, fire geysers, its like our visions of heaven, hell and the primordial jungles of Earth collided together in collage-like patchwork.