|On The Continental Divide Trail|
At all events, this duality governs us. Each individual life unfolds on two levels, in two dimensions - history and destiny - which coincide only exceptionally. Each life has its history, the history of its successive events, its twists and turns - but elsewhere, in another dimension, there is only one form, that of the absolute becoming of the same situation, which occurs for everyone in the form of the Eternal Return. The form of destiny, which Nietzsche also calls 'character, to distinguish it from any psychology of the ego and its successive changes. (79 IE)
Somewhere in Colorado there is a demarcation line where the waters part - the so-called Continental Divide - some running off to the Atlantic, the rest to the Pacific. It is a line almost as imaginary as the one separating the past from the future - that line we call the present. And the two dimensions of time themselves run off and vanish into oceanic depths of their own. The instant, that dividing line, is a line of destiny, past and future part there, never to meet again. And existence is merely this ever-greater divergence of past and future, until death reunites the two in an absolute present.
The line where the waters divide - the line where thoughts divide. No planispheric extension. Waters and destinies always divide. (1 Cool Memories IV)
In man, it is thoughts which divide - the 'mental divide'. Like the continental waters, they run off unpredictably in opposite directions, and often those which were closest together will end up furthest apart.
|Map of Eric Packer's Journey Through the Grid of NYC Traffic|
|Agnes Martin Print|
|Continental Divide - Mark Tansey|
Thus each existence is the product of a double declension. It is in this sense that it is a dual, not an individual form. We are not free to exist just on the side of our ego,, or just on that of the so-called real world. We are wholly the products of this relation of adversity, this twin complicity. Destiny is divided, like thought, which comes to us from the other. Each is the destiny of the other. There is no individual destiny. (IE 82-3)
Destiny has been arranging the day for Elise Shifrin and Eric Packer. Elise - The Symbolic Order of Seduction/destiny/surprise/challenge/duel - is ahead of Eric all day, moving West into the sunset and the night. Eric has been following her. Each time they meet, their selves diverge and divide like the waters at the Continental Divide. They split and then split again. Until they end pure and lorn, naked under blinding light.