Monday, January 31, 2011


The Black Iron Prison is a term Philip K. Dick invented to describe man's spiritual confinement within the bounds of the physical and temporal reality. In his novel Valis, PKD relates a vision in which the Black Iron Prison appears as a castle. In his vision, the castle is attacked and destroyed by the early Christians. This castle is similar to the one that housed the Dark Crystal written about in the last post. As I have pointed out in other posts, the Black Iron Prison is more likely to be made from a type of amorphous iron (a metallic glass or crystal) that is neither opaque or reflective, but is stronger and more durable than any other material known to man.

Amorphous metals made from iron, copper or palladium are among the toughest materials known to man and have only recently been perfected for the market place. If this type of material based alchemy continues into the future, it is possible that we could see cities built of clear gold. Cities such as these are described in the Book of Revelations, as being the Kingdom of Heaven.

In the Japanese animation movies Steamboy and The Castle in the Sky, the Black Iron Prison is characterized by a floating city that also acts as a military war ship. The original concept for both these films likely comes from Jonathan Swift's classic story Gulliver's Travels. In this story, Laputa is the name of a giant floating island kingdom that drops bombs and crushes its enemies by landing on them. The surrealist painter Rene Magritte (left) also depicts this floating island. Interestingly he shows a castle at its apex. What this tells us is that, for all its strength and durability, the Black Iron Castle has no real tangible physicality. Its battlements and walls can be transgressed as if walking through air.

This concept also appears in another of Jim Henson's movie ventures; Labyrinth. In this instance the temporal maze of the Black Iron Prison is replaced with an actual maze. Like the quest for alchemical gold, Sarah must find her way to the centre of the Labyrinth within the alloted time, as set by Jared; the Goblin King. To defeat Jared, Sarah recites a spell whose key words are; You have no power over me. In the same way, the Black Iron Prison (or Maze) is to be considered without any real power, because - in reality - it doesn't exist.

In the song Not Getting There, by Blonde Redhead there is the lyric, "With no exception you won't end in the castle," suggesting that all of us will escape the bonds of the Black Iron Prison, at some stage. The inclusion of the holographic horse along with the hologram of the castle, again relates to the concept of death and the illusion of the Black Iron Prison. The main lyric, "we'll have a fine time not getting there" pertains to the notion that the journey towards enlightenment will take an infinite amount of time, but that the time will be concerned with the continuous revealing of our true, more sublimely happy, more comfortable selves. Absolute perfection may never be obtained, but an increasingly accurate approximation of it, extending towards infinity, can be. The Labyrinth runs deep, deep in its profundity.

This, then, is a direct communication from the agencies divested in the non-corporeal Upper Realm. It also seems to be an admission by them, that linear time, or existence, won't ever end. The Black Iron Prison, Samsara, or the Metrix, will be sustained by them, as much as by the Android Empire, because life in the Upper Realms is facile and unrewarding without their puppets here on the ground. For this reason the Upper Realms are reluctant to end the war and give up there endless dominion over the Earth. This characterizes the Upper Echelons as being distinctly unsympathetic and cruel, which is why the song begins with "You already know this won't end with kisses"; as well as the inclusion of bondage, suffocating and the eclipse of the Sun. Having said this, the agents of the Upper Realms are distinctly conscious that human awareness is indestructible. It, rather than the atom, is the smallest most indivisible part of matter. It should also be understood that they are us e.g. Hera is a girl I know and I, I am Dionysus proper.

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