Dream Food / Doll Fuel
Fehta Murghana

We are once again indebted to the estate of Ms. Murghana for
allowing the use/research of her collected papers and notes. These
notes were evidently oriented toward a book project to be called
"Scrying the Source: 'Matrix' Emergence in Post-Modern Culture."

It has become increasingly apparent the extent to which Ms.
Murghana herself was indebted to the work of Walter Benjamin and
especially the methodology and stylistics of his Arcades Project: its
emphasis on the phantasmagorical adventures of modern commodity
culture, abundance of quotes and sometimes oblique commentary.

And while Benjamin's search for a compacted, dense 'dialectical
image' which he could unpack is followed to some degree by Ms.
Murghana, we are not at all certain of what political import (or
'responsibility' as some might have it), if any, her work was meant to
carry (of course, the same was/is said of Benjamin's work). Certainly
she was not a 'Marxist' in any traditional sense or even in the way in
which academics sometimes adopt Marxism, thinking that the
consequences were far too 'grave' (literally occasionally) in the one
case and far too insubstantial in the other. And if she has used the
word 'colonization' often, the feeling is often the sense of impersonal
biological processes perhaps, of intrusions rather than invasions,
instead than the standard, 'oppressed/oppressors'. (A recent book
by Margaret Cohen gives exemplary support to this contention. She
believes that so-called post-marxist studies, which she terms 'gothic
Marxism', can be delineated through the following points:

[1] the valorization of the realm of a culture's ghosts and phantasms 
as a significant and rich field of social production rather than a 
mirage to be dispelled; 
[2] the valorization of a culture's detritus and 
trivia as well as its strange and marginal practices; 
[3] a notion of critique moving beyond logical argument and the binary 
opposition to a phantasmagorical staging 
more closely resembling
psychoanalytic therapy, privileging nonrational forms of "working through"
and regulated by overdetermination rather than dialectics; 
[4] a dehierarchization of the epistemological priviledge accorded the 
visual in the direction of that integration of the senses dreamed of by Marx in The 1844 Manuscripts: "...the complete emancipation of all human senses and qualities...the senses have therefore become 
directly in their practice theoreticians"; accompanying this 
dehierarchization, a practice of criticism cutting across traditionally separated media and genres as well as critical attention to how and 
why these separations came to be; and 
[5] a concomitant valorization of the sensuousness of the visual: the realm of visual experience is opened to other possibilities than the accomplishment and/or figuration of rational demonstration. 
Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution, Magaret Cohen.) 

Murghana's work does not operate in the sphere of any sort of redemptive aufhebung but rather more in the porous killing fields of the backyard where tracking-ingesting-getting-stomped-on rule the day, the everyday haunted by the uncanny aspects of fatality and fate. Increasingly, her field of inquiry became the flicker seen out of the corner of the eye, a displacement of the questions of a teleological sublimity with which the founding fathers of modernity had always been concerned, and a subsequent concern with the immanent permeability implied by the uncanny, the unhuman, (and unlike Benjamin, fate over character) the material realm which is always just slightly beyond (and all around) our grasp. It would be tempting to code these two concerns along gender/religious or God/goddesses lines and there is ample material in other areas that does just that. (The relationship with sexuality, broadly considered, is undeniable and extemely dense, whether we are speaking of Freud, Persephone, witches, science, contemporary institutions, Heidegger, drugs/food, or the church fathers; it would be precipitous to unpack that nexus at the moment.) However, our concern is much more along the lines of what an earlier tradtion called the 'daimonic', that indeterminate realm between humans and gods but which we might transpose to the ambiguous arena between the animate/inanimate, life/not-life, living/dead, possessing consciousness/possessing no consciousness, that "vast, cool, and indifferent" which H.G. Wells termed the same thing under the guise of attacking martians (and which were undone by yet another boundary straddler, a 'common' virus: evidence of immunological deficienies in even the most monstrous Other--in fact, the monstrous IS that immunological failure) and what David Farrell Krell terms "the nearest of the near, the most intimate and natural thing in the world...the un-common and unfamiliar." There are not many descriptions of the psychological correlates involved better than the following, from Goethe's auto-biography:

