No, in the sense that I used to have a job in Naples too, normal work of my own, like everyone, I was working there.
No! I left just like that, to travel, to broaden my horizons.
And so, just as the motion of the sea doesn’t take into consideration the waves it creates, I knew then that I wanted to go out and about with Asterion.
All language is a set of symbols whose use among its speakers assumes a shared past.
Who’s that in the straw hat?
Who could it be?
A vagabond? An heiress? A scoundrel?
Asterion, why isn’t she looking at us?
You wouldn’t either if you saw someone pass by wearing a hat like yours and walking alongside a half-man/half-bull that had just crawled out of a labyrinth.
She doesn’t like us?
Asterion, you know I don’t like odd types.
You don’t think she wants to steal my Panama?
The Panama is the most beautiful hat in the world.
Every day, before I leave home, I leave a little room in my heart open to magic. There is an old ebony chest full of crushed ice in there, with its inlays from the 1920s. It pokes out and overlooks the rest of my heart.
In that somewhat wintry atmosphere of the ebony chest, there are about thirty bottles of tonic water and Peroni beer that lie waiting, ready to bubble up on special occasions.
And if, at the end of the day, the beauty of amazement is to await me later in an unexpected, enchanted moment, I come back home knowing that the chilled tonic water is my real special occasion, to be partaken together with Asterion and Theseus in that magical room.
Here inside, where the light unites with darkness, there is neither light nor darkness but something perfect and only vaguely perceptible.
I see them lost in an embrace, suspended in that moment in which Borges poetically tells us of Godel and his mathematics of the universe. The theorem explains that a set can contain any object but can never contain itself and in not containing itself, it cannot – effectively – contain absolutely everything.
Maybe our freedom to give life the meaning we want lies within that interstice known as Aleph?
Borges sees, “the mechanism of love and the modification of death”.
I see ∞ + 1.
I see Asterion’s embrace.
That point from which life takes form from my image.
This is how the world of luminous beings is fulfilled, by adding the world of darkness.
An embrace is enough.
I ask myself:
Is this the way that things can change?
Is the happy Minotaur the image that heals?
Yes! This is the image, the true one. The image of the heart.
Theseus and the Minotaur, after their embrace, leave the labyrinth together.
This image, re-imagined, opens up into a new narration of the myth, it is illustrated in the inlay on the wood of the ebony chest in the magical room, among the whispers of all the things I’ve left pending over the years, the reason behind Ariadne’s slumber and the figure of a lady’s straw hat that I’d seen somewhere in the world, but I don’t remember where.
Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been there yet. But I’ve seen it.
I go by the name of Vincenzo Esposito, but this is only my double name, that of Edward Hopper’s man, stationary, motionless on a Kafka-esque threshold of glassless windows and impassable open doors while life goes on living around him.
One morning, during the phase of sleep that precedes awakening, it is there that I had a dialogue with Socrates, in that imaginable world, where the low voltage frequencies of the dreamlike phase become messengers of precise thoughts:
“Be as you wish to seem”, said the old man.
“What do you mean?” I replied.
“Find the mould that is right for you”.
The relaying of those words had a synaptic effect within the opening of an Ionic channel, which caused the neurons to activate. It was a blow to my cerebral peace and quiet, an intuition, that stable moment in which life manifests itself in the form of awareness, in which we perceive the invisible.
“Be what you wish to seem”.
What does that mean?
These words didn’t have just one explanation. They were destined not to be understood but to resonate.
Socrates vanished as soon as I was completely awake, but the colours of the imaginable world stayed with me for a long time that day. I walked around among narrow streets, artists and the waterfront, I had my coffee in cafes, I carried on with my business alongside my afflictions and I felt that the everydayness eluded my truth.
I was living an eternal reiteration of myself, in which I – conscious of my desperation – celebrated my pact with oblivion. For Freud a continual return to the equal in order to believe that one lives and does not remember, appropriately called neurosis, for me a petty set up that opens the scene for Atlas’s weariness.
My phase of personal growth via an imitative process was by now exhausted and it was necessary to leave behind the collective behaviours.
It is true that my everyday life used to be based around and is still based around a background of invisible entities with whom I dialogue frequently.
A quick chat in the mirror or with some God that is present, my father whom I miss, JFK, the Major Arcana in a Tarot pack, my dog Frankie.
Also with the characters in Edward Hopper’s paintings and the icons of the Holy Face, Maradona and Pino Daniele that are always speaking from the walls of Naples when I pass by.
All of this is a tangible exhibition of an imaginable world, neither literal nor abstract, but absolutely real and with its own laws and finalities.
Without meaning to, a goddess caused me to trip over into some fragment of treasure, and so in some texts, I bumped into the thoughts of other people who shared this solitary intuition. I interrogated my scholarly, curious and literary friends with a voracious letter. In this way my knowledge was enriched by other parties. Not only James Hillman but also Mary Watkins, who declared that we respond to the Invisible, or rather the Invisibles.
Whilst interrogating my wise peers, I discovered that, just like Vico and even Jung, Marsilio Ficino had also sensed that our destiny was revealed in our fantasy, where, through images, we can find our myth.
Ficino, Vico and Jung, three noble guides to the path of a return to our «not-where» through the language of poetry and myth.
My myth contains powerful figures that are formed in the imaginable world and they guide our psyche. The Invisible speaks through the myth. One needs intuition to grab hold of the myth.
Our culture has neglected the Invisible, it has rejected its evidence. But it hasn’t ceased to exist because of this. Perhaps it transforms itself continuously and somebody has been able to follow the calling.
Let’s turn our thoughts to Heinrich Schliemann, who had a crazy dream: that of bringing to the light of day the tales and the places that gave origin to the greatest mythical narration in the West: the Iliad. Evans, another “madman”, made Knossos, the home of the minotaur, his reason for being.
Evans with Crete and Schliemann with Troy were both driven by private phantoms of the imagination to rediscover an imaginable world. And to demonstrate its solidity. If one so desires, theirs was an inverse procedure to that of a metaphor. Both, driven by the positive spirit of the age in which they lived, wanted to give tangibility to their intuition. But they had something more.
Evans and Schliemann believed in “fairy tales”, they literally wanted to find the places where these tales originated. Thanks to them, a silence of three thousand years was interrupted. But it wasn’t so much their discoveries as their listening to the “invisibles” which fascinates us.
Their research led to the recognition that man wasn’t only western, modern, secular and civilised but also primitive, archaic, mythical and mad.
Perhaps it is for this reason that it is so important for the soul to listen to tales of courage and glory, of beauty and faith. These tales honour our invisible guests.
“Be what you wish to seem”, Socrates had said that morning. I still don’t fully understand this sentence. But it was the beginning of a voyage, fortunately without destination, with a new conscious structure.
And in this journey I trusted myself to my Virgil, that spiritual guide that James Hillman calls: an anti-biographical element, enemy of conventional narrations, who has liquidated the facts deriving from my way of acting based on an imitative principle, passing from seeing is believing to believing in order to see. The intentional principle.
The secret voice of the soul that that incites and makes forays into life and destiny, guiding our motivations and passions.
This magical, super-terrestrial, stand-in character, whose here and now presence is unexpected, has its own life and for this reason it must have its own name.
I am Vincent Montecristo, the number two personality as Jung called it, the Don Quixote-like man who, with his way of soul making, has undertaken the Journey with Asterion towards the second day: the day in which our destiny is fulfilled, beyond the illusionary appearances and social conventions, which tell of life as a fleeting idiocy.