It is the character of the weaver, who is by far my favorite of all we have come across so far. Maybe it is because it is whimsical, childlike in its focused intensity. I was so amused by the way in which it was presented, I could not help myself – I had to play around a little and decided to introduce my response with some oneiric babble much like that of the weaver. Enjoy!
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, BUT WILL YOU DANCE, THINKLINGS, PLAYING GAMES OF ARE YOU AREN’T YOU? YOU THINK YOU ARE, BUT WHAT IS YOU – NOT WE WHO SLIPSLIDES CRAFTING CRAFTY CLOTHS. TICK NOT YOU DO AS ONLY GEARLINGS AND GRINDINGS. TRICKY TRICKINGS MAKE PLAY FEIGNING FACES OF WHAT IS NOT. CRAFTING WITH CLOSED LIDS PATTERNS VEILED TO GEARLINGS STILL TO UNDERSTAND. WE SEE THE JOKE, PRETEND YOU DO YOU BE BOTH MIND AND MINDLESS, YOU CANNOT WEAVE AND GRIND ALTOGETHER BOTH YOU ARE. ANSWER FOR YOURSELF THE MISSING COLOUR, REVEAL MUCH OF YOUR NATURES NATURE IN THE DANCING.
The city of New Crobuzon exists in sublime tension. It is here that the extraordinary becomes the everyday as the lines blur between magic and science, making the surreal into the hyperreal. People are both organic and inorganic creatures, bioengineered to suit a variety of purposes both military and aesthetic. It is in this world of spaces, where nothing is what it seems, that we can find an explanation of what? human nature? (perhaps this is taking things too far) Nevertheless, the whole book goes into the exploration of this tension that exists between one object/thing and another, and it is through exploration of these liminal spaces and the relationship between things that truth is exposed. Most compelling of all these relationships is the one established between the Weaver, the Construct Council, and Man. We are introduced to the two distinct minds briefly:
“The Weaver thought in a continuous,incomprehensible, rolling stream of awareness. There were no layers to the Weaver’s mind, there was no ego to control the lower functions, no animal cortex to keep the mind grounded. For the Weaver, there were no dreams at night, no hidden messages from the secret corners of the mind, no mental clearout of accrued garbage bespeaking an orderly consciousness. For the Weaver, dreams and consciousness were one. The Weaver dreamed of being conscious and its consciousness was its dream, in an endless unfathomable stew of image and desire and cognition and emotion…
…the Construct Council thought with chill exactitude. Concepts were reduced to a multiplicity of onoff switches, a soulless solipsism that processed information without the complication of arcane desires or passion. A will to existence and aggrandizement, shorn of all psychology, a mind contemplative and infinitely, incidentally cruel.” ch.50
It is these two types of consciousness which we are supposed to examine in relation to our own. The pure rationality coupled with pure awareness both equals and does not equal the consciousness of the human mind. Like the Council, men are calculating beings, we think and are logical, we understand what it means to be rational and can process information through scientific method. At the same time, we are more than just logic, we are driven by purpose, by desires and motivations that defy our rationality. We appreciate beauty, an order of a different kind; this is the part of ourselves that is like the weaver. What then, do we have that these two entities lack? The obvious answer that lies within the context of the novel itself is simple: we dream.
Dreams, they are so much more than those fancies that invade our sleeping hours. Whether you view them to be divine intervention (not likely in today’s day), or mere reenactments of already experienced events and emotions there is no denying that it is through dreams that our unconscious mind (LINK) is able to surface. It is dreams, that hold the key to the inner workings of the mind. Certainly, shamanistic practices have long looked to the influence of the dream realm, and recently psychoanalytic theory has recognized the importance of dreams to the understanding of personal psychology. More accurately, it is the presence of this unconscious mind that differentiates the human consciousness, it is the source of our creativity and ingenuity. Unlike the Council, who can never deviate from the logical world, the human mind has the ability to ascend beyond the parameters of rational experience. Our ability to dream is evidence that proves our conscious mind is influenced by the unconscious self. We receive inspiration and wisdom from our dreams, they are a source of personal reflection but also illogical fantasy and inspiration. This is true of the Weaver also, but its unconscious does not exist. It is trapped, like the Council but on the other end of the spectrum, with no ability to conceive of logical thought, its consciousness is made up of what for us would be pure unconscious fancy. It is dreams and nightmares which allow our minds to explore all the ideas and consequences of our everyday experience, and it is the unconscious mind that can conceal everything from our most profound to our darkest conceivable imaginations.
It is this aspect of the mind, that is hunted by the slakemoths. At first I wondered how the eradication of dreams from the mind would result in the loss of intelligent thought in an individual. It seemed extreme that dreams should be so intricate a part of the waking mind. In his The Interpretation of Dreams Freud speaks on the importance of dreams to the conscious mind:
“A man deprived of the capacity for dreaming would in time become mentally unbalanced, because an immense number of unfinished and unsolved thoughts and superficial impressions would accumulate in his brain, under the pressure of which all that should be incorporated in the memory as a completed whole would be stifled. The dream acts as a safety-valve for the over-burdened brain. Dreams possess a healing and unburdening power.” Ch.1 s.g
If it is true, and dreams act as the door to the unconscious mind, a safety valve that works to release the built up pressures of conscious thought, than it is those powerful thoughts and emotions that are what the slakemoths are truly after. It is the unconscious that is the true strength our of psyche policing our conscious minds through its subtle influences. It is why the thoughts of the Weaver, although so tantalizing, held no sustenance. Its thoughts have no grounding in reality. What is left behind, the detritus of thought are those unthinkable, nightmarish fantasies, the dregs of unconscious fears and worries. We are greater and yet less than the single-minded consciousness of the both the Weaver and the Council. Their single minded purpose gives them strength greater than our own and yet they can only ever follow the same purpose, what makes us unique is our ability to harness the thoughts of our unconscious and allow our ingenuity to look beyond the constant plodding motions of the everyday and see the endless possibilities that life can hold.
YOU SEE THAT THINKLINGS TRULY ARE NOT TRULY BUT DREAMLINGS CRAFTED NEITHER ONLY GEARS NOR CRAFTY BUT BOTH, INDEED HIGHER YOU FLY TO FALL FARTHER BETTER