A heady arena, one might object, when Murghana's interest in
this case was ostensibly the stomach and food; but it was precisely
the conjunction of nearness/distance, the living and the dead which
the dinner table seemed to highlight and which contemporary society
and culture seems bent on effacing which she was interested in
exploring. Today, it is precisely the case that 'food' is largely a
mechanized product (in fact, there is a variety of food supplement
which calls itself an "engineered food"). One recalls Martin
Heidegger's famous statement equating mechanized food production
and (implicitly) the concentration camps and the arrival of a global
Stylistically, the hazards to the reader (not withstanding its
venerable history) of such an extremely dense, allusive, aphoristic,
discontinuous, constellative, non-narrative form of presentation are
considerable. There exists no hermeneutic or institutional 'backup'
or disciplinary procedure for guiding the reader and, in its reliance
on a reader's ability to hear and pay attention to allusive interstitial
overtones which seem to constitute the site of meaning, the danger
may be that the reader may not "get it" (i.e., an event subsumed into
a larger structure; "making sense" is a temporal project) . And of
course one could question what "getting it" means outside the context
of such hermeneutic/institutional frameworks, since that (the
'beyond') has always been the (non)place of mysticism and its
gnomic fingerpointing:

"A mystical life is begun when it recovers its roots and experiences its
strangeness in ordinary lifewhen it continues to discover in other
ways what has occurred that first time.
This movement beyond the event is historyhistory already made
or yet to be made. The movement beyond personal intuition is the
social plurality. The movement beyond the surprise that has touched
the depths of the emotions is a discursive unfolding, a reorganization
of the known through the confrontation with other kinds of
knowledge or modes of knowing.
There the unbelievable and the obvious coincide."

Mysticism, Michel de Certeau, Diacritics/summer 1992

But de Certeau's point is that there is a societal point of "getting it"
which is really a form of reorganization of the skeins of networks
and relations of society and culture manifested through "language,
action, memory, creativity" and that happens when the singular
event becomes extended and developed through time, through the
"social plurality". (See The Mystic Fable, de Certeau also.)

For Murghana also it became apparent the necessity of even (or
perhaps especially) the advent of epochal meaning, for a "framing"
(as in Heideggerean) through an event's embedding in institutional
pathways and circulation. One might even continue to play on the
word "surculate" which means 'to prune'; but in allowing a semantic
drift we might come up with a "pruning that commences through
circulation" thereby setting up a more generalized economics that
operates through border conditions instead of acting to establish
them. This is indeed the very region of the technical impulse
(techné), coinciding with the "unbelievable and the obvious." (And
firmly co-terminous with 'Art'.)

Undoubtedly Ms. Murghana's gnomic, prophetic stance in many
regards seems to be of a piece with a stylistic phenomena which
stretches from the Orphic poets to Norman O. Brown, and Chinese
fortune cookies. One would think that such writing (we will only
point to the finger which is pointing) would not find much favor with
a pragmatic, mechanical, technical culture but in fact much the
opposite seems to be true as the forces which give rise to
fragmentation in various forms of hypertextuality, and highly
condensed images in both advertising and multimedia (which are
coterminous) readily show. (In Marshall McLuhan's earlier
terminology, the technology is beginning to shift our 'sense ratios' to
something that resembles an earlier acoustic/oral/aural style,
especially in its allowance of an oracular stylistics.)

Although the 'larger system' (i.e., a general economics of a
Bataillean 'cosmic' sort, as opposed to a restricted economics of
human endeavor, re: Baudrillard's hypersphere) hardly maps
completely with the 'unspeakable' that the older, delphic style deals
with, they both seem to be attempts at/consequences of the
incorporation of an unassimilable aspect of the world into
consciousness, aspects which act as aporias as well as conduits,
featuring the inorganic, the unthinking (the dead) as partially
constitutive: viral contaminations , border-line 'creatures' or 'entities'
or forces beyond the margins of the more restricted economies of
human endeavor. (Charles Scott, in a rather more Heideggerean
context, puts it this way: "It is like a springing away within
structures from those structures, like a billowing out of an excess
with a given identity." Thinking Non-interpretively, Epoché, 1:1.)
Rather than being excluded by an infomatic, electronic culture, such
aspects seem to be enhanced, giving a new, quixotic life to the old
phrase "ghost in the machine"; quixotic in that the life that has
returned to the machine is not really alive and of course never 'left'
(in the sense of death) in the first place. (When does 'food' become
'alive' 'again' in the body? The porous boundary of life/death still
constitutes the greatest mystery of life and consciousness.)

