|Otra Vida at anchor, Santa Luzia|
Santa Luzia is an unpopulated island, a rare thing indeed these days. I don´t mean an unpopulated rock, of which there are plenty in the world, but a true island with hills, valleys, beaches. People have lived here in the past, but life was hard due to limited fresh water, and the island was abandoned in the late 19th century with the population moving to other islands in the Cape Verdes.
|Dali-esque dream landscape|
|Strange clouds over Santa Luzia|
|Full moon rising over the island|
Now Santa Luzia surely isn’t the only place in the world that has reddish-orange volcanic gravel, black volcanic hills, boulders, and an aspect open to the setting sun. But the point is that the places Dali visited physically, as far as I know, have nothing close to such a landscape. Where did it come from, and in such detail? Dali, Breton, Bunuel and the other surrealists were trying to access dreams and report back what they found each in their own way. Dali may not have visited these landscapes physically, but somehow in his dream life he did, and what he found in his dream life seems not to have been based on any likely experience he had in his waking life. It came from somewhere else.
|Watching the sun go down behind Sao Vicente|
Jung would point to the collective unconscious. Others would point to astral travel or any number of new age or ancient wisdom explanations. There are interesting parallels between these concepts and the worldview of shamanic tribes that I am reading about in preparation for travel to the Amazon basin in the next months. Oversimplifying considerably, our modern day western view of reality seems to offer two broad choices: the existentialist view of a dead universe of random combinations entirely without meaning, or the religious view of a supervised duality requiring uncritical subservience and largely dismissing direct experience. The surrealists and the shamanic tribes both seem to point to a possible third choice. It is shaping up to be an interesting few months.