Third Nature

Text by Tomas Harker
October 26, 2021
Third Nature

 Certain leaves, fallen from a certain tree that lay on the verge between the forest and the meadow. They said hold a power if a ritual is performed where you dig a hole like a grave and bury yourself in them. I was laying on the verge, picking up the dead dry leaves that had fallen between the brambles.


A younger man had dug his grave in the field. He made a canopy of branches and leaves. But the leaves he used seemed too green. They said you have to stay underground for days and it changes your conscious state. You would see something else. But the man was too eager. People said it wasn’t the right time. They could read the earth but he ignored the signs. 


The people spoke about it with clarity, but it was unknowable without experiencing the ritual. It existed beyond the periphery; a state of presence with the infinite, where everything constructed in the mind is wiped clean. There is no conflict because the barriers have been broken down. You become close to the eternal. Close to the microbes in the soil, the stream, the life in the trees, and floating through the air. You are every plant and animal, every other person, and they are you. That is first nature.


Lying awake under a yellow summer moon. Remembering the past in the half- light, where fragments of ancient signs can still be found. It shows we are the aggregate of everything in the universe; a tiny flicker in time. Our life seems important and together but it is part of the vastness of the universe. The weight of the world doesn’t change, it just reconstructs.


Limelight illuminated a musician in the centre of a stage. Some phrases seemed to shimmer over the other lines, ‘Head rock and roll’, ‘Middle class finger’, ‘Do me, pencil me, do me in’, and ‘Spine in the bin but spirit level’.


Next a magician came on stage and performed their tricks. On a backdrop a montage was projected with a caption that read:


Between waking and sleep, being and nothing – is the twilight of hard-won insight. Lay and be careless like the clouds and mountains. In Egypt, the people didn’t hold themselves above the revered animals. Eden was before we knew the snake’s secret, when animal ignorance was bliss. The kingdom was and still is, no future, past or fantasy. Built over it is the wipe-down-tower of Babel, paranoid and sterile. It is Bataille’s sclerosis of polite society. The style is a posture, what free speech is to an actor’s lines. It’s the manners, its second nature.


With lack of imagination, took your own life down a wishing well. End up like Daniel Johnston, Casper the friendly ghost. To fast for the devil. Reminded to suffer for the pleasure, and to gently cultivate your own neurosis. Down sixteen

Sambuca’s and seduce Medusa.

One last blowout,

Before the next big blowout,

After the last big blowout.


Signs rained from the clouds floating above, signs reigned. Alphabets cast a drag net with its language ad infinitum. Weaving thread through the mind and the monitors; a tentacular Trojan dream sequence. Magic signs cast their spells. Signals of schizophrenia media. Who is moving the cursor? The cure is the curse is the cure is the curse. The cure is the dis-ease, not the cheap dopamine, the slow death. 


Attention is a form of endurance, to pay attention is an act of devotion. To us, users, it’s a flight simulation through a spell of strange weather. Third nature.


Psychotropic light was like the ancient signs in the twilight. Stray signals caught in aerials. That punctures a hole in the surface. Perforated drum. Light that casts a different shadow. The patient forgets their prescription. The story has a strange sentiment, where the feeling defies the fact. It’s a conflict that saves a thousand souls. It’s rich meaning with no resolution. Turns the tables, senses the beauty in the grotesque. A painting that can cut the distance. Freshly cut. A no-ones rose.


About the author

Jemma Stokes

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