Increasingly, we find technical cultures "abandoning the codes
that bind one to humanity for the intoxification of the inorganic" (The
Hunger Artists: Starving, Writing, Imprisonment, Maud Ellman).
Although Ellman was speaking of various forms of food repudiation,
she is also, of necessity, speaking of technology, of the necessary
supplement, which constitutes the essence of food/fuel, for both food
and technology concern themselves with boundaries and the
transformations that occur there.


As Friedrich Kittler has put it: "A medium is a medium is a
medium. As the sentence says, there is no difference between occult
and technological media. Their truth is fatality, their field the
unconscious. And because the unconscious never finds an illusory
belief, the unconscious can only be stored." (Discourse Networks,
, 229)

Kittler's statement brings together all the overriding concerns of
Murghana's work: "illusory beliefs", that moving front which
constitutes techniques, incorporations/encrptions of the inorganic
(re:death) into the living; the 'channeled' quality of impersonal,
inhuman communications which constitutes (phenomenologically)
mediums, technologies, and bodies as they have (been) moved
through history (and are now 'dead'). Certainly, the certainties which
other, more 'scientific' paradigms, evince have dissipated like the
morning fog in Murghana's work. And yes, as the metaphor
chiasmatically indicates, it is a peculiarly opaque evaporation. To her
critics, it often seems that obfuscation, confusion, and blocking seem
to be her main concern, regardless of the topic under consideration.
But that's the subject for another introduction.
Robert R. Cheatham

"From the start I have had (and I sometimes still have) great
difficulties with meals....Nobody can imagine how great the
difficulties were with which I had to fight; while I was eating,
miracles were continually produced inside my mouth; and even the
nonsensical questions continued: "Why don't you say it (aloud)?", etc.,
although speaking aloud is impossible when one has one's mouth full
of food.
Later for a time the miracles were in preference directed against my
stomach, partly because the souls begrudged me the sensual pleasure
connected with the taking of food, partly because they considered
themselves superior to human beings who require earthly
nourishments; they therefore tended to look down on all eating and
drinking with some disdain. I existed frequently without a stomach;" . .
Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, Daniel Paul Schreber

Is it not pertinent that Judge Schreiber's illness (partly) was a
desire to be a woman? Miracles, in close proximity with food, with
one's sex; always, miracles of transformation, and distant influence.
The maceration of the hard, the teeth, the penis, the skeletal into the
voluptuous, overflowing cavities of God--but a god that's been de-

. . .the central motif of bodies as food: God's body, dying in order that
Christians may eat and live, and women's bodies, receiving food,
refusing food, becoming food.
Holy Feast, Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food To Medieval
, Caroline Bynum

The time was approximately 11:00 A.M. on April 18, 1961, when
Joe Simonton was attracted outside by a peculiar noise similar to
"knobby tires on a wet pavement." Stepping into his yard, he faced a
silvery saucer-shaped object "brighter than chrome," which appeared
to be hovering close to the ground without actually touching it. The
object was about twelve feet high and thirty feet in diameter. A
hatch opened about five feet from the ground, and Simonton saw
three men inside the machine. One of them was dressed in a black
two-piece suit. The occupants were about five feet in height.
Smooth shaven, they appeared to "resemble Italians." They had dark
hair and skin and wore outfits with turtleneck tops and knit helmets.
One of the men held up a jug apparently made of the same
material as the saucer. His motions to Joe Simonton seemed to
indicate that he need water. Simonton took the jug, went inside the
house, and filled it. As he returned, he saw that one of the men
inside the saucer was "frying food on a flameless grill of some sort."
The interior of the ship was black, "the color of wrought iron."
Simonton, who could see several instrument panels, heard a slow
whining sound, similar to the hum of a generator. When he made a
motion indicating that he was intersted in the food that was being
prepared, one of the men, who was also dressed in black but with a
narrow red trim along the shoulders, handed him three cookies,
about threes inches in diameter and perforated with small holes.
Joe Simonton, a sixty-year-old Wisconsin chicken farmer of
unquestioned sincerity, ate one of the three cakes, and thought it
"tasted like cardboard." The Air Force put it more scientifically:

The cake was composed of hydrogenated fat, starch, buckwheat
hulls, soya bean hulls, wheat bran. Bacteria and radiation readings
were normal for this material. Chemical, infra-red and other
destructive type tests were run on this material. The Food and Drug
Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare
concluded that the material was an ordinary pancake of terrestrial

