Croquet ≤/≥ Oquet (Part 1/2)
“Since 2022 the Haunted Network Research Initiative has been honoured to be the recipient of occasional funding by scientist and croquet enthusiast Dr Pete C. Rimmer. Dr Rimmer has helped the institution massively, not only financially- but also his expertise in cutting edge biomechanical artificial generation and the institution would like to take this opportunity to formally thank him for both his financial contributions and his expertise.”
Above is a draft of part of a speech that I wrote for Dr Desmond Codar to deliver to an audience of donors at the inaugural HNRI banquo-lecture series run by the institution earlier this year. I was tasked with finding some basic information about Dr Rimmer and ended up making some extraordinary discoveries.
In 2019 Rimmer edited a book entitled “Beyond Expert Croquet Tactics” that received a short print run that same year. Remarkably, the social media manager for HNRI found a copy of this book in an Oxfam in South Ealing, London. Even more remarkably, upon Googling this book I found it to be unavailable on the internet, however, another book of the same name edited by a Pete C. Trimmer was readily available (see fig.1). In my confusion I reached out to various administrative members of the institution to check whether I had gotten the name correct — which it turned out I had. I decided to contact Dr Rimmer outright to ask if he had used a pseudonym — which it turned out he had not. My thoughts turned immediately to Jorge Luis Borges and his remarkable 1940 story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” in which he is introduced to the country of Uqbar by a friend and collaborator who had read about it in the “Anglo-American Cyclopaedia”. Upon searching for the entry they find it does not exist in his friends copy at all — in fact, they can’t find any mention of it in any other encyclopaedias either. Days later, Uqbar starts to manifest, along with other countries in the same region, in different, but similar, editions and reprints of the Cyclopaedia.
Fig 1: Beyond Expert Croquet Tactics by Pete C. Rimmer as found in Oxfam book shop, South Ealing. London.
It is interesting how fact often manifests through fiction. Just like the, possibly imaginary, Uqbar manifesting in the physical world both on the noumenal level (within the fiction) and the phenomenal level (the impact the fiction has has in physical reality) — Pete C. Trimmer’s book seemed to pop out of nowhere. Whilst Rimmer’s book had previously existed in abject reality through its physical existence (of which I can be sure as I own a copy) it’s current relationship to that reality has become less stable in the presence of its hyperstitional other. The fact that Rimmer’s book can’t be found on the internet or in libraries but Trimmer’s can poses a maddening philosophical question: if one fiction can become fact and the other fact can simultaneously become fiction, which is the more true?
I feel under-qualified to answer this question, so will instead answer it with another musing:
In alchemical, and later Jungian, literature there exists a situation known as the coincidentia oppisitorum in which any intelligent unity between disparate objects cannot be judged by causality or duality but only by the coincidental nature of them existing at once. Unity is achieved purely by their just being and not by any causal relationship between them. The objects become one through the coincidence of their opposing natures rather than their attractors. 15th Century alchemist Nicholas de Cusa wrote:
Maximum autem hoc dico, quo nihil maius esse potest. Habundantia vero uni convenit. Coincidit itaque maximitati unitas, quae est et entitas; quod si ipsa talis unitas ab omni respectu et contractione universaliter est absoluta, nihil sibi opponi manifestum est, cum sit maximitas absoluta. Maximum itaque absolutum »num est, quod est omnia; in quo omnia, quia maximum.
(But I say this the greatest thing, by which nothing can be greater. Abundance is indeed once it arises. The unity, which is also the entity, coincides with the maxim; if she is such Unity from all respect and contraction is universally absolute, nothing is opposed to it it is clear, since it is the absolute maximum. The absolute maximum, therefore, is whether it is that which is all in which all things, because they are the greatest.)
This expansive rather than reductionist approach is important in understanding the generative aspect of hyperstitional and anti-hyperstitional additional processes. As Trimmer’s text enters the world of the conscious, Rimmer’s fades to embark on its own Night Sea Journey (after Jung) — down into the depths of Hades where it can become renewed in the flames of the ghost seam of the noumena. Perhaps, as opposites tend to do when pushed into their other, the two texts will revert to their primary ontological realms…perhaps switching between states will be the dance that they are cursed to perform for eternity.
The generative power of the coincidence of opposites can be palpable. I am now wondering what new entity will be created through this dance of appearance (Trimmer) and disappearance (Rimmer). I am led to believe that the libido energy between two opposite states can be transformative — a balancing act culminating in cosmic reaction. I will muse on the figure below (fig.2) and keep a close eye on this subject.
Fig. 2: Trimmer/Rimmer dichotomy. The author asks: what is the creational power of this?
1. de Cusa, Nicholas, Nicholas of Cusa on Learned Ignorance: A Translation and an Appraisal of De Docta Ignorantia, trans. by Hopkins, J (Minneapolis: Arthur J Banning Press, 1985).
Borges, Jorge Luis, and Andrew Hurley, Collected Fictions (New York: Penguin Books, 1999)
Jung, C. G, Gerhard Adler, and R. F. C Hull, Collected Works Of C.G. Jung, Volume 6 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014)
Kant, I (1781), Critique of Pure Reason, trans. by Weigelt, M (London: Penguin Classics, 2007).
Trimmer, P, C., Beyond Expert Croquet Tactics (Cheletenham: The Croquet Association (UK), 2019)