Passport to Magonia, Jacques Vallee

Lest we think that here lies a peculiar brand of modern
technophilic psychosis, Vallee hastens to reassure us of other 'food
exhanges' (quite often grain or grain products) between human
reality and what we might call radically different ontological regions,
whether fairies, the Gentry, Greek goddesses and gods, or space
aliens. (See esp. The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, its Psychological Origin and Nature by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, 1909). We might almost be tempted to conclude that food exchange either signifies or initiates (maybe both) a consciousness change of some sort or another, that there is more than simply a physical boundary process going on here of increased gastric acids and matter/energy conversion. 'Thinking' and 'being' are always part of the food chain, even if they become divinized by appearing at the top of the pyramid. The more abstract the thinking, the society, the more 'vaporized' has become the food. Food doesn't give rise to the dialectic: it is the dialectic.

My child, when you were below the earth, did you eat any food? Tell
me the truth and don't hide anything from me, so that we both may
know. Because if you didn't accept his hospitality, youcan flee from
the halls ofthat loathsome Hades and dwellwith me and your father,
the storm-black son of Cronus, where you will be honored by all
immortals. But if you did eat anything, you will have to make the
journey back again to the depths of the earth and live with Hades for
a third part ofthe seasons of the year and stay here with me and
theother immortals for only two of thethree. When the earth
abounds with all the fragrant blossoms that come with Spring, then
from th sunless west of the dark night you'll rise and appear as a
great miracle to the gods and mortal men...[...]....And with what trick
did the god who receives all deceive you?
Hymn to Demeter

Of course, Persephone ate a pomegranate seed which Hades forced
upon her thereby setting into motion an oscillation traveling from
the upper world to the lower world, from the world of everyday life
to the world of the Mysteries: "[Demeter] showed the performance of
her rites and taught her Mysteriesholy rites that are awesome, that
no one may transgree nor reveal norexpress in words, for an
overwhelming reverence for the gods stops his voice. Whoever
among men who walk the earth has seen these Mysteries is blessd,
but whoever is uniniated and has not received his share of the rite,
hewill not have the same lot as the others, once he is dead and
dwells in the mould where the sun goes down."

But of course the wide fertile ecstasies of Demeter/Persephone
come poring forth on the fruited plain---but prefigured with the
purple (royalty!) sclerotic rot of fungus, claviceps purpurea, infesting
the golden grains, the lunar hidden among the golden solar heads of
grain; the chthonic biding its time, 'Hades' waiting among the stalks,
waiting to call his beloved home, home beneath the surface of things.
The god is waiting to be eaten. (see The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, by R. Gordon Wasson, Carl A. P. Ruck, and Albert Hofmann. Hofmann, of course, discovered LSD in ergot compound and later synthesized it as well as psilocybin. Mild infusions of the ergot had been used for millennia as an obstetric aid)
For hundreds of years the Mysteries at Eleusis in Greece acted as
this cereological gateway between the world of death and eternal
life. It has been suggested that the ceremonies revolved around
consumption of a potion made from grains which contained an ergot
growing on certain species; this ergot has been determined to contain
Lysergic acid [LSD]. It is still not known for sure what constituted
the internal structure of the Mysteries but it formed a core structure
of Athenian life-Plato is said to have been an initiate-and hence
might be said to form one of the core structures of Western
civilization. And what if the Mysteries had a structuring effect
through space/time which is even less readily apparent from a
strictly structural/functional (mechanical/causal) model? What if
reality were a 'hyper-sponge': porous, recursive, acausal
(structurally), shot through with shards of 'then' time, to paraphrase
Walter Benjamin (could there be an 'opposite' of messianic time?)

How does a subject come to know an object? By eating it!

The most radical loss of human singularity entails the effacement
within the universal, or within the holocaust of spirit, of this relation
between mother and daughter. This abduction of one from the other
as it pertains to the feminine gender is a crime that humanity
perpetrates unconsciously and without being able to mourn it. We
know from mythology that it can bring about the sterility of the
earth. In deciphering the mystery of our decline, we know that it
can bring about the end of the human species, sacrificed to an
abstract universal: absolute spirit.
(Taken from Love Between Us, in Who Comes After the Subject? ed.,
Cadava, Connor, Nancy. Luce Irigaray; she is here referring to an
earlier text on Demeter and Persephone/Kore, Le mystere des
généalogies féminines
in Les Temps de la différence.)

For everything that happens at the edge of the orifices (of orality,
but also of the ear, the eyeand all the "senses" in general) the
metonomy of "eating well" (bien manger) would always be the rule.
The question is no longer one of knowing if it is "good" to eat the
other or if the other is "good" to eat, not of knowing which other. One
eats him regardless and lets oneself be eaten by him. The so called
nonanthropophagic cultures practice symbolic anthropophagy and
even construct thier most elevated socius, indeed the sublimity of
their morality, their politics, and their right, on this anthropophagy.
Vegetarians, too, partake of animals, even of men. They practice a
different mode of denegation. The moral question is thus not, nor
has it ever been: should one eat or not eat, eat this and not that, the
living or the nonliving, man or animal, but since one must eat in any
case and since it is and tastes good to eat, and since there's no other
difinition of the good (du bien) how for goodness sake should one eat
well (bien manger)? And what does this imply? What is eating?
How is this metonymy of introjection to be regulated? And in what
respect does the formulation of these questions in language give us
still more food for thought? In what respect is the question, if you
will, carnivorous? The infinitely metonymical question on the
subject of "one must eat well" must be nourishing not only for me,
for a "self," which, given its limits, would thus eat badly, it must be
shared, as you might put it, and not only in language. One must eat
well does not mean above all taking in and grasping in itself, but
learning and giving to eat, learning-to-give-the-other-to-eat. One
never eats entirely on one's own...
("Eating Well," or the Calculation of the Subject: an interview with
jacques Derrida
, inWho Comes After the Subject? eds. Cadava,Connor,

"Eating" is a process of, and a product of, community. It may be the
most primal aspect of community and the source for a very deep
well of cognizing and metaphorizing on the relationship of self to
other (and Other) and of subject to object. What else is community
but a "weak incorporation" of self/subject into the social body? What
happens when this graceful/grateful 'eating' no longer takes place?
(The Church remains the strongest example of this "eating/being
eaten" complex with the Eucharist the perfect example of this form of
eaten/eating community. It is undoubtedly only the remnant of a
much longer, forgotten tradition of visionary eating communities. A
few tattered, battered remnants of the remaining archaic cultures
and a few historical anthropological accounts give a few hints.) What
happens to community when ingestion comes to seem problematic,
mechanical, forced, monstrous? When feeding comes to seem as a
form of force feeding, then so must society follow suit as policed,
adjudicated, totally administered society. There always existed
"escape clauses," or impurities, in our earlier relationships to food,
sometimes ones that had grevious results, other times ecstatic results
(the classic pharmakon). But from the point of view of keeping the
psychic organism from getting 'stale' it had some utility. In a
mechanical, totally administered food program, random
contamination events become increasingly unlikely. A new category-
'drugs'-now occupies structurally a former food slot.
Earlier 'deep' communities included this 'contamination' and
adapted; 'shallow' communities have to 'engineer' a contamination
event. food:eucharist; fuel:pharmaceutical agents.
'Progress': the attempt to engineer/fabricate purity, transparency,
and homogeneity. The conversion of food to fuel.

Like the health industry and its new abstinence, which arose at the
same time as deconstruction, they are based on penance, self-denial,
discipline, deferral, endlessly renewed promise, pharmka,
supplements, joyful exercise, celebration of form, and renunciation of
the social body.
Vassilis Lampropoulous, The Rise of Eurocentrism:
Anatomy of Interpretation

The passing of the age of food the new Passover.

From the messianic promise in all human cultures throughout all of
history of the superabundance of food, to the apocalyptic
disappearance (or actually transsubstantiation) of food. Does it
amount to the same? In one, the food is first killed; in the other, the
organism must be first 'killed.'

For unless a man converts his hardness into softness, he cannot
receive the food, which is the bread that comes down from heaven,
so as to be able to say: qui est de tua substantia..
Jerome, quoted in Eucharist and Eschatology,
Geoffrey Wainwright

When 'eating' stops (and fueling begins) what happens to
'community'? Does it disappear or does it turn into a molecular-
thin oil slick? community-communion-communication-comestibles:
the vertical becomes the horizontal.

'Sacramental' 'foods': mustered by some technique (not always from
within the body) to create a vision not of the body. It originally
came from the substance, not the body: the same indeterminancy that fueled evolution. The dream beyond the body, imposed on the body.

If one were to concoct a nosology of the twentieth century, of
modernism, of the terrorism and horrorific episodes that mark
contemporary life (interspersed with the equally terrifying banality
that now passes for 'off-line' time) what better place to start than
with the following symptoms:

[a] restlessness, tremor, sweating, and exaggerated reflexes;
[b] confusion, hyperactivity, accelerated breathing;
[c] delirium, elevated temperature and blood pressure;
[d] convulsions, coma, and eventual collapse.

I omitted the previous sentence which goes: :..."for those poisoned by
stimulants of the central nervous system the following four
(progressive) stages can be observed: . . " from Xenobiosis: Food,
Drugs, and Poisons in the Human Body
, Adrien Albert, and from
which the following quote by Paracelsus was taken:

What is not a poison? All things are poisons and nothing is without
toxicity. Only the dose permits anything not to be poisonous. For
example, every food and every drink is a poison if consumed in extreme quantities: which proves the point. I admit that a poison
is a poison; but that is no reason for condemning it outright.

It's all a matter of the dose...
[noun, German, dosis, a gift, from didonai, to give]

"The natural, originary body does not exist: technology has not simply added itself, from outside or after the fact, as a foreign body.
Certainly, this foreign or dangerous supplement is "originarily" at
work and in place in the supposedly ideal interiority of the "body
and soul." It is indeed at the heart of the heart. Rushing things a bit,
I would say that what, without being absolutely new, now takes on
particular and macroscopic forms, is this paradox of a "crisis," as we
superficially call it, of naturalness. This alleged "crisis" also comes
up, for example, throughout the problems of biotechnology and
throughout the new and so-called artificial possibilities for dealing
with life, from the wombto the grave, as if a naturalness had never
been in circulation and as if the boundary between nature and its
other were susceptible to objectification....As you know, the
introjection or incorporation of the other has so many other
resources, strategems, and detours...it can always invent new
orificies, in addition to and beyond those, for example the mouth,
which we think we naturally possess. Besides, orality does not open
up only to receive, but also, as they say, to emit, and we should have
to wonder whether drug addiction consists simply and essentially in
receiving and taking in, rather than in "expressing" and pushing
outside, for example in a certain form of speaking or of chanting,
whether or not we drink what we "spit." There is no doubt, at least
for orality, for the hearing and the hearing-oneself-speak, a zone of
experience where giving and receiving, inspiration and expiration,
impression and expression, passivity and activity, can only with
great difficulty be opposed to one another, or even distinguished."
Interview with Jacques Derrida, The Rhetoric of Drugs, in Differences,
summer 1993, trans. Michael Israel

Drugs sit right on the boundary like Maxwell's Demon or the
Trickster of the opposition between nature and institution,
between what is 'natural,' 'right,' and 'real' and what is 'artificial,'
'not-proper,' and hallucination'.
The constant desire to exclude the 'drug' (re:"poison"; or too much
augmentation 'given' [over-'dose]) and accept the 'food' except
under institutional aspects, and then everything becomes a drug, a
'controlled substance,' a substance under close scrutiny, not
admitting of the accidental. All flow must be vectored in one
direction, the therapeutic... 'progress,' 'evolution.' Thus the teleology
of 'controlled substances,' of 'controlled things'--technique.

I Think,
Therefore I Am Hungry.
back of Kellogg's Pop-tarts box

Think of the founding of Kellogg's Cereals a search for a protein-
less breakfast food. (It was thought that protein consumption led to
an over-abundance of sexual drive, which led to lasciviousness,
wantonness, etc.)
Grains presumably have an ethereal quality, not being connected
to (or rather, prior to) the animalistic, fleshy (let's think of Judge
Schreber's 'tormentor,' one Mr. Flechsig; Schreber thought he was
becoming a woman, of course), 'mid-range' of the 'chain of being'
but etiolated due to the mechanical processing, the 'nature' of grain --- or the presence of some goddess. ( I'm sure there are many hearty fuckers who eat cereal.)

Now think of the profusion of cereals on grocery store shelves.

women saints

It may be that vice, depravity and crime are nearly always . . .
attempts to eat beauty, to eat what we should only look at. Eve
began it. If she caused humanity to be lost by eating the fruit, the
opposite attitude, looking at the fruit without eating it, should be
what is required to save it.

"If I grow thin from labour in the fields, my flesh really becomes
wheat. If that wheat is used for the host it becomes Christ's flesh.
Anyone who labours with this intention should become a saint."
Simone Weil, quoted in Holy Feast,
Holy Fast
, Bynum

"The close and causal relation between the stomach (including the
food that it ingests and digests) and the mind was known and
recognized as a matter of ordinary fact by all the Ancient World.
All religious activities in the Ancient World were related to some
specialized ritual food, which in variety ran upwards from yoghurt to
human brains. The ritual food of the Aztec priests was the living
human heart; that of the priestesses of Koré the Maiden, 'little cakes.'
The initiates of Mithraism drank the blood of bulls; the votaries of
the Laresthe family divinitiesworshipped them with salted wheat.
Cybele, the Mother Goddess in her demon aspect, was worshipped,
paradoxically enough, in the eating of curds-and-whey (...) In these
ritual foodsand we must not ovewrlook the ritual bread and wine of
Christianitythe devout worshipper found a releasing translation to a
higher plane of consciousness: no worshipper of any religion of the
Ancient World would have found anything incredible in the fact that
the eating of poisoned salmon would have bestowed on the eater the
'gift' of causing objects to move by the very act of will. Indeed, had
one told any of these ancient worshippers that Caroline Clare, of
London, Ontario, would, in 1877, fall into spastic and catatonic states,
and thereafter attract to her body metal objects, so that they could
be pulled away from her only by force, the ancient worshipper
would have had only two questions to ask: 'Which God does she
worship?' and 'What is her ritual food?' questions which, perhaps,
might with advantage have been asked in some modern
investigations. "
Fire From Heaven: A Study of Spontaneous Combustion in Human
, Michael Harrison.

'Sacramental foods': simultaneously somatic, psychological, and
technical agents. The original Archimedean Lever?

The body which does not eat...is either the dead body or the body
which re-fuels. Perhaps they are synonomous. Which is not to cast a
pall over either. Perhaps being 'dead' has great advantages; not of a
utile sort, but towards a more 'metaphysical' community. But
certainly, it is difficult to persuade a duck to enter a chinese

With food there are only two things at stake--life and death--and
they are really one: life-and-death.

With fuel there are also two things--off and on--and they are really
one: on.

The dream of continuous articulation (the machine, divine speech,
ontological transparency and subsequent closure, Western technical
civilization) is the dream of the switch stuck in the continuous On
position, which amounts to a dream of 'death'; the continual dying of
the organic, technical civilization as a vast death camp dedicated to
substitution and displacement, an inexorable process of cyclonic
proportions gathering energy from all attempts to redirect it,
drawing into its maw all of history and productivity, back-
engineering to the quantum level, instituting the degree of Absolute
Zero as the Point of Greatest Possibility of Communicative Efficacy---
which is also the great vampiric Carnot engine driving world
civilization, sucking heat from all living processes, creating a
thanatological realm better inhabited by species of Nosferatic and
lycantropic golem.

No doubt the duck loves chinese food.

The ghostly retribution of techné, forced/forged from the
inorganic, brought into (near) proximity w/life, thus enacting its
revenge for being called from the dea(p)ths ( a misnomer; there is
only endlessness) of non-life: the continual fluttering of fatality, the
unwavering blurring of the border life/not-life. It can not help
itselfthat is what it is, that is what it does: the uncanny conjoining
of animate/non-animate in the threnody of consciousness/
unconsciousness/non-consciousness. Thus does the dead and the
never-alive enact its torsion on the living.

But where begins this inextricable/unexterpitable relation, this
manipulation-at-distance, drawing-to, assimilating (w/resulting
death-in-life)? With athe most primary process: ingestion of food.
(It may be objected that animals also eat and doing soi.e., having a
'boundary transducer'is no guarantor of anything, much less
thearrival of technology. But this is to answer the question before it
has been asked since it is by no means clear what constitutes any of
the terms 'human,' 'animal,' 'technique.' However, if we define
techné very loosely as a 'drawing-close by means of the non-living,' a
peculiar form of ingestion/incorporation/tranformation we might
say, a new problematic opens up. After all, the living only eat the
living. What if we don't any longer wish to eat the living? What a









the consequences of the living 'eating' the not-living? How far
toward absolute zero must we go? Our literary fears have always
been that the non-living must return to gnaw away at the living, that
the community of death seeks always to widen its communion (when
in fact it already encompasses - or will - everything: "Matter signals
to its lost voyagers, telling them that their quest is vain, and that
their homeland already lies in ashes behind them."
Nick Land)
Perhaps these fears are merely another heat/identity evacuation of
the great Carnot engine cycle of history/consciousness/ technology as
it works its way 'down'; the duck is already beginning to shiver.